The case laws about Right Of Residence Of Woman In A Shared Household As Per DV Act
SATISH CHANDER AHUJA VS. SNEHA AHUJA, 2020 & SVANITHA VS. DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, BENGALURU URBAN DISTRICT, 2020 ” H Y. This is the two important cases related to Right Of Residence Of Women In Shared Household. SATISH CHANDER AHUJA VS. SNEHA AHUJA is overruled to S.R.Batra case, 2006 case. And S VANITHA VS. DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, BENGALURU URBAN DISTRICT deliverd the judgment where Court checked the DV Act harmoniously in the point of Right Of Residence Of Women In Shared Household.
SATISH CHANDER AHUJA vs. SNEHA AHUJA , 2020 In this Court delivered the judgment about Right Of Residence Of Women In Shared Household.
The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy, and MR Shah observed the definition of ‘ shared household ‘ given in Section 2 ( s ) of the Act. In this case, Satish Chander Ahuja filed a suit against his daughter-in-law for mandatory and permanent injunction and also for recovery of damages / mesne profit. In the plaint, he pleaded that the defendant has filed a complaint under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 in which interim order directing the plaintiff not to alienate and not to dispossess the defendant without an order of the competent court has been passed.
In the written statement, the daughter-in-law claimed that the suit property is a shared household as per provision of Section 2(s) of the Act, 2005, and thus she has the right to stay/reside in the shared household. The trial court decreed the suit filed by Ahuja. The High Court remanded the case back to Trial Court by issuing some directions.
In this appeal before the Supreme Court against the High Court order, the plaintiff placed reliance on Batra’s judgment to contend that the premises is not a shared household since the husband neither has any share in the suit premises nor suit premises is a joint family property.
In S.R. Batra vs Taruna Batra, the Supreme Court bench of Justices SB Sinha and M.Katju had rejected the contention that the definition of shared household includes a household where the person aggrieved lives or at any stage had lived in a domestic relationship.
It held that the wife is only entitled to claim a right to residence in a shared household, and a ‘ shared household ‘ would only mean the house belonging to or taken on rent by the husband, or the house which belongs to the joint family of which the husband is a member. The court had further observed that a claim for alternative accommodation can only be made against the husband and not against the husbands in-laws or other relatives.
( 1 ) Whether the 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 in S.R. Batra and Anr. Vs. Taruna Batra, ( 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?
PROVISION (Right Of Residence Of Women In Shared Household)
Section 2(s) in The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
(s) “shared household” means a household where the person aggrieved lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with the respondent and includes such a household whether owned or tenanted either jointly by the aggrieved person and the respondent, or owned or tenanted by either of them in respect of which either the aggrieved person or the respondent or both jointly or singly have any right, title, interest or equity and includes such a household which may belong to the joint family of which the respondent is a member, irrespective of whether the respondent or the aggrieved person has any right, title or interest in the shared household.
Referring to the words ” lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship, the bench said that it has to be given its normal and purposeful meaning . The expressions ” means and includes ” in Section 2 ( s ) clearly indicate the legislative intent that the definition is exhaustive and shall cover only those which fall within the purview of definition and no other. The bench observed :
From the above definition, the following is clear : (i) it is not a requirement of law that the aggrieved person may either own the premises jointly or singly or by tenanting it jointly or singly;
(ii) the household may belong to a joint family of which the respondent is a member irrespective of whether the respondent or the aggrieved person has any right, title, or interest in 53 the shared household; and
( iii ) the shared household may either be owned or tenanted by the respondent singly or jointly.
” The living of woman in a household has to refer to a living which has some permanency. Mere fleeting or casual living at different places shall not make a shared household. The intention of the parties and the nature of living including the nature of household have to be looked into to find out as to whether the parties intended to treat the premises as a shared household or not. has been enacted to provide for more effective protection of the rights of the woman who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family.
The court also observed that use of the expression at any stage has lived to protect the women from denying the benefit of the right to live in a shared household on the ground that on the date when the application is filed, she was excluded from the possession of the house or temporarily absent. r the aggrieved person has lived with the relatives of husband, all such houses shall become shared household, which is not the legislative intent.
The observation of this Court in S.R. Batra Vs. Taruna Batra that definition of the shared household in Section 2(s) is not very happily worded and it has to be interpreted, which is sensible and does not lead to chaos in the society also does not commend us. The definition of a shared household is the clear and exhaustive definition as observed by us. The object and purpose of the Act were to grant a right to an aggrieved person, a woman of residence in a shared household. The interpretation which is put by this Court in S.R. Batra Vs. Taruna Batra if accepted shall clearly frustrate the object and purpose of the Act. We, thus, are of the opinion that the interpretation of the definition of the shared household as put by this Court in S.R. Batra Vs. Taruna Batra is not a correct interpretation and the said judgment does not lay down the correct law.
S VANITHA VS. DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, BENGALURU URBAN DISTRICT, 2020 in which court passed the judgment about Right Of Residence Of Women In Shared Household
The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra, and Indira Banerjee heard this case. The Supreme Court has held that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act has no overriding effect over the right of residence of a woman in a shared household within the meaning of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
A senior citizen couple filed an application under the provisions of the Senior Citizens Act seeking eviction of their daughter-in-law and granddaughter from a residential house. This application was allowed by the Assistant Commissioner. Later, the said order was held up by Deputy Commissioner in appeal. The Karnataka High Court upheld these orders by dismissing writ petitions filed by daughter-in-law. Before the Apex Court, the daughter-in-law contended that she cannot be evicted from her shared household, in view of the protection offered by Section 17 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 .
The Tribunal under the Senior Citizens Act 2007 may have the authority to order an eviction if it is necessary and expedient to ensure the maintenance and protection of the senior citizen or parent. Eviction, in other words, would be an incident of the enforcement of the right to maintenance and protection. However, this remedy can be granted only after advertising to the competing claims in the dispute. It is necessary to recapitulate that the situation in the present case is that the eviction was sought of the daughter-in-law, i.e. the appellant.
The court further noted that Section 3 of the Senior Citizens Act observed that its provisions will have an effect, notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other enactment and that the principles of statutory interpretation dictate that in the event of two special acts containing non-obstante clauses, the later law shall typically prevail.
But, the court said, in the event of a conflict between special acts, the dominant purpose of both statutes would have to be analyzed to ascertain which one should prevail over the other .
Allowing the Senior Citizens Act 2007 to have an overriding force and effect in all situations, irrespective of competing entitlements of a woman to a right in a shared household within the meaning of the PWDV Act 2005, would defeat the object and purpose which the Parliament sought to achieve in enacting the latter legislation. The law protecting the interest of senior citizens is intended to ensure that they are not left destitute, or at the mercy of their children or relatives. Equally, the purpose of the PWDV Act 2005 cannot be ignored by a sleight of statutory interpretation.
Both sets of legislation have to be harmoniously construed. Hence the right of a woman to secure a residence order in respect of a shared household cannot be defeated by the simple expedient of securing an order of eviction by adopting the summary procedure under the Senior Citizens Act 2007.
The Senior Citizens Act 2007 was promulgated with a view to providing a speedy and inexpensive remedy to senior citizens. Accordingly, Tribunals were constituted under Section 7. In deference to the dominant purpose of both the legislations, it would be appropriate for a Tribunal under the Senior Citizens Act, 2007 to grant such remedies of maintenance, as envisaged under S.2 (b) of the Senior Citizens Act 2007 that do not result in obviating competing remedies under other special statutes, such as the PWDV Act 2005 .
Therefore, in the event that a composite dispute is alleged, such as in the present case where the suit premises are a site of contestation between two groups protected by the law, it would be appropriate for the Tribunal constituted under the Senior Citizens Act 2007 to appropriately mold reliefs, after noticing the competing claims of the parties claiming under the PWDV Act 2005 and Senior Citizens Act 2007 .
In the event that the ” aggrieved woman ” obtains a relief from a Tribunal constituted under the Senior Citizens Act 200, she shall duty-bound to inform the Magistrate under the PWDV Act 2005, as per Subsection ( 3 ) of Section 26 of the PWDV Act 2005. This course of action would ensure that the common intent of the Senior Citizens Act 2007 and the PWDV Act 2005- of ensuring speedy relief to its protected groups who are both vulnerable members of the society, is effectively realized. Rights in law can translate to rights in life, only if there is equitable ease in obtaining their realization.
A wife is also entitled to claim a right to residence in a shared household belonging to relatives of the husband, the Supreme Court has held on Thursday in an important judgment overruling the 2006 judgment in S.R. Batra vs Taruna Batra. ” In the event, shared household belongs to any relative of the husband with whom in a domestic relationship the woman has lived, the conditions mentioned in Section 2 ( s ) are satisfied and the said house will become a shared household . “, the Court said.
The Supreme Court has held that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act has no overriding effect over the right of residence of a woman in a shared household within the meaning of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.