“Restitution of Conjugal Rights” is a legal concept found in family law, and it refers to a court order that compels a spouse who has withdrawn from the society of the other without any reasonable justification to return and live with the aggrieved party. The idea behind this remedy is to encourage reconciliation between estranged spouses. Here are the three main requisites and the enforcement of a decree of restitution of conjugal rights:

Three Main Requisites for Restitution of Conjugal Rights:

  1. Withdrawal Without Reasonable Excuse:
    • The petitioner (spouse seeking restitution) must demonstrate that the other spouse has withdrawn from the society of the petitioner without any reasonable justification. In other words, there should be a showing that the separation is without legal cause or excuse.
  2. Legal Right to Cohabitation:
    • The petitioner must establish a legal right to the restitution of conjugal rights. This typically involves proving that there is a valid and subsisting marriage between the parties. If there are legal grounds for divorce or separation, the court may consider those factors.
  3. Refusal to Resume Conjugal Rights:
    • The petitioner should show that despite legal notice and a reasonable opportunity given, the other spouse has refused to resume cohabitation.

Enforcement of Decree of Restitution:

Once the court issues a decree of restitution of conjugal rights, the following aspects are relevant for its enforcement:

  1. Effect of Decree:
    • The decree essentially directs the respondent spouse to return and live with the petitioner. It does not force physical compliance but emphasizes the legal duty to cohabit.
  2. Non-Compliance:
    • If the respondent does not comply with the decree and refuses to return, the petitioner can seek legal remedies for non-compliance.
  3. Contempt of Court:
    • Non-compliance with the decree may lead to contempt of court proceedings. The court can take action against the non-compliant party for willful disobedience of its order.
  4. No Specific Performance:
    • It’s important to note that restitution of conjugal rights cannot be enforced through specific performance. The court does not physically force the parties to live together but relies on the legal and moral obligation to cohabit.
  5. Other Legal Remedies:
    • If the decree does not lead to reconciliation, the court may explore other legal remedies, such as divorce or judicial separation, depending on the circumstances. We are a law firm in the name and style of Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates at Gurugram and Rewari. We are providing litigation support services for matters related to family law.

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