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Can't Oust Woman From Matrimonial Home On The Basis Of Summary Proceedings Under Senior Citizens Act: Allahabad HC

Sparsh Upadhyay
13 Nov 2021 7:25 AM GMT
Cant Oust Woman From Matrimonial Home On The Basis Of Summary Proceedings Under Senior Citizens Act: Allahabad HC
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The Allahabad High Court recently made it clear that the wife cannot be ousted from her matrimonial home on the basis of the summary proceedings under the Senior Citizens Act, 2007.With this, the Bench of Justice Vivek Chaudhary came to the aid of a widow by setting aside an eviction order passed against her and her son from her in-laws' house.Essentially, the Court referred to the December...

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The Allahabad High Court recently made it clear that the wife cannot be ousted from her matrimonial home on the basis of the summary proceedings under the Senior Citizens Act, 2007.

With this, the Bench of Justice Vivek Chaudhary came to the aid of a widow by setting aside an eviction order passed against her and her son from her in-laws' house.

Essentially, the Court referred to the December 2020 ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of S Vanitha vs. Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban District [Civil Appeal No. 3822 of 2020], to hold thus:

"Senior Citizens, Act, 2007 and PWDV Act, 2005 are to be read simultaneously and a wife cannot be ousted from her matrimonial home on the basis of the summary proceedings under the Senior Citizens Act, 2007"

Importantly, in the S. Vanitha case (Supra), the Supreme Court had held that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act has no overriding effect over the right of residence of a woman in a shared household within the meaning of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

Read Live Law's exclusive report here: Summary Eviction Procedure Under Senior Citizens Act Cannot Be Invoked To Defeat Right Of Residence Of Woman In A Shared Household As Per DV Act: Supreme Court

Case in brief

The petitioner before the Court, Khushboo Shukla, got married to one Gaurav Shukla in February 2013. They gave birth to a son in the year 2015. Initially, she and her husband used to live with her husband's parents, however, they started living separately on the ground floor of another house owned by the parent of the husband.

Unfortunately, in July 2019, the petitioner's husband expired, and thereafter, her in-laws started harassing her, including for dowry for which she filed several F.I.Rs.

She submitted before the Court that she also filed a complaint against them under Section 12 and 13 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDV Act, 2005), and when the said proceedings were going on, her in-laws sought her eviction from the house she was living in by filing a case under Rule 21 and 22 of the Senior Citizens Rules, 2014.

In their case, the impugned eviction order was passed by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sadar, Lucknow against the widow woman and her minor child.

Thereafter, she moved to the High Court wherein initially she was granted interim protection by the High Court, but since the same could not be extended, her belongings were thrown on the road and she was forcefully evicted from the house in September 2021. 

Court's observations

At the outset, the Court observed the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sadar, Lucknow had passed the order in violation of the law settled by the Supreme Court [as per S. Vanitha case (Supra)] by directing eviction of the petitioner under the provisions of Senior Citizens Act, 2007.

Regarding the arguments of the Private Respondents (in-laws) that the petitioner was damaging and interfering in their possession of the house, the Court observed thus:

"A categorical statement is given by the petitioner that she is neither interfering in lives or movements of the persons living above the ground floor nor any of them is a tenant of the petitioner or planted by her. There is nothing specifically stated by the private respondents as to how the petitioner is damaging the property. There is no finding given in the impugned order that the petitioner has occupied any of the floors other than the ground floor in an illegal manner or that she has obstructed the movements of any person of floors above the ground floor. There is no finding that the petitioner has caused any damage to the property in any manner whatsoever. In absence of any such finding, the impugned order could not have been passed."

Importantly, the Court stressed that there was nothing on record to suggest that the petitioner was causing any damage or interfering in any manner with the lives of the private respondents.

On the contrary, by their ousting they have been left roofless and to put great inconvenience, the Court noted.

Lastly, the Court ordered that the possession of the ground floor of the house be handed over to the petitioner. The Court also directed the private respondents to not disturb or interfere in any manner with the living of the petitioner and her son in the said property.

Case title - Smt. Khushboo Shukla v. District Magistrate, Lucknow & Ors.

Click Here To Read/Download Order/Judgment 

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