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What is Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act?

What is Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act?

Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, is a crucial provision that deals with the concept of restitution of conjugal rights in Hindu marriages. Let’s delve into the details:


Section 9 allows either spouse to file a petition with the court for the restitution of conjugal rights if the other spouse has withdrawn from their society without any reasonable justification. The provision aims to encourage reconciliation and the resumption of marital cohabitation.

Key Points:

Grounds for Filing:

  • A spouse can file a petition under Section 9 if the other spouse has deserted them without a valid reason.
  • Desertion refers to the continuous and intentional abandonment of the marital home and obligations without the consent of the other spouse.


  • The primary objective of Section 9 is to promote the sanctity of marriage and discourage unilateral abandonment by one spouse.
  • It emphasizes the importance of maintaining the marital bond and fulfilling the obligations that come with it.

Nature of Relief:

  • If the court is satisfied that the withdrawal from conjugal rights was without reasonable cause, it may pass a decree for the restitution of conjugal rights.
  • This decree essentially directs the errant spouse to return to the marital home and resume cohabitation with the petitioner.


  • While the court may issue a decree for restitution of conjugal rights, it cannot enforce it through coercive measures like imprisonment.
  • The efficacy of the decree largely depends on the willingness of the parties to reconcile and resume their marital relationship.


  • If the respondent can prove valid grounds for withdrawing from conjugal rights, such as cruelty, adultery, or desertion by the petitioner, the court may not grant the decree.
  • The law acknowledges that there may be legitimate reasons for a spouse to seek separation from the marital home, and such cases are taken into consideration.


  • Filing of Petition:
  • The aggrieved spouse files a petition for restitution of conjugal rights before the district court or family court having jurisdiction over the matter.
  • The petition must contain relevant details about the marriage, the withdrawal of conjugal rights by the other spouse, and any other supporting evidence.

Notice to Respondent:

  • The court serves a notice to the respondent informing them of the petition and the date of the hearing.
  • The respondent has the opportunity to contest the petition and present their side of the case.

Evidence and Arguments:

  • Both parties present their evidence and arguments before the court.
  • The court may also explore the possibility of reconciliation through counseling or mediation during the proceedings.


  • Based on the evidence and arguments presented, the court decides whether to grant a decree for restitution of conjugal rights.
  • If the court finds merit in the petitioner’s claims and determines that the withdrawal was unjustified, it may pass the decree directing the respondent to return to the petitioner.


Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act serves as a legal recourse for spouses facing unilateral abandonment within the institution of marriage. It underscores the importance of mutual respect, understanding, and reconciliation in marital relationships while providing a framework for addressing disputes and promoting harmony within families.

Disclaimer: This information is intended for general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with a qualified lawyer for personalized advice specific to your situation.

Adcocate J.S. Rohilla (Civil & Criminal Lawyer in Indore)

Contact: 88271 22304

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