A single judge of Bombay High Court held as follows,
From Para 12,
12. The issue presented for consideration is whether the Petitioner who is the married sister in law of the aggrieved person and admittedly residing in her own matrimonial house can be stated to be in a domestic relationship within the meaning of Section 2 (f) of the D.V. Act particularly when the marriage of the Petitioner has taken place prior to the marriage of the Respondent No.1. While deciding the above issue the incidental issue to be decided is whether the allegation in the application that the Petitioner used to spend her whole day in the shared household is sufficient to constitute domestic relationship between the aggrieved person and the Petitioner.
13. The relationship between the parties interse is not disputed neither the factum of the Petitioner’s marriage being solemnised prior to the marriage of the Respondent No 1. The separate residence of the Petitioner at her matrimonial house is also borne out from the address of the Petitioner given in the domestic violence application which is different from the address of the shared household.
From Para 16,
16. The facts of the instant case makes it evident that the Petitioner and the Respondent No 1 never resided together in the shared household i.e. the matrimonial house of the Respondent No.1 at “Siddesh Jyoti Tower”. To salvage the situation, given the above noted admitted position, Mr. Desai would contend that the decision of Apex Court in Prabha Tyagi (supra) as well as the decision in Rashmi Mehrotra (supra) has held that it was not mandatory for the aggrieved person to have actually resided with those persons against whom the allegations have been levelled. I am unable to subscribe to the reading of the decision of the Apex Court as desired by Mr.Desai. The decision in the case of Prabha Tyagi (supra) is being read by Mr. Desai dehors the facts of that case which are completely distinguishable.
From Para 20,
20. The law laid down by the Apex Court in Prabha Tyagi (supra) will not assist the case of Respondent No 1 as the Petitioner is the married sister-in-law residing in her own matrimonial house and it cannot be said that the right of the aggrieved person to reside in the shared household would constitute a subsisting domestic relationship with the Petitioner. It would have been a different matter if the Petitioner was unmarried and was residing in the shared household in which case considering the right to reside conferred by Section 17(1) of the D.V. Act, the aggrieved person could have been said to be in subsisting domestic relationship with the Petitioner even if the parties had never resided together in the shared household. It is the right of the aggrieved person to reside in the shared household which constitutes domestic relationship between the aggrieved person and persons residing in the shared household. However, such are not the facts in the instant case as Petitioner is residing separately in her matrimonial house.
From Para 23,
23. Now coming to the pleadings in the application, it is pleaded by the Respondent No 1 that the Petitioner was spending her whole day in the shared household. The said pleading finds place in the paragraph describing the interse relationship between the aggrieved person and the Respondents. The other pleading is that the Petitioner everyday used to come to the shared household at 2:00 p.m. and leave at around 8:00 p.m. The marriage of the Respondent No.1 was solemnized on 20th November, 2021 and has claimed to be dispossessed on 30th January, 2022. The pleadings
as regards the visits of the Petitioner do not indicate an element ofpermanency sufficient enough to constitute domestic relationship even if it is accepted that the Petitioner was spending her entireday in the shared household.
Finally, from Para 27,
Kinjal Jayesh Mehta Vs Disha Jimit Sanghvi and Anr on 14 Feb 2024
27. In view of the discussion above, in my view, there was no subsisting domestic relationship between the Petitioner and the Respondent No 1 and the Petitioner could not have been arrayed as Respondent in the D.V. application. The mere visits of the Petitioner to the shared household being devoid of any permanency is not sufficient and adequate to constitute residence in shared household. Even otherwise considering the pleadings in the applications read with the reliefs, there is no case of domestic violence made out qua the Petitioner.
Index of DV cases is here.