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Wife cannot invoke a writ against Builder or Development Authority to enforce Right to Matrimonial Home

Karishma Yadav ,
  30 April 2020       Share Bookmark

Court :
Supreme Court of India
Brief :
In the case of Aishwarya Pusalkar v. State of Maharashtra, the Supreme Court on 27th April held that wife cannot invoke a writ against Builder or Development Authority to enforce Right to Matrimonial Home, if the husband is not allowing her to reside in the allocated property.
Citation :
Aishwarya Pusalkar v. State of Maharashtra

In the case of Aishwarya Pusalkar v. State of Maharashtra, the Supreme Court on 27th April held that wife cannot invoke a writ against Builder or Development Authority to enforce Right to Matrimonial Home, if the husband is not allowing her to reside in the allocated property.

The wife, though having this right under Section 18 of Hindu Marriage Act, cannot claim this right under Statutory Scheme, as she hold the right to occupy the house only because of her status as wife.

Fact of the case

Husband and wife were having trouble in marriage and hence staying separately. Under Maharashtra Housing & Area Development Act, the building in which the matrimonial home was situated, was demolished and redeveloped.  The redevelopment process asked the residents to shift in some temporary accommodation.

During this period, the wife continued to live there with her two sons. The Act required the occupiers to vacate the building under Section 95A, and therefore, a notice was served to the wife.

She approached the Bombay High Court by filing a writ petition to reside in the building in the house, which was in husband’s name, allotted to him under a Statutory Scheme. The petition was rejected and it was appealed in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court opined that, once the builders accommodate the original owners in a redeveloped area under the Scheme. And, a woman married into that family, is not entitled to file a writ petition, to enforce her right to matrimonial home.

The wife does not have any independent right on the title or interest of the property. Her right to reside in her matrimonial home, is independent of the Statutory Scheme under which the house was allotted to her husband.

This right does not flow from the Act under which the house was being redeveloped; and therefore it shall be governed by other processes law.

Her claim that she was a constructive beneficiary of the Scheme is flawed as her occupier status was dependent on her husband’s right to own the property.

This right is flowing only because she’s the wife of the owner of the property and hence, she should not be given the right of rehousing or rehabilitation under the Scheme.

However, she the Apex court issued directions under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution, to give her the right to reside in her matrimonial home with her husband and to secure her demand for alternate housing. 

 
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Published in Property Law
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