Marriage and Restitution

Editor’s Note: Marriage is a sacrosanct creation of society and should be protected by all personal laws and the idea of marriage should be protected by law. But this should not be abused to such an extent that injury of any kind: physical or legal is an outcome of the marriage.

Each spouse is entitled to comfort consortium of the other. So after the solemnisation of the marriage if either of the spouses without reasonable excuse withdraws himself or herself from the society of the other then aggrieved party has a legal right to file a petition in the matrimonial court for restitution of conjugal rights and such decree may be passed, but cannot be enforced under Indian Law. Provisions are available to seek the passing of a divorce decree if the decree for restitution for marital rights is not adhered to, in favour of the aggrieved party.

S.9 of the Hindu Marriage Act provides such remedies of divorce to the aggrieved parties. However, if the non-aggrieved party is a woman, she is still entitled to maintenance under S.125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and also under S.25 of the Hindu Marriage Act. S.25 also provides maintenance under the same if she does not want judicial separation. She can also seek divorce under S.13(1) if restitution has not taken place.

Several cases under Hindu law are also discussed, along with a brief discussion of Muslim and Parsi Personal Law as well.

INTRODUCTION

Marriage under all matrimonial laws is union imposing upon each of the spouse’s certain marital duties and gives to each of them certain legal rights. The necessary implication of marriage is that parties will live together. Each spouse is entitled to comfort consortium of the other. So after the solemnization of the marriage if either of the spouses without reasonable excuse withdraws himself or herself from the society of the other then the aggrieved party has a legal right to file a petition in the matrimonial court for restitution of conjugal rights. The court after hearing the petition of the aggrieved spouse, on being satisfied that there is no legal ground why the application shall be refused and on being satisfied with the truth of the statements made in the petition may pass a decree of restitution of conjugal rights.

A decree of restitution of conjugal rights implies that the guilty party is ordered to live with the aggrieved party. Restitution of conjugal rights is the only remedy which could be used by the deserted spouse against the other. A husband or wife can file a petition for restoration of their rights to cohabiting with the other spouse. But the execution of the decree of restitution of conjugal rights is very difficult. The court though is competent to pass a decree of restitution of conjugal rights, but it is powerless to have its specific performance by any law. The non-compliance of the issued decree results to constructive destruction on the part of the erring spouse.

At present as per the provisions available under the Indian personal laws, the aggrieved party moves a petition for a decree of divorce after one year from the date of the passing of the decree and the competent court can pass a decree of divorce in favor of the aggrieved party. The decree of restitution of conjugal rights can be enforced by the attachment of property, and if the party complained against still does not comply, the Court may also punish him or her for contempt of court. But under no circumstances, the court can force the erring spouse to consummate marriage. Decree of restitution of conjugal rights could be passed in case of valid marriages only.

In modern India, the remedy is available to Hindus under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, to Muslims under general law, to Christians under Section 32 and 33 of the Indian Divorce Act, 1869, to Parsis under Section 36 of the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 and to persons married according to the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, Section 22 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

ORIGIN

The principle of restitution of conjugal rights has been borrowed into Indian laws from English law.[i] In English law, wife and husband were treated as a single entity and therefore a wife could not sue her husband or vice versa.[ii] The remedy for restitution for conjugal rights owes its origin to the Ecclesiastical Courts of the West. Such courts by decree of restitution of conjugal rights compelled the recalcitrant spouse to discharge the due obligation towards the complaining spouse. Later in England, the remedy was recognized by the various Matrimonial Causes Acts passed from time to time.[iii]

From England, these rights passed on to her various colonies onto which her Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence was grafted and India was no exception in this regard.  The provision was never a part of Hindu, Sikh, Muslim or Parsi Law, but the British imported it into India, through judicial pronouncements.

Thus in the absence of any statutory law, the Indian courts passed decrees for restitution of conjugal rights for all religious communities.

APPLICATION OF PROVISIONS IN DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES

The restitution of conjugal rights is one of the reliefs that are provided to the spouses in distress in the institution of marriage by law. Decree of restitution of conjugal rights could be passed in case of valid marriages only. Apart from legislation relating to matrimonial law, courts in India in case of all communities have passed decrees for restitution of conjugal rights.

Hindu:

Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 provides for the restitution of the conjugal rights. The aggrieved party may apply, by petition to the District Court, for the restitution of conjugal rights. One of the important implications of Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 is that it provides an opportunity to an aggrieved party to apply for maintenance under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Maintenance can also be obtained by the party in case when the action is pending under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. So, a wife who does not want a judicial separation or disruption of marriage can attain maintenance from her husband without filing a suit for the same under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. Another important implication of the section is that it provides a ground for divorce under Section 13(1A) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 on a condition that there has been no restitution of conjugal rights between them for a period of one year or more after the passing of a decree for restitution of conjugal rights. The legal grounds for refusing to grant relief are:

  • For instance, any ground on which the respondent could have asked for a decree for judicial separation or for nullity of marriage or for divorce;
  • A reasonable excuse for withdrawing from the society of the petitioner;
  • Any conduct on the part of the petitioner or fact tantamount to the petitioner taking advantage of his or her own wrong or any disability for the purpose of such relief;
  • Unnecessary or improper delay in instituting the proceeding.

 Muslim:

If the husband either deserts a wife or neglects to perform his marital obligations without any proper reason, then the wife can apply for restitution of conjugal rights. Even husband can apply for restitution of conjugal rights. But the court can refuse to grant order of restitution of conjugal rights for the following reasons:

  • Cruelty by husband or in-laws
  • On the failure by the husband to perform marital obligations
  • On non-payment of prompt dower by the husband

 Christian:

A Christian husband and wife can also apply for an order of restitution of conjugal rights. The Court cannot pass the decree for the following reasons:

  • The cruelty of husband or wife
  • If either of the spouses is insane
  • If anyone of the spouses marries again

Parsi:

Where a husband/wife shall have deserted or without lawful cause ceased to cohabit with his/her spouse, the party so deserted or with whom cohabitation shall have so ceased, may sue for the restitution of his or her conjugal rights and the court is satisfied of the truth of the allegations contained in the plaint and that there is no just ground why relief should not be granted, may proceed to decree such restitution of conjugal rights accordingly.

MEANING AND SCOPE

The institution of Marriage is often regarded as a primary institution in this society of ours. An individual’s existence in the society is guided by institutions which are often regarded as established forms of procedure characteristic of group activity. Later on, a marriage between two individuals creates a set of rights and obligations between the parties involved. These rights may be called as “conjugal rights”. The word conjugal, in its essence, means, “of relating to marriage or to married persons and their relationships”

The provisions for restitution of conjugal rights are identical in Section 22 the Special Marriage Act, 1954 and Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. It is as follows:

“Restitution of conjugal rights”

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 with 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”. (Explanation: Where a question arises whether there has been a reasonable excuse for withdrawal from the society, the burden of proving reasonable excuse shall be on the person who has withdrawn from society.)

The restitution of conjugal rights is often regarded as a matrimonial remedy. The remedy of restitution of conjugal rights is a positive remedy that requires both parties to the marriage to live together and cohabit.

The texts of Hindu Law recognized the principle, “let mutual fidelity continue until death”. Hindu Law enjoined on the spouses to have the society of each other while the old Hindu Law stressed on the wife’s implicit obedience to her husband, it did not lay down any procedure for compelling her to return to her husband against her will.

The concept was introduced in India in the case of Moonshee Buzloor v. Shumsoonissa Begum[iv], where such actions were regarded as considerations for specific performance. The Privy Council laid down that it was available to the Muslims in Kateeram Dokanee v. Mst. Gendhenee[v], so on the basis of this decision it was held that such a suit was permissible for the Hindus as well as mutatis mutandis. This was followed in Jogendronundini Dossee v. Hurry Doss Ghose, [vi] Brindabun v. Chundra[vii], Binda v. Kaunsila[viii] and Dadaji Bhikaji v. Rukmabai[ix]. Then onwards relief in the nature of Conjugal rights was available to the Hindus in civil courts. After the passing of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Section 9 gives a statutory sanction to a proceeding for restitution of conjugal rights.

This section in the Hindu Marriage Act is a reproduction of the sections 32 and 33 of the Indian Divorce Act.[x] It is to be noted that similar provisions as to restitution of conjugal rights exist in other personal laws as well. Muslim equates this concept with securing to the other spouse the enjoyment of his or her legal rights.[xi] Earlier, it was also attached to the specific performance of the contract of marriage. In Abdul Kadir v. Salima, the Allahabad High Court decided that the concept of restitution must be decided on the principles of Muslim Law and not on the basis on justice, equity and good conscience. The laws relating to Christians[xii] and Parsis[xiii] also deal with the concept of Restitution of Conjugal rights.

To sum up, under all personal law, the requirements of the provision of restitution of conjugal rights are the following[xiv]:

  • Withdrawal by the respondent from the society of the petitioner.
  • The withdrawal is without any reasonable cause or excuse or lawful ground.
  • There should be no other legal ground for refusal of the relief.
  • The court should be satisfied with the truth of the statement made in the petition.

In the institution of marriage, both the parties to the marriage are entitled to each other’s company. The cause of action arises when one party withdraw from the society of the other. In Tirath Kaur v. Kirpal Singh[xv] at the instance of the husband the wife took up training and succeeded in obtaining a diploma in tailoring. Thereafter she got a job at a place which was at some distance from the husband’s house. The parties cohabited: sometimes the husband went to the wife’s place and lived with her and vice versa. This continued for some time. Later differences arose between them on some matter, and the husband asked the wife to resign the job and join him at his house. On the wife’s refusal to do so, the husband filed the petition for restitution. Justice Grover said that “under law, the wife could be allowed to withdraw ‘virtually’ from the society of the husband in this manner”.

In Gaya Prasad v. Bhagwati[xvi] it was stated by Justice Bhargava, “according to ordinary custom of the Hindu society the wife is expected to perform the marital obligation at her husband’s residence and she could not impose her unilateral decision on the husband by merely stating that she has no objection to allowing the husband to live with her at the place where she accepted the service”.

The expression withdrawal from the society of the other means cessation of cohabitation by a voluntary act of the respondent. The word ‘society’ in Section 9 here corresponds to cohabitation, and withdrawal signifies cessation of that cohabitation and bringing to end consortium. This must be a voluntary act of the respondent. Cohabitation means living together as husband and wife, i.e. to say the spouses fulfilling their matrimonial duties.[xvii] The expression “withdrawal from the society of the other” involves a mental process besides physical separation. The act of temporarily leaving the matrimonial home would not amount to withdrawal from the society of the other when she had no intention to withdraw permanently.[xviii] The concept is secondary in nature. The primary object of showing proof or onus rests with the petitioner. This is further evident from Sec. 23(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act and other similar matrimonial statutes. It is for him or her, as the case maybe, to establish three important ingredients[xix]:

  1. That the other spouse has withdrawn from his/her society
  2. That such withdrawal is without reasonable excuse;
  3. That there is no legal ground disentitling the petitioner from the relief of restitution of conjugal rights.

The petition can be allowed only if the burden of proving the aforesaid conditions is satisfactorily discharged. [xx]

Once the petitioner has proved his case, the burden of proof then shifts to the other party to prove the defense of a ‘reasonable excuse or cause’. In Sushila Bai v. Prem Narayan[xxi] the husband virtually dumped his wife and thereafter was totally unresponsive towards her. This behavior was held sufficient to show that he had withdrawn from the society of his wife, and therefore the wife’s petition for restitution of conjugal rights was allowed. The defense of this principle lies in the concept of a ‘reasonable excuse’. If the respondent has withdrawn from the society of his spouse for a valid reason, it is a complete defense to a restitution petition.[xxii] In Charanjit Kaur v. Sham Singh[xxiii] it was held that mere suspicion of illicit relationship does not constitute a reasonable excuse. In Gurdev Kaur v. Sarwan Singh[xxiv], the wife’s appeal against a decree of restitution of conjugal rights was given in favor of the husband. It was held by the Court that there was reason to believe that actions were taken by way of a ‘reasonable cause’ and thus conjugal rights had to be restored.

The court has held in various cases that the following situations will amount to a reasonable excuse to act as a defense in this area:

  • A ground for relief in any matrimonial cause.
  • Matrimonial misconduct not amounting to a ground of a matrimonial cause, if sufficiently weighty and grave
  • Such an act, omission or conduct which makes it impossible for the petitioner to live with the respondent.

It is significant to note that unlike a decree of specific performance of contract, for restitution of conjugal rights, the sanction is provided by the court where the disobedience to such a decree is willful i.e., is deliberate, in spite of opportunities.  Also under Section 13 (1-A) of the Hindu Marriage Act, if the spouse fails to return to his home after such a decree, it can amount to a condition of divorce.

CONSTITUTIONAL VALIDITY OF SECTION 9

The constitutional validity of the provision for restitution of conjugal rights has time and again been questioned and challenged. The earliest being in 1983 before the Andhra Pradesh High Court in T. Sareetha v. T. Venkatasubbaiah[xxv] where the Hon’ble High Court held that the impugned section was unconstitutional. The Delhi High Court in Harvinder Kaur v Harminder Singh[xxvi] though had non-conforming views. Ultimately Supreme Court in Saroj Rani v. Sudharshan[xxvii] gave a judgment which was in line with the Delhi High Court views and upheld the constitutional validity of Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and over-ruled the decision given in T. Sareetha v. T. Venkatasubbaiah.[xxviii]

It may be said that the two cases T. Sareetha v. T. Venkatasubbaiah[xxix] and Saroj Rani v. Sudharshan[xxx] are unambiguously the most important cases in the Indian spectrum of stare decisis dealing with the remedy of ‘restitution of conjugal rights’. The importance of such cases must, likewise, not be undermined. Sareetha and Saroj Rani bring out the core arguments offered on either side to the issue of restitution of conjugal rights. The major grounds for challenge to the constitutionality of S.9 of the Act are as in violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. Even though Sareetha has been the first case where the Constitutionality of S.9 of the Act has been challenged, it is pertinent to point out the observations of Lord Herschell in Russell v Russell[xxxi] where he noted the barbarity of such remedy of forced cohabitation between couple. Such observation is the touchstone against which all arguments in favor of the unconstitutionality of S.9 may be placed.

Right to Equality and Restitution of Conjugal Rights:

Indian society is often regarded as one with widespread discrimination based on gender. More often than not, there have been instances where women have been subdued to violence and injustice because of their gender. It is to be noted that there is an inequality in the Indian society with regard to conjugal rights because “a suit for restitution by the wife is rare in the Indian Society”. This fact has been affirmed by Gupte who was quoted by the Court in T. Sareetha v. T. Venkata Subbaiah. It is only the educational, economic and social factors which have made the life of women deplorable in our Country. In our social reality, this matrimonial remedy of restitution of conjugal rights if found used almost exclusively by the husband and rarely resorted to by the wife.

According to Article 14, “The state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of laws within the territory of India”[xxxii]

The guiding principle is that all persons and things similarly circumstanced shall be treated alike both in privileges conferred and liabilities imposed.[xxxiii] All equals must be treated equally amongst themselves and unequals unequally.[xxxiv] It must be realized that Gupte’s quote was concerning the old Hindu law and the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and other personals do not have any provision of inequality existent in them. By amending act 44 of 1964, “either party to a marriage” is allowed to present a petition on the grounds given in Section 9 and Section 13(a).

The concept of gender discrimination has not been incorporated in the Hindu Marriage Act and all are treated as equals under this section. It is opined by the author that there is no classification of sexes in Section 9 and all equals have been treated equally in this area. There is complete equality of sexes hare and equal protection of the laws. Section 9 cannot be struck down as violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. 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. That is the primary purpose of Section 9 of the H.M.A. Cohabitation has been defined in these words: Cohabitation does not necessarily depend upon whether there is sexual intercourse between the husband and the wife. ‘Cohabitation’ means living together as husband and wife.

The Decision in T. Sareetha v. Venkatasubbaiah Case:

The question of constitutional validity of S.9 for the first time came up in came up in the case of T Sareeta v Venkatasubbiah where the husband had himself asked the Court to pass a decree of restitution of conjugal rights and after completion of a year he filed a petition for divorce on the ground that the decree has not been complied to. The wife challenged the constitutional validity of S.9 of the Act. Justice Chaudhary of the Andhra Pradesh High Court held S. 9 to be “savage and barbarous remedy violating the right to privacy and human dignity guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution, hence void”.

Chaudhary J. stated that section 9 imposes “sexual cohabitation between unwilling, opposite sexual partners.” He called it “forced sex”, “coerced sex” and “forcible marital intercourse”. He went on to hold that the state interference in personal rights destroyed the “sexual autonomy” and “reproductive autonomy” of the individual. A wife who is keeping away from her husband, because of a permanent or temporary arrangement, cannot be forced, without violating her right to privacy, to bear a child by her husband[xxxv].

A large number of English and American decisions have been cited in support of this view.[xxxvi] This decision is the first of its kind to take this view. The decree for restitution does nothing of the kind. Under section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the Court has the power to make a decree of restitution of conjugal rights which is the remedy available to enforce the return of a spouse who has withdrawn from cohabitation. The decree, if granted, orders the respondent to return within a period of one year to the aggrieved party. This period is specified in section 13(l-A)(ii) of the Act. This remedy is aimed at preserving the marriage and not at disrupting it as in the case of divorce or judicial separation.

The Right to Life and Restitution of Conjugal Rights:

The Right to Life of a person is regarded as the most important aspect of a person’s fundamental rights. It is stated in the Constitution as follows[xxxvii] “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law”. Article 21, though couched in the negative language, confers on every person the fundamental right to life and personal liberty. These rights have been given a paramount position by the Supreme Court[xxxviii]. It is argued that Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 that provides for the restitution of conjugal rights, violates the right to privacy of an individual. Section 9 denied the spouse his/her free choice whether, when and how her/his body was to become the vehicle for the peroration of another human being.

A decree for restitution of conjugal rights deprived, according to the learned Judge in Sareetha’s case[xxxix] a woman of control over her choice as and when and by whom the various parts of her body should be allowed to be sensed. Our Constitution embraces the right to privacy and human dignity and any right to privacy must encompass and protect the personal intimacies of the home, the family, marriage, motherhood, procreation and childbearing. It is to be noted that the restitution of conjugal rights, unlike specific performance, is only willful in nature and the courts must treat it only as an inducement in times to come. The institution of marriage has been inherent in the Indian Society and all must be done to protect it. Furthermore, if a spouse does not wish to stay with his/her partner then he may make use of remedies such as judicial separation and divorce. Leaving a partner without a reasonable excuse cannot be justified[xl]. This is against the concepts of justice, equity and good conscience which are the basis for laws made in our Country. Thus it must be observed that Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act is not violative of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

Right to Freedom and Restitution of Conjugal Rights:

It is believed that the restitution of Conjugal rights violates the freedom of expression, association and other freedoms guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution. Article 19 (1) of the Indian Constitution prescribes for the freedom to form associations and reside in any area in India, the freedom to practice any profession and the freedom of free speech and expression. But this right is not an absolute right. There are restrictions mentioned in the form of Article 19(6) which are in the form of public order, morality, and health. It may be believed that to a certain extent, that the restitution of conjugal rights concept under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 is in violation of Article 19(1)(c) of the Indian Constitution. This is maybe because, by this decree, a wife is compelled to stay with his husband or vice-versa against her will.

In Huhharam v. Misri Bai[xli], the wife complained to the Court that her father-in-law has an evil eye on her and her husband ill-treated her in response to the husband’s claim for a restitution decree the court granted it in the husband’s favor. This is a perfect example of a forced union of spouses which is contrary to the right guaranteed under Article 19(1) (c). This does not satisfy any reasonable restriction mentioned in Article 19(6) in the form of public order, morality and health. Thus it is contended that the restitution of conjugal rights violates this Article.

The issue came up once more before the Delhi High Court in Harvinder Kaur v. Harmendar Singh where the constitutionality of Section 9 was upheld and the judgment in Sareetha overruled. The court justified the alleged violations of the ‘Equality Protection’ and the ‘Right to Life and Liberty’ by giving a more wholesome definition to the aspect of ‘Restitution of Conjugal Rights’. The purpose of restitution of conjugal rights was emphasized as providing impetus to the undo any damage done to their marriage to couples who’ve withdrawn from the societies of each other. The concept of marriage was emphasized as to include the ideas of both ‘contract’ and ‘sacrament’ and therefore, it was argued that such special obligations demanded that the institution of marriage should not be easily amenable to break down. Sexual intercourse was not the summum bonnum of a marriage and was only one of the elements. The decision of the Hon’ble High Court was upheld by the Supreme Court in the case of Saroj Rani and this case effectively overruled the precedent set by J.Chaudhary in Sareetha.

The Decision in Saroj Rani v. Sudarshan Kumar:

In this case, the wife petitioned for restitution of conjugal rights. She was married in 1975 and had given birth to two daughters during her brief married life. She was turned out of her matrimonial house in 1977 and subsequently filed a petition to which she was granted interim maintenance by the Court. The husband later filed a consent memo for the passing of the decree and the decree of restitution of conjugal rights was accordingly passed in favor of the wife. One year later, the husband applied for divorce under Section 13 (1-A) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 on the ground that he and his wife had lived separately during the one year period.

The question of cohabitation arose wherein the spouses stayed together for a period of two days after the decree was passed. It was submitted that the ground for divorce was unjustified and the husband was getting away with his ‘wrongs’. This argument was based on the principles of natural law, i.e. justice, equity and good conscience. It was further argued that the concerned section, that is Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act violated Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. The Hon’ble Court under Justice Sabyasachi Mukhatji observed:

“We are unable to accept the position that Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act is violative of Art. 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. Hindu Marriage is a sacrament and the object of section 9 is to offer an inducement for the husband and wife to live together in harmony. If such differences may arise as in this case, it may be a valid ground for divorce after a period of one year. Hence Section 9’s validity is upheld.”

Thus the Court granted the divorce but at the same time understanding the situation of the wife and daughters, ordered the husband to pay prescribed maintenance to the wife until she remarries. The Hon’ble Court has thus considered the interests of both parties and maintained harmony in this area.

Formatted on 3rd March 2019.

Footnotes

[i]  Bhattacharjee A.M, “Matrimonial Laws and the Constitution”, Eastern Law House, Calcutta,1996, P- 17

[ii] Diwan Paras, “Family Law”, Allahabad Law Agency, Faridabad, 1998, P- 113.

[iii] Gour Hari Sangu, “The Hindu Code”, Law Publishers Pvt. Ltd, Allahabad, 2002, P- 978

[iv] 1866, II M.I.A. 551 P.C

[v] 1875 23 Suth W.R. 178

[vi] I.L.R (1880) 5 Cal. 500.

[vii] I.L.R (1996) 12 Cal. 140

[viii] I.L.R(1899) 13 All. 126

[ix] I.LR. (1886)10 Bom.301

[x] Indian Divorce Act, 1929

[xi] Diwan Paras, The Law of Marriage and Divorce, Allahabad Law Agency, Faridabad, 4th ed. 2002, P- 285

[xii] Sec. 32, Indian Divorce Act, 1929

[xiii] Sec. 36, Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936

[xiv] Supra 11, at P-288

[xv] 1964 Punj 28

[xvi] 1996 MP 212

[xvii]  De Laubenque v. De Laubenque, 1899, P 42

[xviii] Ramesh Chandra v.  Premlatha, 1979 MP 15.

[xix] Mayne, Hindu law and Usage, Bharat Law House, Delhi, 2003 P-211

[xx] Jaigaro v. Sohan Singh 1995(2) HLR 258 (P&H)

[xxi] AIR 1964 MP 225.

[xxii] Shakuntala v. Babu Rao, AIR 1963 MP 10.

[xxiii] 1958 Vol 1 HLR 1.

[xxiv] AIR 1959 P & H 162.

[xxv] AIR 1983 AP 356

[xxvi] AIR 1983 Del 66

[xxvii] AIR 1984 SC 1562

[xxviii] Supra 25

[xxix] Supra 25

[xxx] Supra 27

[xxxi] 1897A.C. 395

[xxxii] Article 14, the Constitution of India

[xxxiii] Satish Chandra v. Union of India, AIR 1953 SC 250.

[xxxiv] Builders Association of India v. Union of India, (1989) 2 SCC 645

[xxxv] Ibid

[xxxvi] Jackson v. Jackson, (1924) Probate 19 (2); Forster v. Forster, (1790) I Hag. Con. 144 (3) : Weatherley v.

Wentherley, (1946) 2 All E. R. 6.

[xxxvii] Article 21, The Constitution of India

[xxxviii] Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, SC 597

[xxxix] Supra 25

[xl] Saroj Rani v. Sudharshan Kumar Chadha, AIR 1984, SC, 1652

[xli] AIR 1979, MP 144

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