Supreme Court has overruled SR Batra landmark case law here and held as following:
From Para 64,
64. In paragraph 29 of the judgment, this Court in S.R. Batra Vs. Taruna Batra (supra) held that wife is only entitled to claim a right to residence in a shared household and a shared household would only mean the house belonging to or taken on rent by the husband, or the house which belongs to the joint family of which the husband is a member. The definition of shared household as noticed in Section 2(s) does not indicate that a shared household shall be one which belongs to or taken on rent by the husband. We have noticed the definition of “respondent” under the Act. The respondent in a proceeding under Domestic Violence Act can be any relative of the husband. In event, the shared household belongs to any relative of the husband with whom in a domestic relationship the woman has lived, the conditions mentioned in Section 2(s) are satisfied and the said house will become a shared household. We are of the view that this court in S.R. Batra Vs. Taruna Batra (supra) although noticed the definition of shared household as given in Section 2(s) but did not advert to different parts of the definition which makes it clear that for a shared household there is no such requirement that the house may be owned singly or jointly by the husband or taken on rent by the husband. The observation of this Court in S.R. Batra Vs. Taruna Batra (supra) that definition of shared household in Section 2(s) is not very happily worded and it has to be interpreted, which is sensible and does not lead to chaos in the society also does not commend us. The definition of shared household is clear and exhaustive definition as observed by us. The object and purpose of the Act was to grant a right to aggrieved person, a woman of residence in shared household. The interpretation which is put by this Court in S.R. Batra Vs. Taruna Batra (supra) if accepted shall clearly frustrate the object and purpose of the Act. We, thus, are of the opinion that the interpretation of definition of shared household as put by this Court in S.R. Batra Vs. Taruna Batra (supra) is not correct interpretation and the said judgment does not lay down the correct law.
And from para 106,
106. The right is to be implemented by an order under Section 19, on an application filed under sub-section (1) of Section 12. Sub-section (2) of Section 17, however, contains an exception in the right granted by sub-section (2), i.e., “save in accordance with the procedure established by law”. Sub-section (2) of Section 17, thus, contemplates that aggrieved person can be evicted or excluded from the shared household in accordance with the procedure established by law. What is the meaning and extent of expression “save in accordance with the procedure established by law” is a question which has come up for consideration in this appeal. Whether the suit filed by the plaintiff for mandatory and permanent injunction against the defendant in the Civil Court is covered by the expression “save in accordance with the procedure established by law”. We may further notice that the learned Magistrate while passing the interim order on 26.11.2016 in favour of the defendant on her application filed under Section 12 has directed that “the respondent shall not alienate the alleged shared household nor would they dispossess the complainant or their children from the same without orders of a Competent Court”. The Magistrate, thus, has provided that without the orders of Competent Court the applicant (respondent herein) should not be dispossessed. In the present case, interim order specifically contemplates that it is only by the order of the Competent Court respondent shall be dispossessed.
Note: Even though this may seem Topsy-turvy case law (Since it held SR Batra not correct law), not much is lost. Just arrange for alternate accommodation and make use of reliefs made available at reliefs from judiciary page and get the case closed in 2-3 months.
Satish Chander Ahuja Vs Sneha Ahuja on 15 Oct 2020
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