( )Present: De Sampayo J. and Schneider A.J.In re the Application of Josephine Ratnayake.
173—D. G. Colombo, 853.
Husband not heard of for over ten years^Application by wife for declara-tion that husband xoasdead—Evidence Ordinance, s. 103.
The husband of the appellant left the Island in 1908, and wrotea letter to her in 1909. Nothing more was heard of him. The wifeapplied to Court for a declaration that her husband was dead.Heldt that the Court had no power to grant such a declaration.
rpHE facts appear from the judgment.
B. F. de Silva, for the appellant.
May 25,1921. Dz Sampayo J.—
This is a very extraordinary case. The appellant is a marriedwoman, and she applied by petition to the Court for a declarationthat her husband is dead. It appears that she married her husbandin 1907, and the husband left the Island in October, 1908, and wentto Singapore. She says in the petition that he deserted her, butprobably all that he did was to leave the Island in search of someemployment. Anyhow, the only communication he made to hiswife after he left Ceylon appears to have been early in 1909, whenhe wrote to her a letter from Singapore. This application is entirelymisconceived. It is supposed to have been in pursuance of section108 of the Evidence Ordinance, which is merely laying down a ruleof evidence that, if a husband is absent for a certain period withoutany information as to his whereabouts, for certain purposes hisdeath may be presumed. But nowhere is there any provision layingdown the procedure for obtaining a declaration of Court. Theonly way that the section of the Evidence Ordinance can.be availedof is by repelling any charge of bigamy that may be mad6 againsther if she marries again. But beyond that that section docs nothelp the appellant. I think the learned Judge is quite right insaying that he had no jurisdiction to grant the application.
The appeal is dismissed.
Schneider A.J.—I agree.
In re the Application of JOSEPHINE RATNAYAKE