What is the Restitution of Conjugal Rights? Hindu Law

Conjugal rights are advantages and privileges that a couple can use and enjoy after becoming married. Conjugal rights include the freedom to cohabit with one another, to have a sexual relationship, and to have children. Even while these laws already exist as societal norms and traditions, their status as legal precedent only matters in two situations.

When a couple gets married, they commit to sharing their lives together, which means they have obligations to one another. Conjugal rights also refer to the rights that newlyweds acquire as part of their marriage and which must be upheld by both spouses.

Among the Conjugal Rights are:

Living together: Married couples or spouses should reside together.

Marital relations: The spouses or married couple engage in physical or sexual relations while sharing rights and responsibilities.

Comfort for one another: Spouses should offer emotional and mental comfort to one another.

Marital Obligation: The married pair is expected to split up household duties as well. One person cannot be responsible for everything because the two individuals share their life, so they must divide the home chores.

Laws that address marital rights include the following.

  • Section 32 of the Indian Divorce Act and Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
  • The Special Marriage Act’s Section 22.
  • The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, Section 36.
  • One is restitution of conjugal rights and the other is denial of conjugal rights.

Restitution of Conjugal Rights:

If one or both of the spouses refuses to live together, excludes themselves willfully from the social circles of their respective partners, or refuses to exercise their rights as a couple. A few legal provisions were established by the court to uphold gender equality and give spouses access to their rights. The other spouse may initiate a lawsuit to get their conjugal rights restored if they are not being used by both partners.

The partner who is bringing the lawsuit for recovery of the conjugal rights must prove it, and certain requirements must be met in order to file the lawsuit for restitution of the conjugal rights:

The defendant has rejected cohabitation or is avoiding the petitioner’s or the other spouse’s company. One of the most crucial things to remember is that the other partner does not necessarily have to file a lawsuit for the restoration of their conjugal rights if they are still in contact or communicating and apart for a legitimate reason like work or another reason will not be seen as a rejection by society.

The petitioner’s claims and mentions must be accurate; no fraudulent claims should have been made, and the substantial half of the society’s refusal must be supported by irrational justifications.

There shouldn’t be any legal justification provided if the remedy or application is being rejected.

Refusal of Marriage Rights

Denial of conjugal rights is defined generally as “if a husband or wife withdraws himself/herself from the society of his/her partner without any major reason & intimation, the aggrieved person can appeal to the court for restitution of your conjugal rights.”

The phrase “withdraw from society” is clearly defined in the legislation. The following conditions must exist in the marriage for there to be a denial of conjugal rights:

  • withdrawing from sexual activity.
  • refusal to cooperate when fulfilling marital duties.
  • with the intent to discontinue forever.
  • Cohabitation that has been ended voluntarily

Case Laws:

Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage act (HMA) is an with the restitution of Conjugal rights. It states that marriage cannot be on contractual basis. In Pravinaben v. S.T.Arya, the Court held that if the wife is working in a place away from the house with the full consent of the husband, then the husband cannot file a restitution suit.

In Jagadish v. Shyam case, the husband filed restitution of conjugal rights. The wife proved that the husband is impotent and so the court had rejected the restitution suit on reasonable ground. The wife can claim maintenance under Section 25 of HMA during the period of proceedings. There is no specific section for restitution under Muslim law.

Another example of a spouse withdrawing from the society is the Moonshee Buzlur Raheem v. Shumsoonnissa Begum wherein the court held that there is no space for restitution. Only the dissolution of marriage will take place under Muslim law. 

Section 32 of Indian Divorce Act(IDA) deals with the restitution for Christians. In Samraj Nadar v Abraham case, the wife filed for restitution suit. The husband as per Sec 33 of IDA gave the answer for the petition that she deserted him without any information. But the wife proved him wrong. The court made an effort and passed a decree favouring the wife. 

Section 22 of Special Marriage Act deals with the restitution.


In India, the situation is contradictory in terms of family law. Most of the laws that we have adopted are products of western philosophy. Due to the stark contrast between our cultural customs and western philosophy, particularly when it comes to marriage, handling failed marriages and deciding whether to award or refuse conjugal rights can be quite difficult.

When it comes to family law court proceedings, especially when it comes to the dissolution of a marriage because the processes in these issues might go on for months, a good counsellor or a specialist in family law should be recruited.

The goal of these sessions is always to promote harmony rather than division. Contact us if you have any questions or worries about family law or if you need help with comparable issues, and we’ll make sure that one of our team of skilled attorneys contacts you and assists you in resolving your issues.

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