Section 9 HMA provides:

     9. Restitution of conjugal rights. - When either the husband or the wife has, without reasonable excuse, withdrawn from the society of the other aggrieved party may apply, by petition to the district court, for restitution of conjugal rights and the court, on being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.


Each one of the parties to a marriage has a right to society and consortium of the other partner. When this basic right is broken by the spouse, the other has a right to relief under this section.

    In Saroj Rani v. Sudarshan Kumar Chadha, the Supreme Court observed that "...the object of the restitution decree is to bring about cohabitation between the estranged parties so that they can live together in the matrimonial home in amity".


What the petitioner has to prove?

1.      One of the spouse has, without reasonable cause, left the society of the other.

2.      There are no reasonable grounds for doing so.

3.      Petitioner must assure the court that

a)      the causes stated in the petition are true, and

b)      there is no legal reason for the court not to grant such relief.

Opposition for the purpose can be done on account of two reasons:

1.      Cruelty, adultery or desertion.

2.      Any other serious reason.

That there was a reasonable ground to leave the society and consortium, would be found out from the facts and circumstances of the case.


A cause for divorce

If a decree is made under this section and the parties don not act accordingly and do not live together, this provides a ground to the other spouse under Section 13(1-A) for a petition for divorce. Consequently, the affected party can apply for divorce on this basis.