The Allahabad High Court on Thursday ruled that if a married woman was unwilling to cohabit with her husband then she could not be compelled to do so by way of a decree for restitution of conjugal rights.
The order was passed by Justice Rakesh Tiwari while dismissing an appeal of Rizwan Ali Khan, a resident of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, who had moved the court challenging a lower court order which held that no decree for restitution of conjugal rights could be issued in his favour as his marriage was not consummated even after more than a decade of having tied the knot.
The Additional District Sessions Judge, Badaun, had passed the order on August 10, 2009, wherein it had also pointed out that while Khan had claimed to be married to one Nazma Siddiqui, the latter had refuted the same.
Moreover, Khan had failed to produce the Kazi, who had solemnised the marriage, before the court or his signature on the "nikahnama" for verification by handwriting experts, the ADJ had said.
Nazma who had not only denied having been married to Khan but also pleaded that "if a lady is married, the decree for conjugal rights is not enforceable and at the most compensation from her property, if she had any, could have been allowed" opposed the appeal before the High Court.
The court, while observing that it did not find "any illegality or infirmity in the order" said even if there had been no dispute regarding the petitioner's marriage, "she can not be forced by a decree in suit to establish conjugal rights".