‘Wife Entitled to Stay at Her in-Laws’ House’: Supreme Court Revises Rules Under Domestic Violence Act.
The three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said that a ‘shared household’ means that the wife of domestic violence has the legal right in the shared property of the family.
In a historic verdict against the maltreatment of ‘bahu’, the Supreme Court on Thursday said that the daughter-in-law has the right to live in her husband’s parents’ house under the Domestic Violence Act. The top court also observed that the wife gets ‘shared household’ of the joint family.
The three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said that by definition in Section 2(s) of the Domestic Violence Act, a ‘shared household’ means that the wife of domestic violence has the legal right in the shared property of the family and also in the ancestral house of her mother-in-law.
The new order reverses the previous verdict made in the SC in 2005 which had observed that the wife was entitled to a shared household only where the person aggrieved lives or at any stage had lived in a domestic relationship.
In an important widening of the term ‘shared household’ to protect hapless women at risk of being thrown out of marital homes, the court ruled that the aggrieved woman can claim right of residence in any house that she had lived in with her husband or live-in partner even if that house belonged to the parents-in-law, the husband’s relatives, or was even a tenanted premise where they lived together. To remove her from the house, the only option with the owner of the house is to file an eviction suit.
In a 151-page judgment ironing out important issues in applicability of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Justice Bhushan said, “Definition of shared household given in Section 2(s) cannot be read to mean that shared household can only be that household which is household of the joint family of which the husband is a member or in which the husband of the aggrieved person has a share.”
Source: India Today