HC: Property of parents-in-law not matrimonial home

December 24, 2016 01:24 am | Updated 01:24 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The right to residence is available to a woman against her husband and not against the parents-in-law in a property owned by them, the Delhi High Court has reiterated.

“The law is now well settled that a house which was owned by the mother-in-law or the father-in-law is not the matrimonial home, and the right of residence is available against the husband,” the court said.

Appeal against lower court order

In this case, a woman had come in appeal before the court against a lower court order while claiming that she has legal right to enter in the suit property in her capacity as daughter-in-law of the opposite party.

“...no substantial question of law arises inasmuch as the right to residence or entering the suit property sought to be enforced by the appellant herein is available to her against her husband,” the High Court said.

The lower courts had also held that plaintiff (daughter-in-law) had no right to enter and live in the house of defendant no.1 (father-in-law), who is the exclusive owner.

It was further held that the right of the wife to seek residence is available against her husband and it refused to exercise the discretion in favour of the appellant/wife observing that the parties had been residing separately since May, 2004 and various litigations are going on including criminal proceedings under sections 498A & 406 of the IPC.

The High Court also did not find it a fit case to grant the discretionary relief of permanent injunction holding that the plaintiff had no right to enter and live in the house of father-in-law who is the exclusive owner.

It noted: “Admittedly the parties are litigating for more than a decade. Since May, 2004 the appellant [daughter-in-law] had not resided in the suit property. In such circumstances, both the Courts below have rightly exercised their judicial discretion by declining to pass a decree of permanent injunction in favour of the appellant/plaintiff”.

In this case, the daughter-in-law has filed suit for right of residence against her parents-in-law while they had filed a suit for restraining her and her family for a decree of permanent injunction restraining the them from forcibly entering or trespassing in their house in village Naraina or their shops.

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