FAQs on Shared Household
I had written an article previously on the differentiation on domestic relationship, shared household and matrimonial home. The term matrimonial home finds no mention in the act. Still there are many queries about ‘Right of Residence’, which is covered under Section 19, as the number of cases of domestic violence has taken over 498A and loss of residence is the biggest threat a man and his family faces.
Here in this article, I have tried to discuss only provision of Right to Reside in the shared household, whereby, I answer questions of queries which has been asked repeatedly in weekly meetings and otherwise. Firstly, what the law defines as Right to reside in shared household as per Section 17 of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
- Right to reside in a shared household.—
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, every woman in a domestic relationship shall have the right to be settled in the shared household, whether or not she has any right, title or beneficial interest in the same.
(2) The aggrieved person shall not be remove or keep out from the shared household or any part of it by the respondent save according to our given procedure by law.
This section is talk about every woman who has been living in the shared household and shall not be evicted without following due course of law. A positive declaration was made it is open to the magistrate to restore her to the share household, if woman claiming residence must be one living in a shared household in domestic relationship which could be either blood relationship or relationship through marriage, adoption or foster relationship. However, the judicial interpretations have limited the scope of shared household for married women to the house belonging to her husband, whether self purchased or through inheritance, whether completely or by way of it being joint family property or it must have been taken on rent by her husband.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Query: What is the meaning of shared household?
Answer: A shared household is one where a woman involved in domestic violence resides is called shared household. The term would mean that the aggrieved woman was residing in the household and was sharing a part or complete house as well as the household goods. This right is a continuous right and covers only for people who has been residing in shared household, meaning thereby that the relationships of the past can not be covered under this act. S.R. BATRA vs. TARUNA BATRA case has been a landmark case in marital disputes it has categorically said that ‘shared household would mean only the house belonging to or taken on rent by the husband or the house which belongs to the joint family of which husband is a member.’
Query: Is it necessary for a woman before she filed a complaint, she should be residing in the shared household?
Answer: Yes. unless woman is residing member of the share household, woman do not have right to file a complaint under this act. In the 2017 case of Manmohan Attavar v. Neelam Manmohan Attavar, SC opined that to issue an order under Domestic Violence Act permitting a party to occupy a household, it is necessary that the parties have lived in a domestic relationship in the household.
Query: Can a woman who was long ago evicted from shared household seek reliefs under this Act?
Answer: Yes and No. It does not apply to evictions of woman prior to the act unless such act is a part of the continuing act of domestic violence and the said husband has some interest in that shared household by way of ownership, tenancy, inheritance or joint family property.
Query: Can a wife living separately and getting maintenance from her husband make an application under this act for an restraining order her husband from connecting her to part with properties she has in her husband’s favour?
Answer: Yes. As long as the properties are vested with the husband she can seek restraining order. However, if the husband has already parted with the properties, such restraining order can not be issued against a third party.
Query: Can a wife who is already parted with all her properties in favour of her husband file an application for restoration to her of such properties alleging continuing acts of domestic violence?
Answer: There is no provision in the Act whereby the Magistrate can restore properties already transferred by wife. He can grant any other reliefs against the acts of continuing domestic violence including attempts at her eviction from the shared household.
Query: The shared household belongs to a person other than the aggrieved woman and the respondent. Can the Magistrate issue protection order restraining the respondent from driving an aggrieved woman from such shared household?
Answer: Yes, even though the shared household belongs to a stranger. The respondent cannot evict the aggrieved woman from the shared household. However this eviction can still be done by availing remedy in accordance with the procedure established by law. Such restrain is only against forcibly eviction of the aggrieved woman.
I have tried to address the most common queries on shared household; if you have any other query, please ask in comment section or send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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