The Supreme Court agreed to examine if a wife can claim residential rights on her husband’s house where she has been living after her marriage. The court will examine if a woman, deserted by her husband can claim residential rights on her in-laws-home.

Key Takeaways:

  • A petition was filed by Shabnam Ahmed, who claimed that her husband went to the US 15 years back and never returned.
  • She was divorced by her husband through phone after he pronounced Triple Talaq and was then thrown out by her in-laws along with her daughter.
  • The petitioner was bound to take legal action after 2013 when her parents died and she had no place to reside. 
  • She decided to directly file a plea in SC after a trial court rejected her application on the basis of a judgment passed by SC in 2007.

The petitioner told the court that after her in-laws abandoned her, she was forced to live hand to mouth as she had no one to support her financially.

Residential Right Under The Protection From Domestic Violence Act

A bench comprising of Justices NV Ramana, MM Shantanagoudar and Ajay Rastogi issued a notice to the centre, asking if the residential rights can be given to the women under the Protection from Domestic Violence Act. This took place after a Muslim woman filed a plea and alleged that her husband had deserted her in 2004 and her in-laws threw her out of the house.

The petition was filed by Shabnam Ahmed, who claimed that her husband went to US 15 years back and never returned. Then in 2007, her husband divorced her by pronouncing Triple Talaq over the phone and post this, her in-laws threw her out of the house along with her daughter. Her other two children are still living with her in-laws. Against this, she had approached the trial court, which rejected her plea in 2018. Then she decided to directly appeal in the Supreme Court.

Over the fact of her directly filing a plea in the Supreme Court, her lawyers told the bench that the trial court had rejected her plea on the basis of an SC Judgment in 2007. The lawyers hence asked the court to reconsider the judgment as its interpretations are affecting the rights of women in various disputes. In 2007, the Supreme Court had ruled that the wife is not entitled to seek residential rights if the house belongs to her in-laws.

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Forced To Live Hand To Mouth

The petitioner told the court that after her in-laws abandoned her; she was forced to live hand to mouth as she had no one to support her financially. She used to live sometimes with her friends, including the lawyer, as her parents were no more. She was hence bound to take legal action after 2013 when her parents died.

In January 2019, the Supreme Court had ruled that a wife is entitled to residence order only if she establishes that domestic violence has taken place.

In January 2019, the Supreme Court had ruled that a wife is entitled to residence order only if she establishes that domestic violence has taken place. “Unless it is satisfactorily established that domestic violence has taken place, neither any protection order under Section 18 nor any residence order under section 20 nor any compensation order under Section 22 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, should be passed.” Calcutta HC ruled.

Definition Of Shared Household

Protection from Domestic Violence Act grants a woman to reside in a shared household. Shared Household is a place where the woman has been living with her husband in a domestic relationship. She may not be living in the shared household at the time of application for relief, but such women are entitled to relief under the Domestic Violence act, as long as the Domestic Relationship persists.

Picture Credit:  Th.Thgim.com

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