What Is Restitution Of Conjugal Rights?
Conjugal Rights Restitution is a legal entitlement that is based on Section 9 of
the Hindu Marriage Act. The aggrieved party may apply to the district court for
restitution of conjugal rights if the husband or wife is withdrawn from the
other partner's company without valid. In simple terms, the restitution of
conjugal rights is regaining the companionship of a spouse who has abandoned the
relationship for no apparent reason.
Who Can Seek Relief?
When either the husband or wife has withdrawn from the other's society without
sufficient justification, the aggrieved party may petition the district court
for restitution of conjugal rights, the court has to examine if the petition is
true and there is no legal reason why the application should not be granted the
restitution of conjugal rights.
Why Is The Relief Given?
The legislature, in its wisdom, has provided a statutory remedy for either
spouse to reclaim the company of the spouse who has left the company without
good reason, with the objective of protecting the sanctity and legality of the
institution of marriage.
When & Where To File The Petition?
The district court's jurisdiction is asserted whenever a husband or wife is
excluded from the other's company without good reason. For Restitution of
Conjugal Rights, the Principal Judge of the Family Court would be invoked under
Section 19 of the Hindu Marriage Act. Every petition filed under the HMA must be
filed in the Family Court of the original civil jurisdiction where:
- The marriage was solemnized;
- The respondent resides;
- The parties to the marriage last lived together; and
- If the wife is the petitioner, where she has been residing on the date
of filing the petition.
Procedure And Steps For Restitution Of Conjugal Rights:
Step 1: File the Petition;
Step 2: File the Reply;
Step 3: Present the Petitioner's Evidence;
Step 4: Present the Respondent's Evidence;
Step 5: Present the Arguments;
Step 6: Present the Judgment & Decree.
Constitutional Challenge Before The Hon'ble Supreme Court:
In Smt.Saroj Rani vs. Sudarshan Kumar Chadha
1984 AIR 1562, the constitutional validity of Section 9 of the HMA was
questioned before the Hon'ble Supreme Court. The Hon'ble Supreme Court ruled
that conjugal rights, i.e. a husband or wife's right to be in the company of the
other spouse, are not a legal authority in India. Divorce is a legal right that
is embedded in the institution of marriage.
The Hindu Marriage Act, Section 9, includes sufficient safeguards to prevent it
from becoming a tyranny. It also decided that Section 9 of the Act does not
violate Article 14 or Article 21 of the Constitution if the purpose of the
decree for restitution of conjugal rights in the aforesaid Act is viewed in its
correct context and the mode of execution in cases of disobedience is
considered. It overturned the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
In Ojaswa Pathak and Anr. vs. Union of India
, WP (C) 250/2019, a new
challenge to the constitutional validity of Section 9, HMA was filed before the
Hon'ble Supreme Court. The Hon'ble Supreme Court's judgments in Justice KS
Puttaswamy vs. Union of India
, 2017 10 S.C.C. 1, Navtej Singh Johar vs.
Union of India
, (2018) 10 SCC 1, and Joseph Shine vs. Union of India
(2019) 3 SCC 39, where the Hon'ble Supreme Court declared the provisions of laws
to be unconstitutional, are likely to have an impact on the outcome of this
How To Deal With Matters Related To Matrimonial Disputes?
Couples who are embroiled in a divorce dispute are under a lot of stress, and
the litigation can be tedious at times. Qualified matrimonial lawyers can give
you the correct advice and explain the implications of your actions and it is
always advisable to consult matrimonial lawyers since the beginning of the
dispute to have a desirable outcome.