Swaraj Garg vs KM Garg Case Summary 1978

Swaraj Garg vs KM Garg Case Summary 1978

Swaraj Garg vs KM Garg case, which falls under HMA Act 1955 under section 9, which reads as the Restitution of Conjugal Rights. Restitution of Conjugal rights explains when either the husband or wife has without reasonable excuse withdrawn from the society of other.


AIR 1978 Delhi 296, 14 (1978) DLT 18 b, 1978 RLR 525


Honorable Justice V Deshpande

Honorable Justice H Anand


Section 9 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955


  • The petitioner, i.e. Swaraj Garg wife of KM Garg, was living in her village, Sunam from 1956 and was a schoolteacher.
  • The petitioner married to Respondent in the year 1964 and she became the headteacher in 1969 at government high school.
  • The husband was having a job of earning Rs. 500 p.m. Only in Delhi and lives over there.
  • Petitioner often comes to live with her husband in Delhi and after some time move back to his village and living there for future.


Which will be the matrimonial home of the parties after the marriage if they are working at different places for their earnings?


Petitioner: The petitioner argued the respondent is not maintaining his wife and also mentions the cruel behavior of the respondent.

Respondent: The respondent contended the petitioner moved to her village giving no reason, thus he wanted the decree of Restitution of Conjugal Rights.


The court held that it is the decision of the husband to determine the matrimonial home based on the benefits of both parties.

Honorable Justice V Deshpande gives a statement ‘it is not a proposition of law, it’s simply a proposition of good ordinary sense because the husband is usually wage earner and has to live near to the work’.

It is also agreed that it’s the responsibility of the husband to maintain his wife rather than the responsibility of the wife to maintain her husband and with regarding that if the wife is in a well-settled position thus, she would not get maintenance from her husband.

The court also observed that any hard and fast rule about the matrimonial home does not decide it with no codified part of the law.

The court also observed that they involved the husband in cruelty and took money from her parents as a dowry.

The Court also took the custom views which make up the unmodified part of Hindu law. Regarding customs, the court’s opinions that they should be ancient and enforceable, but not in this case. So in Swaraj Garg vs KM Garg case, no custom was allowed.


After hearing both parties, the court comes to this that in absence of any custom or codified law provisions in Hindu Law and considering cruelty by husband against his wife and better financial position of wife, the decree of restitution of conjugal rights cannot be granted.

Hence, the judgment was given in the petitioner’s favor, and the conduct of the husband was the frightening one against his wife to join him. Therefore, the husband was failed to prove the ground of restitution of conjugal rights.

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Harry Rana

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