The Bombay High Court has ruled that a woman possesses the right to reside in her matrimonial home or shared home under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, whether she has any right to title or interest in the household.
A writ petition was filed by a 38 year old woman against an order of the Family Court vacating a previous order of maintaining status quo about a flat in Mulund, Mumbai. The husband had filed for a decree of nullity which was opposed by her and she filed a statement depicting the torture inflicted on her by her in-laws. The petitioner also alleged that she had been forced back to her paternal house and she could not gain access to her matrimonial home. The family Court later restrained her in laws from dispossessing her from her matrimonial home.
The husband filed an application seeking vacation of the previous status quo on grounds of the petitioner’s second marriage and that the house belonged to the husband’s father which gave the petitioner no title to the said property.
Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi was hearing the writ petition and the Court held that-
‘This Act seeks to provide for the rights of women to secure housing. It also provides for the right of a woman to reside in her matrimonial home or shared household, whether or not she has any title or rights in such home or household. This right is secured by a residence order, which is passed by the Magistrate’