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1/27/2019 Restitution of Conjugal Rights in Hindu Marriage Act

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Restitution of Conjugal Rights in Hindu Marriage Act


If your spouse has left you without giving any reasonable ground, the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 gives you
remedy in the form of Section 9 under the restitution of conjugal rights. The section 9 of the HMA reads
that when either the husband or the wife has, without reasonable excuse, withdrawn from the society of
the other, the aggrieved party may apply for restitution of conjugal rights.

What the aggrieved party needs to do is file a petition to the district court and on being satisfied of the
truth of the statements made in such petition and that there is no legal ground why the application should
not be granted, the judge may decree restitution of conjugal rights in his favor.

Three essential conditions for Section 9 of HMA

Firstly, one party must have withdrawn from the society of the other; secondly, the withdrawal must be
without any reasonable reason, and thirdly, the aggrieved party applies for the restitution of conjugal
rights. Once these conditions are fulfilled, the district court may decree of restitution of conjugal rights to
bring about cohabitation between the estranged parties.

If the aggrieved party is unable to convince the district court and it founds that the petitioner is guilty then
the decree of restitution of conjugal rights is not granted. An added advantage from this is that if the
parties are not following the decree for cohabitation after the passing of the decree, continuously for one
year, it becomes a ground for divorce under Section 13.

Reasonable grounds on which petition for Restitution of Conjugal Rights can be rejected

First, if the respondent has a ground on which he or she can claim any matrimonial relief;

Second, if the petitioner is guilty of any matrimonial misconduct;

Third, if the petitioner is guilty of such act, omission or conduct which makes it impossible for the
respondent to live with him; for instance, husband’s neglect of his wife or the constant demand for dowry,
etc. are some reasonable ground for wife not to join the company of her husband.

Burden of proof under Section 9 of the HMA


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1/27/2019 Restitution of Conjugal Rights in Hindu Marriage Act

Burden of proof operates at two levels. Firstly, burden of proof is on the aggrieved/petitioner who needs to
prove that the respondent has withdrawn from his society. Once that burden is discharged by the
petitioner, it falls on the respondent to prove that there exists a reasonable excuse for the withdrawal.

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