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Roshni B.. (For justice and dignity)     23 November 2010

Now which is a married lady

A WOMAN HAS NO RIGHT TO HOME OWNED BY INLAWS


A house owned by a woman’s in-laws cannot be considered a “shared household” the Bombay High Court has ruled. The high court recently stayed an order of a magistrate court reserving a bedroom for a woman, who had left her husband’s house, in her matrimonial home saying the apartment cannot be defined “shared household” under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.


The woman got married to a Borivli resident on February 14, 2009. She left her matrimonial home in August 2009 following disputes with her husband. She lodged a complaint with Metropolitan Magistrates Court at Borivli under the Domestic Violence Act.


As interim relief, the woman sought the right to continue staying in her matrimonial home. Section 2 of the Act protects the right of residence of estranged women in a shared household.


On June 25, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate directed one bedroom in the matrimonial home be made available to her. The magistrate also restricted her in-laws’ access to the bedroom only to the extent of fulfilling their parental obligations.


The woman’s mother-in-law challenged the interim order in the sessions court and approached the high court after the former rejected her plea.


The in-laws argued their estranged daughter-in-law had no right to enter the matrimonial home since it belonged to them and not her husband.


They said a house owned by in-laws cannot be termed “shared household” as defined in the Domestic Violence Act. They relied on a Supreme Court judgment, which says interim protection cannot be granted to a wife when the house belongs to the in-laws.


A single judge bench of Justice V.M. Kanade accepted their contention and stayed the order of the lower court saying it was difficult accept that a house owned by in-laws could be treated as a shared household.





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 40 Replies

Bhartiya No. 1 (Nationalist)     23 November 2010

In this situation the condition of women becomes like "na ghar ka na ghat ka".  lands up nowhere.

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     23 November 2010

SC has said the concept of shared household clumsy.

S.2 (s) " shared household" means a household where the person aggrieved lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with the respondent and includes such a household whether owned or tenanted either jointly by the aggrieved person and the respondent, or owned or tenanted by either of them in respect of which either the aggrieved person or the respondent or both jointly or singly have any right, title, interest or equity and includes such a household which may belong to the joint family of which the respondent is a member, irrespective of whether the respondent or the aggrieved person has any right, title or interest in the shared household;

 

I feel the 'house' in question cannot be said to be a shared household within the meaning of section 2(s) of the act. If the aforesaid submission is accepted, then it will mean that wherever the husband and wife lived together in the past, that property becomes a shared household. Such a view would lead to chaos and would be absurd. It is well settled that any interpretation which leads to absrdity should not be accepted.

1 Like

Arup (UNEMPLOYED)     23 November 2010

what does the word mean - 'married ladies home'?

perhaps you want to say about matrimonial home.

it is not specific, 

it  changed according to time to time &  circumstances to circumstances.

Roshni B.. (For justice and dignity)     23 November 2010

dear madam,

thanks for adding your valuable views

please correct me if i am wrong below:

includes such a household which may belong to the joint family of which the respondent is a member, irrespective of whether the respondent or the aggrieved person has any right, title or interest in the shared household;

isnt this defn. itself saying that the inlaws' owned house is her matrimonial home,even if her husband has no right,title etc?

if yes,where's the problem?

PJANARDHANA REDDY (ADVOCATE & DIRECTOR)     23 November 2010

shared house/portion to live doesnot give title. It is only protection as per D.V. ACT

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     23 November 2010

The problem is, it changes the property laws for Hindu married women. Till now there is no law by which she can claim her in law's property. She can only claim maintenance from her husband. This law is going to change the existing property law. That is why so much opposition in considering the in law's home as her 'shared household'. 

We need laws which are well drafted, not ambiguous in nature. Else, every judge will interpret that differently causing confusions.

3 Like

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     23 November 2010

I agree with Janardhan Sir. It is only an order for residence and does not give her any title over the portion she is ordered to live. 

Roshni B.. (For justice and dignity)     23 November 2010

but here the woman is seeking right to live in matrimonial home;not property share.

then how did the problem arise?

am sorry i dont understand these intricacies of law at times

1 Like

Arup (UNEMPLOYED)     23 November 2010

concept of 'property' and concept of 'right to residence' are diffrent.

property means, the person has absolute right on it, including right to sale it.

'right to residence' do not provide any right to sale. it is marely a - BEJA KABJA.

Roshni B.. (For justice and dignity)     23 November 2010

i understand the difference.but my question is not understood.

she's asking for "right to live';not share.then why cant she be allowed to live here?

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     23 November 2010

Roshni ji, in this case the judge has relied upon the judgement of SC which does not consider in law's home as 'shared household'. But there are numerable case laws by SC wherein the in law's home is considered as 'shared household' too. If the aggrieved approaches SC, then the case would be in her favour.

1 Like

Amitabha Gupta (NA)     23 November 2010

is situation ke liye aur aap logo ke liye ye lines theek hain

Falsafi ke behas ko khuda milta nahi;

Dor ko suljha raha aur chhor milta nahi.

Do something constructive, challenge the vires of the provision which only guarantees in vague terms the right of residence. In my opinion if the husband can claim a right in that property certainly the wife should be considered to have a right in that property.

2 Like

Amitabha Gupta (NA)     23 November 2010

(f)     “domestic relationship” means a relationship between two persons who live or have, at any point of time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage, or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family;

(s)     “shared household” means a household where the person aggrieved lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with the respondent and includes such a household whether owned or tenanted either jointly by the aggrieved person and the respondent, or owned or tenanted by either of them in respect of which either the aggrieved person or the respondent or both jointly or singly have any right, title, interest or equity and includes such a household which may belong to the joint family of which the respondent is a member, irrespective of whether the respondent or the aggrieved person has any right, title or interest in the shared household.

 

these definitions make it abundantly clear that if such a household whether owned or tenanted either jointly by the aggrieved person and the respondent then the aggrieved person can certainly ask for a right of residence. In the case at hand if the respondent husband has a share in the property of in-laws then there is no impediment in granting right of residence.

 

Amitabha Gupta (NA)     23 November 2010

"shared household” means a household where the person aggrieved lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with the respondent"

 

the above quoted words are the key words in the definition. therefore the guiding criteria is factum of living in a domestic relationship along with the respondent. the use of words "and includes" is for widening the scope and not for restricting.


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