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A shared household is a household belonging to a husband’s relative where the wife has lived in a domestic relationship: High Court of Delhi

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 respondent in a proceeding under Domestic Violence Act can be any relative of the husband. In event, the shared household belongs to any relative of the husband with whom in a domestic relationship the woman has lived, the conditions mentioned in Section 2(s) are satisfied and the said house will become a shared household. There is no such requirement that the house may be owned singly or jointly by the husband or taken on rent by the husband and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by Justice Yogesh Khanna in the case of RAVNEET KAUR vs. PRITHPAL SINGH DHINGRA [RFA 832/2018] on 24.02.2022.

The facts of the case are that the respondent claims to be an absolute and sole owner of the property vide a registered sale deed. He filed a suit for eviction against the defendant viz. his daughter-in-law. A decree of possession with damages equivalent to the market rent of the alleged illegal possession was passed against the appellant and also a decree of permanent injunction to restrain her from creating any third party right in such property.

It is the case of the appellant she being a legally wedded wife of respondent’s son has been residing with her two minor daughters in the property. This appeal is filed for setting aside the impugned judgment that the property was a self-acquired property of the respondent.

The appellant’s counsel submitted that the said property was purchased out of joint family funds and from sale proceeds of the ancestral property and after the death of S. Kesar Singh the subject property was purchased by the respondent from such ancestral funds, hence the suit property is a joint family property in which the appellant has also a right to reside.

In view of the facts and circumstances, the Court held that it would be appropriate if an alternative accommodation is provided to the appellant as per Section 19(1)(f) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

The Court observed, “The respondent in a proceeding under Domestic Violence Act can be any relative of the husband. In event, the shared household belongs to any relative of the husband with whom in a domestic relationship the woman has lived, the conditions mentioned in Section 2(s) are satisfied and the said house will become a shared household. There is no such requirement that the house may be owned singly or jointly by the husband or taken on rent by the husband.”

Click here to read the Judgment

Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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