SARKODEE-ADOO J.: (His lordship stated the facts, and proceeded:-)
The question for consideration is: In what circumstances ought leave be given to a spouse to present to the Court a petition for divorce within three years of the marriage? By Section 1 of the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1937, (now repealed and replaced by Section 2 of the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1950) leave can be granted only on the ground of exceptional hardship suffered by the would-be petitioner, or on that of exceptional depravity on the part of the proposed respondent. The answer to the question, then, depends on the meaning of the word “exceptional.”
Different Judges have interpreted this provision in different ways. “Exceptional hardship” and “exceptional depravity” have been considered in Winter v. Winter ( P.72), Charlesby v. Charlesby ((1947) 176 L.T. 532), Fisher v. Fisher ( P.263), and Bowman v. Bowman ( P.353). But these cases-and others-are merely illustrative; they are not exhaustive.