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Restitution Of Conjugal Rights aimed at preserving marriage and not merely voluntary sexual intercourse:Centre Tells SC

Team SoOLEGAL 8 Sep 2022 11:45am

Restitution Of Conjugal Rights aimed at preserving marriage and not merely voluntary sexual intercourse:Centre Tells SC

New Delhi: The Central Government has opposed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of provisions in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Special Marriage Act, 1954 relating to restitution of conjugal rights.

The government stated in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court that voluntary sexual intercourse is a vital part of marriage and that the restitution of conjugal rights provision aims to preserve the institution of marriage.

Matrimony is essentially a voluntary agreement between spouses to cohabit and raise a family together. Voluntary sexual intercourse is an integral part of marriage, according to the affidavit. The petitioners believe that marriage is only a private institution, despite the fact that marriage involves numerous social and public aspects.

The reply was filed in response to a petition filed by two law students from Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) challenging the Court's decision in the case of Saroj Rani v. Sudarshan Kumar Chadha.

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, which deals with the restitution of conjugal rights, in this decision.

Section 9 states: “When either the husband or the wife has, without reasonable excuse, withdrawn from the society of the other, the aggrieved party may apply, by petition to the district court, for restitution of conjugal rights and the court, on being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.”Also, section 22 of the Special Marriage Act contains a similar provision.

The petitioners asked that Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act and Section 22 of the Special Marriage Act be repealed. Furthermore, the enforcement of restitution of conjugal rights under Order XXI Rule 32 and 33 of the Code of Civil Procedure was challenged.

According to the Law Ministry's affidavit, the argument that Section 9 is a coercive measure on intimate personal choice is misconceived and fallacious.

The Central Government emphasized that Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 is only a codification of pre-existing law, and that restitution of conjugal rights allows "both sexes to enforce the marital rights within a reasonable framework, and it in no way creates an unequal playing field."

Furthermore, the Centre emphasized that the main objective of restitution of conjugal rights is to bring about cohabitation among estranged parties to the marriage so that they can live together in amity in the matrimonial home, and that "the purpose of restitution of conjugal rights is to preserve the institution of marriage and not merely sexual intercourse."

The government affidavit stated that while declaring the right to privacy as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the constitution, the Supreme Court has not been oblivious to the fact that "enforcement of such a right has to be on a case to case basis and that the said right is not absolute but is subject to reasonable restrictions by the state in order to protect legitimate state interests."



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