New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court on Thursday held that a married woman has the right to stay at her in-laws' house under the domestic violence law. A three-judge bench headed by Judge Ashok Bhushan set aside the decision of the two-judge bench in the Tarun Batra case. The apex court also observed that the wife gets ‘shared household’ of the joint family.

It said shared household meant the place where the woman lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with the husband and it includes the house “owned or tenanted”.

Deliberating in details about the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, the apex court said, “the progress of any society depends on its ability to protect and promote the rights of its women.

"Guaranteeing equal rights and privileges to women by the Constitution had marked the step towards the transformation of the status of the women in this country,” it said.

The top court, however, added that the interim order protecting the right to residence of a woman under the law will not come in the way of filing of civil cases related to the property.

“The pendency of proceedings under (Domestic Violence) Act, or any order interim or final passed under the D.V. Act under Section 19 regarding right of residence is not an embargo for initiating or continuing any civil proceedings, which relate to the subject matter of order interim or final passed in proceedings under the DV Act,” it said.

The top court''s verdict came on an appeal of 76-year-old Delhi resident Satish Chander Ahuja against a Delhi High Court''s judgement. The Delhi High Court had set aside an order of a trial court passed in 2019 asking the daughter-in-law of Ahuja to vacate his premises. The High Court had also passed several directions and asked the civil court to decide the lawsuit afresh.

Ahuja had said that the property belonged to him and neither his son nor his daughter-in-law have any ownership rights over it and it led to passing of an order asking the woman to vacate the premises. The husband had filed a separate case for decree of divorce against his wife and the woman had filed a criminal complaint under the domestic violence law against husband, Ahuja and the mother-in-law.

A criminal court had passed an interim order under the Domestic Violence Act that she be not dispossessed until further orders.

(with PTI inputs)

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha