Right of residence of a wife in shared household under DV Act (Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act) doesn’t apply to in-laws’ property. The law itself doesn’t allow it as given in 2006 SC Batra vs. Batra judgment on shared household and also in this recent judgment of Delhi HC where woman was denied right in self-acquired property of father in law. It is not clear if the following appeal to SC has been initiated by same woman. In any case, the woman /daughter-in-law who has appealed to SC is said to be a practising advocate, so let it be the high point of her career. From here, it’s all the way down…
A review in progress in SC doesn’t mean previous precedents (or bare act) will cease to apply. But do consult your advocates, sometimes they know better.
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine the extent of a daughter-in-law's right of residence in the father-in-law's property.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and C Naggappan posted an appeal filed by a woman challenging a decision of the Delhi high court that a daughter-in-law has no right of residence in the father-in-law's self-acquired property as it can't be termed a "shared household".
It also stayed the execution of the trial court and HC's orders asking the woman to hand over the property.
With thousands of cases filed under anti-dowry laws and Domestic Violence Prevention Act on this specific issue pending across the country, the fate of the case will be keenly awaited. In its decision, SC is likely to interpret the meaning of a shared household under the domestic violence Act.
The high court had relied on SC rulings to conclude that a wife has a right of residence only in that property which is owned or tenanted by the husband or in a joint family property where the husband has a share.
Appearing for the woman, senior advocate Anand Grover urged SC to re-examine the issue as there is "inconsistency" in judgments of the apex court itself leading to wrong interpretation of provisions of DV Act by the high court.
However, advocate Prabhjit Jauhar defended the HC ruling and pointed out that the estranged wife, a practising advocate, had filed cases of dowry harassment outside Delhi and even registered an FIR accusing her in-laws of molestation under IPC 354.
Taking a dim view of the woman's action, the court said it would be better if she lives apart and lets the in-laws live in peace. Her counsel then assured the court that in future no untoward incident will occur and prayed that SC should settle the issue once and for all so that courts across the country can follow its ruling.