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Written by Apurwa Kumari of Banaras Hindu University

Edited by Ishita Mangla


Under common law, compensation of intimate rights was an activity in the Ministerial courts and later in the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes. It was one of the activities identifying with marriage, over which the religious courts earlier had purview. In India, it is called the restitution of conjugal rights. It is the central right that either mate has towards the other when one pulls back himself/herself from society, which, goes about as a (consolation) measure to patch a breaking marriage.

In the present Indian scenario, the cure is accessible to Hindus under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 19551, to Muslims under broad law, to Christians under Section 32 and 33 of the Indian Divorce Act, 18692, to Parsis under Section 36 of the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 19693 and people wedded as per the arrangements of the Special Marriage Act, Section 22 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954.4  Thus, there is a unification of law across the country crossing the border of religion in our country on this issue. A country where divorce matter is still looked upon by the different laws of different sections and their religion which indirectly curbs the women right, it is a quite astonishing fact that there is unity on such an issue. The alleged objectivity behind this segment is to spare a faltering marriage. One companion is qualified for the solace of the other and the other way around and when either has pulled back with no sensible reason, the Court has the privilege to meddle. If the declaration defaults, Order 21, Rule 32 and 33 of the Code of Civil Procedure5 permits the Court to join property of the judgment-account holder. On further default (of a half year), the Court can approve the offer of said property. Even though this monetary authorization isn’t constantly upheld, the Court can arrange the defaulter to pay a specific measure of cash intermittently.


The law concerning the compensation of intimate rights was abrogated in the United Kingdom in 1970 after the report of ‘Scarman Commission’ in 19696 on the uselessness of such an arrangement. In any case, it has stayed flawless in India despite being tested fervently more than once. Ensuring improvement to conjugal status of ladies has been made anyway, these legal provisions are addressed from the range of survey ladies as a reliant character. We live in a male ruled society, where ladies are viewed as sub-par specifically with regards to abilities, gifts and knowledge. Ladies infrequently are observed to be the sole provider of the house since it is not the standard of the general public. This view of society is further strengthened by the Indian judiciary in terms of their respective opinions. In one such case, the Gauhati high court in an obvious occurrence characterized what marital commitments were for hitched ladies. The Satisfaction of intimate obligations is the establishment of a Hindu marriage. Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act7 unequivocally discusses compensation of intimate rights. For this situation of separation, the court saw that the refusal to wear early-stage and conventional markers of marriage like shakha (conch shell bangle) and vermillion added up to a refusal to acknowledge the Marriage.

In another situation regarding comparative realities, the Court in Kailash Vati Vs Ayodhya Prakash8, additionally held where the spouse acknowledges the work against the desires of her significant other from the wedding home, would be considered as pulling back herself from the general public and marriage. In this manner, further abusing her obligations towards the marriage. This antiquated idea which organizes the alleged holiness of marriage over individual rights and opportunities, especially those of the spouse, is with regards to Indian cultural and jurisprudential custom, which has for quite some time been reluctant to yield that crucial rights apply inside the home. This approach has been noticed as indirect discrimination in the case of T Sareetha v. T. Venkatasubaihah9 but, unfortunately, findings of Andhra Pradesh high court were not accepted by the apex court.


The idea of man controlled society is profoundly imbedded into our philosophies; it starts to change when we quit isolating what obligations make up a Man or lady. On the off chance that we treat each perspective detachedly, we grow up aloofly; there is no inclination or division. Recently, the report of the High-Level Committee on the Status of Women in 2015 recommended cancellation of these arrangements identifying with compensation of intimate rights. The Consultation Paper on Reform of Family Law by the Law Commission of India likewise reached a comparable resolution. Be that as it may, the Parliament has not followed up on it. Thus, it is our duty as a citizen to ask these questions from our Parliament, a parliament which is supposed to be a representation of people’s aspirations.


  1. Sec. 9, Hindu marriage act, 1955 (India).
  2. Sec 32, Indian divorce act, 1869 (India).
  3. Sec 36, Parsi marriage and divorce Act, 1969 (India).
  4. Special marriage act 1954, (India).
  5. Order XXI, Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (India).
  6. Scarman Commission, Great Britain law commission, 4th, 1968-69 (U.K).
  7. Supra note 1.
  8. (1977)79 PLR 216 (India).
  9. AIR 1983 AP 356 (India).
  10. Report on status of women in India, High Level Committee, 2015 (India).

Image courtesy: Telegraph India

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