Syed Ahmed Khan v Smt. Ishrat Jehan Begum

The parties were married in the year 1968. The husband Syed Ahmad Khan had already a wife living when he married the present wife Smt. Imrat Begum. The parties are supposed to have lived and cohabited together only for about a year and it was stated in the husband’s complaint dated the 29th Oct., 1973 for restitution of conjugal rights that the wife had for the last four years neglected and refused to give her society or to cohabit with the husband without just cause and had taken to the profession of a teacher at Gunnaur against his wishes; and did not come to live with him in spite of a notice served in July, 1973.

The husband filed a First Appeal for recovery of Rs. 20,000/- as dower and then by the wife from the order of restitution of conjugal rights passed by the civil court. The two suits giving rise to these two First Appeals were consolidated and tried together and disposed of by a common judgment by the court of the Civil Judge, Budaun.

Legal Reasoning

1) Whether the defendant has withdrawn herself from the society of the plaintiff without any just and reasonable cause?

Since the wife did not live with the husband for a single day after his having married a third time, it cannot be said that the husband does not treat his wife , equitably in accordance with the injunction of the Quran. So far as the first wife was concerned the com-plaint was not that the husband did not treat the wife, who has appealed from the decree of the restitution of conjugal rights, equitably in accordance with the injunctions of the Quran but that the first wife treated her roughly. It therefore appears to me that the wife, who has appealed from the decree of restitution of conjugal rights, cannot be said to have proved that the husband had treated her with cruelty in the sense in which it is explained and defined in the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939. That being so she could not properly resist the husband’s demand for her society which he has followed up with the suit for restitution of conjugal right.” (Page 4, para. 8)

 2) Whether the defendant has right to refuse the restitution of the conjugal rights for reasons given in written statements?

Under the circumstances, it would be equitable, just and proper to impose a condition, that the decree for restitution of conjugal rights would not be executable unless the decree for recovery of the prompt dower was satisfied.” (P. 5, para 10)


 The court dismissed both the appeals subject to the modification in the decree for restitution of conjugal rights.

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