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Present: Ennis J. and Loos A.J.
ABILINU HAMINE v. APPUHAMY326—D. G. Batnapura, 3,239.
Written promise of marriage—Notice of marriage—Letter by defendant'sproctor.
A notice of marriage given to the Registrar and a letter writtenby the defendant's proctor after the plaintiff had made a claim for breachof promise of marriage were held not sufficient to constitute a written promiseof marriage within the meaning of section 21 of the Marriage Ordinance of1907.
*~r,HE facts are set out in the judgment of the District Judge (F. D.Peries, Esq.): —
Tii this case there is ample documentary proof of ithe defendant'spromise to marry the plaintiff, who in this action is represented by hernext friend her mother.
This evidence is supported by the copy of the letter written to theplaintiff's proctorbythedefendant's proctor (P. 6). In the appeal
decision in D. C. G-alle, No. 6,132, Wendt J. has in detail gone intothe requirement in section 21 of Ordinance No. 2 of 1895. In the presentcasethenotice of marriage(P. 1)signedby thedefendant and the invita-tiontothewedding feast(P. 2)showthat the defendant himselfhad
beyond all possibility of any doubt promised to marry the defendant, andthisevidenceis confirmedby the defendant’sproctor acting forhim.
These documents, inmyopinion, sufficientlymeet the provisions of
section 21 of the Ordinance. On issue 1 I hold in the affirmative.
The plaintiff has claimed expenses incurred, including) money. giftedto the defendant, Rs. 417.71', and damages by failure of contract Rs. 500,aggregating Rs. 917.71. The evidence in regard to these items havenot been disputed.
On issue 2 I hold in the affirmative, and on issue 3 I assess damages,Ac.,atRs.917.71. Onissue4 Ihold in the affirmative forthe
reasons stated above.
I accordingly enter judgment for the plaintiff for Rs. 917.71, withcosts.
The document F 6 was as follows:—
Snt,—With reference to ( your letter of demand dated 1st instant,addressedtoD. C.B. WijesunderaAppuhamyof Panawenna, I am
instructedbyhim toinform you thathe is notliable to pay your client
any damage, and that there was absolutely no breach of promsie ofmarriage on his part.
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I am farther instructed by him to inform you that there was a talkof marriage, and that even notice was given, but as your client failedto give the dowry that was promised^"and fulfil other agreements, my clientis unable to marry.
I am, Sir,
(Signed) B. N. Asibwatham,Proctor.
A. St. V. Jayawardene, for defendant, appellant.
J. S. Jayawardene (with him P. M. Jayawardene), for plaintiff,respondent.
March 5, 1920. Ennis J.—
This was an action for breach of promise of marriage. Theplaintiff is a minor, and sues by her next friend her mother. Twoobjections have been taken to the decree in favour of the plaintiff:(1) That the learned Judge had failed to notice that Rs. 417.71 ofthe damages claimed were for expenses incurred by the mother, withregard to which the minor plaintiff has no direct claim; (2; it wasobjected that no written promise of marriage had been proved. Thefirst objection appears to be good on the evidence of the mother.With regard to the second objection, the learned Judge, in findingthere was a written promise, has relied upon the notice of marriagegiven to the Registrar of Marriages, and a letter written by thedefendant's proctor after the plaintiff had made a claim for breachof promise. In holding this a sufficient compliance with theMarriage Ordinance of 1907, section 21, the learned Judge cited thecase of Jayaeinghe v. Per era.1That case was decided on the inter-
pretation of a letter written by the defendant himself, which theCourt held to be a promise of marriage. The learned Judge’sattention does not appear to have been called to the case of MistNona v. Amolve,2 where it was expressly held that a notice given tothe Registrar of Marriages does not amount to a written promisewithin the pceaning of section 21 of the Marriage Ordinance of 1907.
On the authority of that case I would allow the appeal, withcosts.
Loos A.J.—I agree.
i (1906) 9 N. L. B. 62.
* (191S) 17 N. L. B. 425.