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‘Woman can’t claim right over in-laws’ property’

A woman has a right over her husband’s property, but she can’t claim a right to live in her parents-in-law’s house, a Delhi court has said.

Delhi High CourtThe court made the observation while dismissing an appeal of a woman, a doctor in a government hospital here, seeking right of residence in her mother-in-law’s house, in which her husband does not have any share. “If it is anybody against whom or against whose property she can assert her rights, it is the husband, but under no circumstances can she thrust herself on her husband’s parents or claim a right to live in their house against their consult and wishes,” said Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau.

The court said the appellant was a working woman, and being a doctor, could maintain herself. “Keeping in view the problems and disputes, allowing the woman to stay in her parents-in-law’s house against their wishes would only aggravate the existing domestic problems and create numerous hassles for these senior citizens, which this court will not permit,” said the judge.

The court also said even if the woman was permitted by her parents-in-law to live in their house, it does not create any legal right, violation of which would be actionable.

 On the contrary, under no circumstances can the parents be made to suffer the burdens of their sons and their estranged daughters-in-law, it added.

The court’s observations came while dealing with the appeal of the woman who had contended that her mother-in-law had abused and misused the process of law by making false submissions.

She challenged a trial court’s order saying it did not appreciate the fact that her mother-in-law had, in connivance with her husband, dispossessed her from shared household accommodation in Pitampura.

She had sought to set aside the trial court’s order dismissing her plea seeking right to residence in the house owned by her mother-in-law.

The sessions court noted that the woman’s husband was working and residing separately in Chandigarh for the past several years.

The court said the matrimonial house of the woman under the given circumstances was the place where her husband was working and residing and not where she chose to reside of her free will.

“By application of the logic and ratio of the apex court to the facts of this case, I hereby hold that the woman is only entitled to claim the right of residence in a shared household,” said the judge.


*Deccan Herald

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