The Delhi High Court has said that a daughter-in-law does not have an indefeasible right of residence in a shared household under the Domestic Violence Act and she can be evicted at the behest of aged in-laws who are entitled to live peacefully.
Justice Yogesh Khanna, who was dealing with an appeal by a daughter-in-law against a trial court order denying her the right to stay in the matrimonial house, stated that in the case of a shared household, there is no embargo upon the owner of the property to claim eviction of his daughter-in-law and in the present case, it would be appropriate if an alternative accommodation is provided to the appellant till her marriage continues.
The judge said that in the present case, both the in-laws are senior citizens who are entitled to live peacefully and not to be haunted by the marital discord between their son and daughter-in-law.
“I am of the considered opinion, since there exists a frictional relationship between the parties, then at the fag end of their lives it would not be advisable for old parents to stay with appellant and hence it would be appropriate if an alternative accommodation is provided to the appellant as is directed in the impugned order per Section 19(1)(f) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,” said the court in a recent order.
The court noted that the relations between the parties were “far from cordial” and there was even a complaint by the husband, who lived in separate rental accommodation, against his wife and he has not claimed any right in the subject property.
“Admittedly, the right of residence under Section 19 of the DV Act is not an indefeasible right of residence in shared household, especially, when the daughter-in-law is pitted against aged father-in-law and mother-in-law. In this case, both being senior citizens of aged about 74 and 69 years and being in the evening of their life, are entitled to live peacefully and not to be haunted by the marital discord between their son and daughter-in-law,” the court said.
The court dismissed the appeal by the appellant and recorded the undertaking of the respondent father-in-law that he would provide alternative accommodation to the appellant till her matrimonial relationship with his son is in existence.
The respondent father-in-law had filed a suit for possession in 2016 before the trial court on the grounds that he was the absolute owner of the property and the husband of appellant – his son had shifted to some other place and that he was not inclined to live with his daughter-in-law.
The appellant, mother to two minor daughters, had contended that the property was purchased out of joint family funds and from sale proceeds of the ancestral property and thus she also has a right to reside there.
The trial court had passed a decree of possession in favour of the respondent and held that the property was a self-acquired property of the respondent and after the termination of the license of appellant, she has no right to stay there.