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Restitution of Conjugal Rights

A husband has the right to require his wife to live with him wherever he may choose to reside. On the other hand, it is corresponding duty of the wife to live with her husband
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A husband has the right to require his wife to live with him wherever he may choose to reside. On the other hand, it is corresponding duty of the wife to live with her husband. However, there may be circumstances which compel the spouses to live in different places. These circumstances may furnish reasonable or just excuse to the wife to live at a different place. It is for the Court to decide as to whether the circumstances permit the wife to reside apart from her husband.

Law provides that when either husband or the wife withdraws from the society of the other, the aggrieved party may apply to the Court for a direction that the other party should live with him or her. (Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act). Such a petition is to be filed before the District Judge.

The petitioner is to satisfy the Court that the other party has without reasonable excuse withdrawn from his or her society. So, if your wife has without reasonable excuse withdrawn from your society, you may file petition before the District Judge for such a relief. When you file such a petition, Court is to satisfy that you have a bona fide desire to bring your spouse to your company. Remember, when the Court finds that your own conduct debars you from seeking this relief of the company of your spouse or a fact shows that you are taking advantage of your own wrong, Court shall dismiss your petition. (See section 23 of the Hindu Marriage Act).

Your petition may be dismissed in case Court finds that there is no truth in the statements made in it. If Court finds that your wife has reasonable excuse in withdrawing your society, even then your petition shall be dismissed. Court shall dismiss your petition, if it is found that there is any other legal ground for dismissing the same.

Question arises as to when the other party would have reasonable excuse to withdraw from the society? In this respect, it is to be remembered that if your wife withdraws from your society and she alleges that she withdrew from your society for a reasonable excuse, it is for her to prove that she withdrew for a reasonable excuse. If it is proved that your conduct as a husband is grave and weighty matter which gives the wife good cause for leaving you, you as husband would not be entitled to obtaining a decree for restitution of conjugal rights.

On the other hand, if your husband withdraws from your society and he alleges that he withdrew for a reasonable excuse, it is for him to prove it.

Restitution of Conjugal Rights: Criticism Revisited:
Section 9, in actuality, is a means of saving the marriage, it is in a sense an extension of sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 23 of the Act which encourage reconciliation by the court.

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