Restitution of conjugal rights:- Marriage is not confined to following the concerning rituals and celebrating the day with all your loved ones. It is a legally and socially sanctioned union between two people.
That means both the legal and social aspect plays a crucial role in the journey of marriage. There are many laws and provisions that help in providing legal solutions during the various phases of marriage.
You may have a piece of prior knowledge about some of these laws which are used for like Divorce, Judicial Separation, etc. It doesn’t mean that all these laws are only there to nullify or disintegrate the marriage.
There are also some laws whose prior concern is to save the marriage from becoming a failure. Today, we will have a look at a law that is there if you want to give a new chance to your marriage to thrive and flourish.
Restitution of Conjugal Rights, the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 – Section 9
It is expected by both the parties of the marriage to cohabit and try their best to co-exist in each other societies. If either husband or wife without any reasonable excuse withdraws from the society of others.
Then, the aggrieved parties may apply for Restitution of Conjugal Rights by applying a petition in a district court where after being satisfied with the truth of the statements and confirming the non-availability of any legal ground which can dismiss the petition, the court may decree restitution of conjugal rights accordingly.
It basically means, this right enforces the couple to live together.
Every religion has rights and laws to take benefit from the above. Some of these laws and sections according to their religions are mentioned below.
- Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhism– Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 – Section 9
- Muslim– General Law
- Christians– Indian Divorce Act, 1869 – Section 32 and 33
- Parsis– Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1969 – Section 36
- Special Marriage– Special Marriage Act, 1954 – Section 22
It helps in giving a helping hand to a marriage that is on the verge to collapse. It also helps in the court for identifying the character of a person filing the petition.
If either of the spouses withdraws from the society of the petitioner without any reasonable cause then this right can be used by filing a petition in the district court for restitution of conjugal rights.
In brief following conditions have to be fulfilled for filing the petition-
- Withdrawal of spouse from the society of the petitioner.
- Withdrawal is without any reasonable cause or lawful ground.
- The court should be satisfied with the truth of the statements mentioned in the petition.
- There should be no other legal grounds for refusal of the relief.
There are also various circumstances that can lead to the rejection of the petition by the court. So before filing for the Reconstitution of Conjugal Rights, one must consult a good lawyer to make sure there are no such hindrances.
Some of the Circumstances under which court can refuse to grant an order of Reconstitution of Conjugal Rights-
- Any ground on which the respondent can ask for a decree of judicial separation or for divorce or for nullity of marriage.
- Reasonable excuse for withdrawing from the society of petitioner.
- Unnecessary or improper delay in instituting the proceeding.
- Cruelty by spouse or in-laws.
- On the failure by the husband to perform marital obligations.
Onus/Responsibility for Proving-
Primarily, the petitioner has the burden to prove that the respondent has left him. When the petitioner successfully proves this, the burden shifts to the respondent to prove there is a reasonable ground to support as to why the respondent went away from the petitioner’s society.
The decree of Restitution of Conjugal Rights believes that there should not be a sudden break of the marriage tie. It believes in reconciliation and that the cooling-off period is not only desirable but essential.
But it should be also kept in mind that the court cannot compel the defaulting spouse to physically return to the decree-holder spouse. Also, restitution decree can also serve as a stepping stone to divorce or judicial separation.
It serves a double purpose. It first finds the fault and where it lies. Secondly, it leads to the end of the marriage, if there is no chance of improvement or saving the relationship and living together.
So, it is a crucial right that can make or break your marriage that’s why consulting a competent and qualified lawyer can play a key role in achieving your respective goal.
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