Mother-in-Law’s house does not become ‘shared household’ only because applicant- wife shared that house with her Husband earlier

Hon’ble Supreme Court in S.R.Batra and Another V. Smt.Taruna Batra (AIR 2007 Supreme Court 1118 and 1119), wherein, it is held that the Mother-in-Law’s house does not become ‘shared household’ only because the applicant- wife had shared that house with her Husband earlier. Moreover, it is also observed in the said decision that “for that it has to be a house owned or taken on rent by Husband or a house which belongs to joint family of which Husband is a member’. In addition to this, the Learned counsel for the Petitioners relied on para 28 of the aforesaid Supreme Court’s decision at page 1121, wherein, it is held as under:

“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’.

Madras High  Court in Sameer Vyas V. State (2010)2 MLJ Crl. 254 at 255, wherein, it is held that “no claim for “shared household” can be made in respect of property of which neither the Petitioner husband nor the respondent wife at a right of tenancy.”

In Neetu Mittal V. Kanta Mittal and Others (AIR 2009 DELHI 72 and 73), wherein, it is interalia held that “Daughter-in-Law cannot claim right to live in house of parents of husband against their consent and wishes”.

A combined reading of Sections 17 and 19 would show that it is only when a protection order under Section 17 read with clauses (a), (b), c, (d) and (e) of Sub Section (1) of Section 19 is claimed, that the property in respect of which it is claimed, should fall within the definition of the expression “shared household” under Section 2(s). To put it in simple terms, if an aggrieved woman seeks either a protection order to enable her to continue to reside in the shared household, then the property which forms the subject matter of the claim, should be a “shared household”, within the meaning of the Act.

But the wife has right in the Joint family property where the husband has a share.


Categories: CIVIL