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Women has the right to reside in property not owned by the husband: SC

The women who are at the risk of greeting thrown out of the household, can claim the right to residence in any house she has resided with her husband together.

Women has the right to reside in property not owned by the husband: SC

Sentinel Digital Desk

New Delhi: The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgement, has allowed the 'right to reside' in a shared household, even if her husband has no ownership right over it. Under the Domestic Violence Act, which aims to ensure in-laws treat their daughters-in-law well, the SC has given its verdict that once a woman lodges a complaint under the Act, she will have the right to stay at her in-laws' house.

The helpless women who are at the risk of getting thrown out of their in-laws' house, can claim right to residence in any house that she had lived in with her husband or live-in partner even if that house belonged to the in-laws', the relatives of the husband, or a tenanted property where they lived with each other. The only option for the owner to remove her from the house is to file an eviction suit.

However, the earlier verdict said that a woman could have right to reside only if the house where she resided after marriage or during a live-in relationship was owned by the husband or if he had shared ownership right over it (such as a family home). The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R S Reddy and M R Shah gave a wider meaning to the term "shared household," where the women can be protected from being thrown out of the house.

The bench said, "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 the 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."

The bench held the Domestic Violence Act as a milestone in ensuring the rights of women.

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