Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Does Joint Family In DV Act Mean Members Live Together As Family & Not As Understood In Hindu Law?

  In our view, the D.V. Act is a piece of Civil Code which is applicable to every woman in India irrespective of her religious affiliation and/or social background for a more effective protection of her rights guaranteed under the Constitution and in order to protect women victims of domestic violence occurring in a domestic relationship. Therefore, the expression 'joint family' cannot mean as understood in Hindu Law. Thus, the expression 'family members living together as a joint family', means the members living jointly as a family. In such an interpretation, even a girl child/children who is/are cared for as foster children also have a right to live in a shared household and are conferred with the right Under Sub-section (1) of Section 17 of the D.V. Act. When such a girl child or woman becomes an aggrieved person, the protection of Sub-section (2) of Section 17 comes into play. {Para 36}

 43. Further, the expression 'family members living together as a joint family' is not relatable only to relationship through consanguinity, marriage or adoption. As observed above, the expression 'joint family' does not mean a joint family as understood in Hindu Law. It would mean persons living together jointly as a family. It would include not only family members living together when they are related by consanguinity, marriage or adoption but also those persons who are living together or jointly as a joint family such as foster children who live with other members who are related by consanguinity, marriage or by adoption. Therefore, when any woman is in a domestic relationship as discussed above, is subjected to any act of domestic violence and becomes an aggrieved person, she is entitled to avail the remedies under the D.V. Act.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Criminal Appeal No. 511 of 2022

Prabha Tyagi Vs.  Kamlesh Devi

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

M.R. Shah and B.V. Nagarathna, JJ.

Author: B.V. Nagarathna, J.

Decided On: 12.05.2022

Citation: MANU/SC/0631/2022

Read full Judgment here: Click here

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