• Does wife has legal rights to stay at her husband's house until divorce is granted?

My daughter's divorse case is in the lower court since last 5 years. She had been thrown away by her in-laws and her husband is abroad and he cancelled her visa and sent away her things. we had tried for settling the issue with a smooth discussion, but her in-laws are refusing to talk to us and not even allowing us inside their house for any discussion. We don't know where my son-in-law is currently staying abroad. we just know the country and city, but not the exact address where he stays or works. She is my only daughter and am worried on her safety and security after us.

Whatever happens in the lower court and high court, we have decided to go till supreme court for this case.

Is there anyway in law to make my daughter stay at her in-laws house in India till divorce judgement is granted in the supreme court? OR
Is there anyway she can legally ask for a portion of the house for her stay? As her in-laws has 2 own houses constructed by them and rented out 5 portions totally. For constructing one of the houses, my daughter and son-in-law have given almost 30 lakhs of money, which her in-laws have not given back either to my son-in-law or to my daughter.

NOTE: We are Hindus and marriage happened in India and has been registered.
Asked 4 years ago in Property Law
Religion: Hindu

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14 Answers

Sir the wife can seek maintenance and residence from husband if her parents house was her materimonial home she can file an application under DV act to.seek residence rights

If she has proof of amount given she can file declaration suit over the property asking for share.in property

Shubham Jhajharia
Advocate, Ahmedabad
25516 Answers
179 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Hello,

1) Your daughter has the right for residence in her matrimonial home. The catch is that your son in law must also have some share in the said property. If the house I wholly owned by the in law's your daughter may not succeed in getting an order of the court in her favour.

2) If you have proof of contribution by your daughter, she can demand the refund or go in and start staying in the said flat.

3) One needs to know the actual status of the case in the lower court to suggest what step needs to be taken to expedite the case for an early order.

S J Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
3387 Answers
175 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Legally a wife can stay with her husband or at his place of residence even if a petition for divorce has been filed by her against him or by him against her

Mohammed Mujeeb
Advocate, Hyderabad
19031 Answers
32 Consultations

4.5 on 5.0

1) your daughter has no right to stay in house standing in in laws home

2) she has no right to stay in portion of house

3) if your daughter or son in law has paid any money for purchase of house she can claim right to stay in matrimonial home

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
87976 Answers
6207 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. For divorce, a "physical separation" is compulsory. Hence if the daughter stays in same house the "physical separation" is not possible.

2. IF the Title-Ownership is registered in name of In-Laws, THEN the Son or his Wife, have no legal right to demand to stay in the in-law's house.

3. IF you know the Country and City of the Son-In-Law, THEN file complaint application before the consulate of the Country to locate the Son-in-law. This can be done positively.

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal

Hemant Agarwal
Advocate, Mumbai
5612 Answers
25 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Dear Sir,

Yes, there is a provision under Domestic Violence Act according to which the daughter in law is legally entitled to reside in her matrimonial house till cases are finalized.

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DV Shared household under DV Act clarified in 2006 SC judgment

Domestic Violence or DV Act (Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act), 2005 was passed by parliament in Aug 2005 and came into force on 26 Oct 2006. The act comes into force when it is notified in a gazette etc, not just when it is passed by parliament.

This old SC judgment of S R Batra vs Taruna Batra case below about what constitutes rights of a wife to live in husband/in-laws house is from Dec 2006 which is just 2 months after DV act came into force. But this judgment is very important since even today there is lot of misunderstanding about rights of a woman on her husband/in-laws house/property. This is especially true of North India or Delhi/NCR region where asking for property/house/plot as a ‘settlement’ in marital dispute is a time-tested strategy being followed. What’s even more surprising is when I get calls about clueless husbands who are unaware of the various laws about Benami transaction, transfer of property act etc and have basically given up on playing the game before it even started. It’s about time that men need to wake up and read a bit about law, or else be willing to lose your (or parents’) hard-earned property in ‘compromise’ or ‘settlement’ because you chose not to read about the law yourselves and instead kept flitting from one advocate to another to give your a ‘solution’ to your matrimonial problem! There are some things a man should fix himself, and his relationship problems are one of them. (Inspired from one of those Tremors movie series dialogues – the actual dialog was that a man should learn to shoot himself and not depend on a hired gun).

Important part of the judgment follows:

Learned counsel for the respondent Smt. Taruna Batgra stated that the definition of shared household includes a household where the person aggrieved lives or at any stage had lived in a domestic relationship. He contended that since admittedly the respondent had lived in the property in question in the past, hence the said property is her shared household.

We cannot agree with this submission.

If the aforesaid submission is accepted, then it will mean that wherever the husband and wife lived together in the past that property becomes a shared household. It is quite possible that the husband and wife may have lived together in dozens of places e.g. with the husband’s father, husband’s paternal grand parents, his maternal parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces etc. If the interpretation canvassed by the learned counsel for the respondent is accepted, all these houses of the husband’s relatives will be shared households and the wife can well insist in living in the all these houses of her husband’s relatives merely because she had stayed with her husband for some time in those houses in the past. Such a view would lead to chaos and would be absurd.

Learned counsel for the respondent Smt Taruna Batra has relied upon Section 19(1)(f) of the Act and claimed that she should be given an alternative accommodation. In our opinion, the claim for alternative accommodation can only be made against the husband and not against the husband’s in-laws or other relatives.

As regards Section 17(1) of the Act, in our opinion 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 property in question in the present case neither belongs to Amit Batra nor was it taken on rent by him nor is it a joint family property of which the husband Amit Batra is a member. It is the exclusive property of appellant No. 2, mother of Amit Batra. Hence it cannot be called a `shared household’.

No doubt, the definition of `shared household’ in Section 2(s) of the Act is not very happily worded, and appears to be the result of clumsy drafting, but we have to give it an interpretation which is sensible and which does not lead to chaos in society.

Full judgment text below

S.R. Batra And Anr vs Smt. Taruna Batra on 15 December, 2006

Author: M Katju

Bench: S.B. Sinha, Markandey Katju

CASE NO.:

Appeal (civil) 5837 of 2006

PETITIONER:

Kishan Dutt Kalaskar
Advocate, Bangalore
6050 Answers
381 Consultations

4.8 on 5.0

1. yes, Wife has right of residence in the property of husband but the same will have to be owned or taken on rent by her husband. Wife has no right of residence in the property owned by her in laws.

2. S she can exercise her such rights by filing a case under PWDV Act wherein the court gives direction to husband either to let her in or to make arrangement for alternative arrangements.

3. So take help of an advocate and do the needful as advised above.

Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
22515 Answers
402 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. Yes there is law. You daughter can claim a suit of injunction and may claim residential rights in the home.

2. She can not ask for a portion

3. Who has filed the case of divorce?

Regards

She can file a case of maintenance also against the husband under section 125 of the cr.p.c. to claim maintenance.

Regards

Anilesh Tewari
Advocate, New Delhi
17940 Answers
377 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Firslty, as per the information mentioned in the present query, makes it clear that your daughter has been going through a very intensead difficult situation.

Secondly, you can file a case for domestic violence against them which would give your daughter a right to be there.

Thirdly, but, as divorce proceedings are going on, I may suggest you to go for a writ for protection and right to live there as per article 226 of our Constitution of India before the High Court of India.

Sanjay Baniwal
Advocate, South Delhi
5464 Answers
13 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. Wife's right to reside in her matrimonial home is not only legally recognized but also made statutorily enforceable. During the subsistence of marriage a wife has the right to reside in her matrimonial home. If she is denied this right then she can file a complaint case under Section 12 of DV Act to enforce her right to residence.

2. If, however, the husband does not himself reside in the house of in-laws of a girl then she has no right to even enter the house of her in-laws as it is not a shared household of her husband.

Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
30761 Answers
971 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

A woman and her child have every right to reside in the household she shared with her husband after the marriage, till the disposal of any matrimonial dispute between them.

Your daughter is entitled to get residence order under section 19 of the Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence Act (DV Act)

Vibhanshu Srivastava
Advocate, New Delhi
9427 Answers
245 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Yes she can have the residence rights as per domestic voilence Act. But if she harrasses any of member you can approach Court and get her evicted

Prashant Nayak
Advocate, Mumbai
27291 Answers
88 Consultations

4.4 on 5.0

The only way you can force her in-laws to induct her into the house in question is through the Domestic Violence Act by alleging that she is and has been a victim of domestic violence, which includes among other things the denial of access to the shared matrimonial home. Here is what is needed:

1. Your husband and son must have lived in the home in question at some point.

2. It should be owned or rented by her husband—and not owned exclusively by her in-laws as held by the Supreme Court judgement in S.R. Batra v. Smt. Taruna Batra.

(Note: There is a Dehli High Court judgement [213 (2014) DLT 614 (DB) Navneet Arora Vs. Surender Kaur & Ors.] that effectively runs counter to S.R. Batra but it may or may not be of much help as its a high court judgement).

As per you, your daughter monetarily contributed to the construction of one of the houses. If that is so, it needs to be seen as to how the money was paid and with what end in mind. At any rate, depending on the actual facts and circumstances (which are not before me), she may sue to recover the money advanced by her or file a complaint under the Dowry Prohibition Act alleging it to be an instance of dowry.

I hope I have been of help. Follow-up queries welcome.

Pulkit Chandna
Advocate, New Delhi
193 Answers
5 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

Yes, she can take an order for residential rights in her matrimonial home till she is his legally wedded wife.

Even if this house belongs to her in laws, if she had resided there earlier and if her husband has not provided an alternate accommodation she can very well approach seeking residential rights in her matrimonial home.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
78133 Answers
1543 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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