In a big win for married women who are mistreated or tortured at their in-laws’, the top court has observed that the wife would have the right to claim the “shared household” of the joint family under the Domestic Violence Act. A woman can stay in her husband’s family home even if she is estranged from him, the Supreme Court said today, overruling its earlier decision to the contrary. An estranged daughter-in-law cannot be evicted by her husband or family members and she has a right to stay there under the Domestic Violence Act, said the bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah.
Domestic violence in the country is rampant and every day some women encounter violence in some form or other, the court said. Under such circumstances, a woman resigns herself to the never-ending cycle of enduring violence and discrimination as a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a partner or a single woman in her lifetime. The judgment dismissed an appeal filed by one Satish Chander Ahuja challenging a Delhi High Court judgment of 2019, which ruled that his daughter-in-law Sneha Ahuja had the right of residence even though she was in the process of divorce from her husband Raveen Ahuja. Satish Ahuja had also appealed that his son had no share in the house as the property was his self-earned.