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  • The Hon’ble Gujarat HC has observed, in the case of Jagdeepbhai Chandulal Patel vs. Reshma Ruchin Patel that the right of a woman to reside in a shared household cannot be defeated by a summary eviction under the Maintenance and Welfare Of Parents And Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
  • In the instant case, the petitioner Jagdeepbhai is the father-in-law of respondent 1 and father of respondent 2, who is presently residing in the USA. The petitioner had alleged that his daughter-in-law had illegally trespassed in his house, as a result of which he had to move out of his house. He filed a petition before the Family Court along with an injunction application praying for the issuance of directions to remove themselves from his house.
  • This application was rejected by the Family Court. The injunction application of the petitioner was also rejected. Aggrieved, the petitioner moved the HC.
  • The claim of the defendant (daughter-in-law) was that she had a right to reside in her matrimonial home under the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act.
  • The main issue before the HC was whether the provisions of the Senior Citizens Act would have an overriding effect on the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. The Court answered that in the negative.
  • The Court observed that allowing the provisions of the Senior Citizens Act to have an overriding effect over the provisions of the DV Act in all situations, irrespective of the woman’s entitlement to a right of residence in the shared household would defeat the purpose of the legislature behind enacting the DV Act. The Court further noted that the provisions of the Senior Citizens Act aim to ensure that the parents are not left destitute, or at the mercy of their children. Likewise, the purpose behind the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act cannot be ignored.
  • Most importantly, the Court also observed that the mere offer of another suitable residence cannot take away the right of the respondent to reside in the shared household.
  • Thus, affirming the Family Court’s order, the petition was dismissed.
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