Published on: July 9, 2021



What is in news : Supreme Court is expected to begin hearing a fresh challenge to the provision allowing restitution of conjugal rights under Hindu personal laws.

What are CONJUGAL rights:

Conjugal rights

  • Are rights created by marriage, i.e. right of the husband or the wife to the society of the other spouse.
  • Recognises these rights— both in personal laws dealing with marriage, divorce etc, and in criminal law requiring payment of maintenance and alimony to a spouse.

How is it dealt in India : Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, which deals with restitution of conjugal rights, reads: “When either the husband or the wife has, without reasonable excuse, withdrawn from the society of the other, the aggrieved party may apply, by petition to the district court, for restitution of conjugal rights and the court, on being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, may decree restitution of conjugal rights accordingly.”

Note : Both wife and husband to seek restitution of conjugal rights.

Why is it challenged :

  • Violative of the fundamental right to privacy
  • Although the provision of restitution of conjugal rights has been upheld by the Supreme Court earlier, legal experts have pointed out that the nine-judge Bench’s landmark verdict in the privacy case set the stage for potential challenges to several laws such as criminalisation of homosexuality, marital rape, restitution of conjugal rights, the two-finger test in rape investigations