INDIA : Women have right to stay at in-laws’ house: Supreme Court

New Delhi: Women who are sometimes compelled out of their in-laws' house due to domestic disputes can now claim the right of residence in the “shared household” even if the house is owned by their in-laws.

In a judgment that would bring respite to many victims of domestic violence, a 3-judge bench composition of the Supreme Court on Thursday held that “shared household”, under the protection of women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, can also be a house owned by the joint family or any relative of the husband, provided that the woman has lived in that house after her marriage as a long-term resident “in a domestic relationship."

This judgment would come as a big relief to women who are compelled or thrown out of the matrimonial home and denied relief on grounds that the house is the sole property of their father-in-law or mother-in-law.

The bench, in its 150-page verdict, observed that “domestic violence in this country is rampant and several women encounter violence in some form or the other almost every day, however, it is the least reported form of cruel behaviour.”

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