Satish Chander Ahuja V. Sneha Ahuja (2020) - 'Shared Household' under DV Act, 2005


Court :
Supreme Court of India

Brief :
There is no embargo in referring to or relying on an admissible evidence, be of a civil court or criminal court both in civil or criminal proceedings.The pendency of proceedings under Act, 2005 or any order interim or final passed under D.V. Act under Section 19 regarding right of residence is not an embargo for initiating or continuing any civil proceedings, which relate to the subject matter of order interim or final passed in proceedings under D.V. Act, 2005.A civil court is to determine the issues in civil proceedings on the basis of evidence, which has been led by the parties before the civil court.

Citation :
REFERENCE - CIVIL APPEAL NO.2483 of 2020

DATE OF JUDGMENT – October 15, 2020

JUDGES-  AshokBhushan, R. Subhash Reddy, M.R. Shah, JJ.

PARTIES –

  • SATISH CHANDER AHUJA ...APPELLANT(S) VERSUS
  • SSNEHA AHUJA ...RESPONDENT(S)

ISSUES

1.span>     Whether definition of shared household under Section 2(s) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 has to be read to mean that shared household can only be that household which is household of joint family or in which husband of the aggrieved person has a share?

2.     Whether judgment of this Court in S.R. Batra and Anr. Vs. TarunaBatra, (2007) 3 SCC 169 has not correctly interpreted the provision of Section 2(s) of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and does not lay down a correct law?

3.     WWhether the High Court has rightly come to the conclusion that suit filed by the appellant could not have been decreed under Order XII Rule 6 CPC?

SUBJECT

This appeal raises important questions of law pertaining to the interpretation and working of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

AN OVERVIEW

1. This appeal has been filed by SatishChanderAhuja, the plaintiff questioning the judgment of Delhi High Court dated 18.12.2019 in RFA No.381/2019 by which judgment Delhi High Court has set aside the decree granted in favour of the plaintiff dated 08.04.2019 2 under Order XII Rule 6 of Civil Procedure Code, decreeing the suit filed by the plaintiff for mandatory and permanent injunction.

2. The High Court after setting aside the decree of the Trial Court has remanded the matter back to the Trial Court for fresh adjudication in accordance with the directions given by the High Court. The plaintiff aggrieved by the judgment of the High Court has come up in this appeal.

3. The appellant by deed dated 12.01.1983 purchased property bearing No.D-1077, New Friends Colony, New Delhi. The son of the appellant, RaveenAhuja was married to the respondent, SnehaAhuja on 04.03.1995. After marriage the respondent started living in the first floor of the house No.D-1077, Friends Colony, New Delhi along with her husband.

4. There being marital 3 discord between Raveen and Sneha, in July, 2014, Raveen moved out of the first floor and started staying in the guest room of the ground floor. In the year 2004 a separate kitchen was started by the respondent in the first floor of the house. Raveen, the husband of the respondent filed a Divorce Petition on 28.11.2014 under Section 13(1)(ia) and (iii) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty against the respondent, SnehaAhuja which proceeding is said to be still pending. The respondent, SnehaAhuja, on 20.11.2015, i.e., after filing of the Divorce Petition, filed an application under Section 12 of Act, 2005 impleading RaveenAhuja as respondent No.1, ShriSatishAhuja, respondent No.2 and Dr.PremKantaAhuja(motherin-law of the respondent), respondent No.3. In the complaint it was alleged that SnehaAhuja has been subjected to severe emotional and mental abuse by the respondents.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act - 2005

AN ACT to provide for the protection and relief of victims of domestic violence; to provide for the punishment of perpetrators of domestic violence; to provide for the procedure and guidelines to be followed by the court in relation to the protection and compensation of victims of domestic violence; 

ANALYSIS

1.The above case arose out of a suit filed by the respondent for permanent injunction and mandatory injunction against the appellant. The respondent was brother of the appellant. Suit was decreed by the Trial Court, and appeal against which judgment was also dismissed.

2. There being specific pleading on behalf of the respondent that the house, which is in the name of the appellant is the matrimonial home of the respondent where she was residing in first floor since her 80 marriage. The fact that respondent is residing in first floor of the premises is not matter of dispute.

3. Right to residence under Section 19 is not an indefeasible right of residence in shared household especially when the daughter-in-law is pitted against aged father-in-law and mother-in-law.

4. In view of the ratio laid down by this court in the above case, the claim of the defendant that suit property is shared household and she has right to reside in the house ought to have been considered by the Trial Court and non-consideration of the 96 claim/defence is nothing but defeating the right, which is protected by Act, 2005

CONCLUSION

There is no embargo in referring to or relying on an admissible evidence, be of a civil court or criminal court both in civil or criminal proceedings.The pendency of proceedings under Act, 2005 or any order interim or final passed under D.V. Act under Section 19 regarding right of residence is not an embargo for initiating or continuing any civil proceedings, which relate to the subject matter of order interim or final passed in proceedings under D.V. Act, 2005.A civil court is to determine the issues in civil proceedings on the basis of evidence, which has been led by the parties before the civil court.

To download the original copy of the judgment, click here

 

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Priaanti Thaakre
on 07 January 2021
Published in Others
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