On 18 December the Delhi HC held that a woman fighting a Domestic Violence case cannot be evicted from the shared household, which she has been sharing with her husband and her in-laws, even if the property belongs to the in-laws, till the time she is provided with alternative accommodation.
The bench headed by Justice Rekha Palli had set aside the eviction decrees of six women which were passed by the trial courts when they had a “residence order” in their favor under the Domestic Violence (DV) Act. The court observed that a civil court has no authority to render a woman without a roof as long as she continues to be in a matrimonial relationship.
Justice Palli asserted that beyond the ownership of the house, the victim has the right to stay until the relationship continues.
“Irrespective of the ownership of the premises, the aggrieved person would retain the right to reside therein as long as she can prove that she endured domestic violence while being in a domestic relationship with the owner of such premises,” the court noted.
The court further stated that “Merely because the rights accrued to an aggrieved person under the Domestic Violence (DV) Act are like special protection, & not proprietary, the trial court wasn’t justified in passing a decree which, in effect, whittles away that protection.”