Decided on June 05,1967

SARASWATHY Respondents


- (1.) This is an appeal filed by the defendant in a suit for maintenance. The plaintiff is the wife of the defendant. The plaintiff was married to the defendant on 20 11 1952. Till the first week of January 1953, they were residing as husband and wife in the defendant's house at Sasthamangalam. Thereafter, the plaintiff was sent over to her parent's house, and the defendant paid occasional visits to her till August, 1953. After that, the allegation is that the defendant has wilfully deserted her and has neglected to maintain her. The defendant filed H. M. A. No. 5/1958 on 22 8 1958 on the file of the District Court of Trivandrum, for a declaration that the marriage between himself and the plaintiff was a nullity and for dissolution of the same on the ground that the plaintiff was of unsound mind and she was leading an immoral life. During the pendency of that petition, the defendant sought to amend the petition by alleging that the plaintiff was impotent. H. M. A. No. 5 of 1958 was dismissed by an order dated 10 11 1960. There is a finding that the defendant has deserted the plaintiff in that order. The defendant thereafter filed H. M. A. No. 7 of 1961 under Act 25 of 1955 praying for divorce, alleging that the plaintiff was impotent. The basis of the plaintiff's suit was that the defendant had deserted her without her consent and that she was entitled to get maintenance at the rate of Rs. 250 per month. She, however, limited her claim to Rs. 200 per month on account of her inability to pay court fees at the rate of Rs. 250/-.
(2.) In the written statement filed by the defendant, he contended that he has filed H. M. A. No. 7 of 1961 praying for divorce, that the plaintiff was impotent at the time of the marriage and continued to be so, that it is impossible to have sexual union with her, that the marriage was never consummated and that the plaintiff cannot be said to be his wife entitled to claim maintenance from him. He alleged that the impotency of the plaintiff was being enquired into by a panel of doctors appointed by the court to go into the question in H. M. A. 7/1961, that he has no obligation to maintain the plaintiff as she was not capable of discharging the marital obligations, that the amount of maintenance claimed was not justified by the social status of the plaintiff or by the available means and resources of the defendant.
(3.) The court below found that the defendant had deserted the plaintiff with the requisite intention and that she is entitled to maintenance at the rate of Rs. 150/- per month.;

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