SC Rules Married Woman Has Right To Live At In-Laws’ Home, Even If Estranged

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New Delhi: In a significant verdict, the Supreme Court has ruled that a woman has the right to live at the family home of her husband, even if she is estranged from him, under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

The apex court was of the view that relief given by a criminal court, granting right to residence to a married woman — which is guaranteed under the domestic violence law — can be considered even when a civil case has been filed against her seeking her eviction from the matrimonial home.

A Delhi resident had filed an appeal to the Supreme Court against a High Court judgment which ruled that his daughter-in-law had a right to live at her in-laws’ house even at a time when the married couple was going through divorce proceedings.

Progress of any society depends on its ability to protect and promote rights of its women, argued the Court. “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,” said the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah.

They set aside interpretation an earlier judgment about the definition of ‘shared household’ under the Act, and contended that the definition was quite exhaustive and intended to provide the residence to the women.

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