Allahabad High Court Stresses Limited Availability of Writ of Habeas Corpus for Husband Seeking Wife’s Return

LI Network

Published on: January 23, 2024 at 12:50 IST

The Allahabad High Court has underscored that the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, sought by a husband to reclaim his wife, may not be readily available as a matter of course.

Justice Yogendra Kumar Srivastava emphasized that such a writ should be considered in exceptional circumstances, with other legal remedies available under criminal and civil law being preferred.

The Court highlighted that when a husband asserts that his wife is unreasonably refusing to return to their matrimonial home, the remedy of seeking restitution of conjugal rights under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, is more appropriate.

The decision came in response to a habeas corpus plea filed by a man seeking custody of his wife, alleging that she was unlawfully held by her maternal uncle.

The Court noted that the writ of habeas corpus is a prerogative writ and should only be granted on reasonable grounds or probable cause.

The Court rejected the petition, stating that the remedy should not be available as a matter of course, especially when other legal avenues are open.

The case involved a husband claiming that his wife left their home and refused to return despite his efforts. The court, while acknowledging the husband’s plea, emphasized the need for a compelling case to exercise the writ of habeas corpus.

The Court also highlighted alternative legal provisions, such as Section 97 and Section 98 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, for seeking the search of wrongfully confined persons and compelling the restoration of abducted females.

In this specific case, the court found no evidence of illegal detention, and the wife had left her matrimonial home voluntarily. Therefore, the court dismissed the habeas corpus petition filed by the husband.

Case Title: Jaishree and Another vs. State Of U.P. And 3 Other

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