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[Domestic Violence] Woman has right to reside in shared household of deceased husband even if she did not live there before: Supreme Court

Pertinently, a bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna also held that a woman can enforce the right irrespective of whether she actually lived in the shared household before.

Even when the marital ties cease and there is no subsisting domestic relationship between the aggrieved woman and the respondent against whom relief is claimed but the acts of domestic violence are related to the period of domestic relationship, even in such circumstances, the aggrieved woman who was subjected to domestic violence has remedies under the DV Act“, the apex court held

The Court noted that under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, there should be a subsisting domestic relationship between the aggrieved person and the person against whom the relief is claimed vis-à-vis allegation of domestic violence is raised.

However, even in the absence of actual residence in the shared household, a woman, who was at some point of time, in a domestic relationship can enforce her right to reside there.

In other words, even if an aggrieved person is not in a domestic relationship with the respondent in a shared household at the time of filing of an application under Section 12 of the D.V. Act but has at any point of time lived so or had the right to live and has been subjected to domestic violence or is later subjected to domestic violence on account of the domestic relationship, is entitled to file an application under Section 12 of the D.V. Act“, the Court said in its judgment.

The judgment thus underscored that to determine a domestic relationship between the parties, courts should not only consider the subsisting relationships in present, but also past domestic relationships.

Source: Barandbench

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