Monday, 19 October 2020

Whether relatives of husband can evict wife, who has secured the right of residence in their house under the Domestic Violence Act?

 

The right to reside in shared household as granted

by Section 17 of Domestic violence Act itself 

contemplates an exception in

express words, i.e., “save in accordance with the

procedure established by law”.{Para 109}


116. Drawing the analogy from the above case, we are of

the opinion that the expression “save in accordance

with the procedure established by law”, in Section

17(2) of the Act, 2005 contemplates the proceedings in

court of competent jurisdiction. Thus, suit for

mandatory and permanent injunction/eviction or

possession by the owner of the property is maintainable

before a Competent Court. We may further notice that in

sub-section (2) the injunction is “shall not be evicted

or excluded from the shared household save in

accordance with procedure established by law”. Thus,

the provision itself contemplates adopting of any

procedure established by law by the respondent for

eviction or exclusion of the aggrieved person from the

shared household. Thus, in appropriate case, the

competent court can decide the claim in a properly

instituted suit by the owner as to whether the women

need to be excluded or evicted from the shared

household. One most common example for eviction and

exclusion may be when the aggrieved person is provided

same level of alternate accommodation or payment of

rent as contemplated by Section 19 sub-section (f)

itself. There may be cases where plaintiff can

successfully prove before the Competent Court that the

claim of plaintiff for eviction of respondent is

accepted. We need not ponder for cases and

circumstances where eviction or exclusion can be

allowed or refused. It depends on facts of each case

for which no further discussion is necessary in the

facts of the present case. The High Court in the

impugned judgment has also expressed opinion that suit

filed by the plaintiff cannot be held to be nonmaintainable

with which conclusion we are in agreement.

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO.2483 of 2020

SATISH CHANDER AHUJA Vs  SNEHA AHUJA 

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What are the rights of wife if landlord/lessor/licensor is seeking to evict her from a shared household obtained under Domestic violence Act?

  In case, the shared household of a woman is a

tenanted/allotted/licensed accommodation where tenancy/

allotment/license is in the name of husband, father-in

law or any other relative, the Act, 2005 does not

operate against the landlord/lessor/licensor in

initiating an appropriate proceedings for eviction of

the tenant/allottee/licensee qua the shared household.

However, in case the proceedings are due to any

collusion between the two, the woman, who is living in

the shared household has right to resist the

proceedings on all grounds which the

tenant/lessee/licensee could have taken in the

proceedings. The embargo under Section 17(2) of Act,

2005 of not to be evicted or excluded save in

accordance with the procedure established by law

operates only against the “respondent”, i.e., one who

is respondent within the meaning of Section 2(q) of

Act, 2005.{Para 117}

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO.2483 of 2020


SATISH CHANDER AHUJA Vs  SNEHA AHUJA 
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Sunday, 18 October 2020

Whether the husband is a necessary party to suit filed by father-in-law against daughter-in-law for her eviction from his house?

 Question No.7

118. Learned counsel for the appellant challenging the

direction issued by the High Court that the husband of

respondent be impleaded by the Trial Court by invoking

suo moto powers under Order I Rule 10 CPC, submits that

no relief having been claimed against the son of the

appellant, he (son) was neither necessary nor proper

party. Learned counsel for the appellant has relied on

the judgments of this Court in Razia Begum Vs.

Sahebzadi Anwar Begum and others, AIR 1958 SC 886 and

Ramesh Hirachand Kundanmal Vs. Municipal Corporation of

Greater Bombay and others, (1992) 2 SCC 524. Latter

judgment of this Court discussing judgment of Razia

Begum has laid down following in paragraphs 10 and 12:

“10. The power of the Court to add parties

under Order I Rule 10, CPC, came up for

consideration before this Court in Razia Begum

(supra). In that case it was pointed out that

the Courts in India have not treated the matter

of addition of parties as raising any question

of the initial jurisdiction of the Court and

that it is firmly established as a result of

judicial decisions that in order that a person

may be added as a party to a suit, he should

have a direct interest in the subject-matter of

the litigation whether it be the questions

relating to moveable or Immovable property.

12. Sinha, J. speaking for the majority

said that a declaratory judgment in respect of

a disputed status will be binding not only upon

parties actually before the Court but also upon

persons claiming through them respectively. The

Court laid down the law that in a suit relating

to property in order that a person may be added

as a party, he should have a direct interest as

distinguished from a commercial interest in the

subject-matter of the litigation. Where the

subject-matter of a litigation is a declaration

as regards status or a legal character, the

rule of presence of direct interest may be

relaxed in a suitable case where the Court is

of the opinion that by adding that party it

would be in a better position effectually and

completely to adjudicate upon the controversy.

…………”

119. There can be no dispute with the preposition of

law as laid down by this Court in the above two cases.

In the present case, although plaintiff has not claimed

any relief against his son, Raveen Ahuja, the husband

of the respondent, hence, he was not a necessary party

but in view of the fact that respondent has pleaded her

right of residence in shared household relying on

Sections 17 and 19 of the Act, 2005 and one of the

rights which can be granted under Section 19 is right

of alternate accommodation, the husband is a proper

party. The right of maintenance as per the provisions

of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 is that of

the husband, hence he may be a proper party in cases

when the Court is to consider the claim of respondent

under Sections 17 and 19 read with Section 26 of the

Act, 2005.

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO.2483 of 2020


SATISH CHANDER AHUJA Vs  SNEHA AHUJA 
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Whether Wife can claim Right Of Residence in immovable property Belonging to relatives Of Husband?

  In paragraph 29 of the judgment, this Court in S.R.

Batra Vs. Taruna Batra (supra) held that 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 definition of shared

household as noticed in Section 2(s) does not indicate

that a shared household shall be one which belongs to

or taken on rent by the husband. We have noticed the

definition of “respondent” under the Act. The

respondent in a proceeding under Domestic Violence Act

can be any relative of the husband. In event, the

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. We are of the view that this court in S.R.

Batra Vs. Taruna Batra (supra) although noticed the

definition of shared household as given in Section 2(s)

but did not advert to different parts of the definition

which makes it clear that for a shared household there

is no such requirement that the house may be owned

singly or jointly by the husband or taken on rent by

the husband. The observation of this Court in S.R.

Batra Vs. Taruna Batra (supra) that definition of

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 shared household is

clear and exhaustive definition as observed by us. The

object and purpose of the Act was to grant a right to

aggrieved person, a woman of residence in shared

household. The interpretation which is put by this

Court in S.R. Batra Vs. Taruna Batra (supra) if

accepted shall clearly frustrate the object and purpose

of the Act. We, thus, are of the opinion that the

interpretation of definition of shared household as put

by this Court in S.R. Batra Vs. Taruna Batra (supra) is

not correct interpretation and the said judgment does

not lay down the correct law.{Para 64}

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO.2483 of 2020


SATISH CHANDER AHUJA Vs  SNEHA AHUJA 


Author: ASHOK BHUSHAN, J.

Dated: 15-10-2020

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