A court in New Delhi dismissed the appeal of a man against the residential right of his daughter -in-law in his house after her husband's death, saying the woman and her children cannot be left without a roof on their head.
The court, however, did not decide the aspect of whether a daughter-in-law can claim a right of residence in the house belonging to her fatherinlaw, leaving it for trial in the domestic violence case.
"It needs little emphasis that the rival contentions of the parties are the matter of trial which may take time. Till the decision of the case, the respondent (woman) and her children cannot be left without a roof on their head," Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg said.
The sessions court upheld the 2014 order of a magisterial court in the domestic violence case in which the woman had alleged that soon after her husband's death, she was ousted from her matrimonial house along with her two children by the father-in-law due to repeated fights.
The trial court had also ordered that as an alternative, the accused will have to pay Rs 3,000 per month as rent expense to the widowed woman.
"Considering the admitted position that the woman was residing in the premises during the life time of her husband, the trial court rightly directed the appellant to restore the possession of the portion of the premises which was earlier in her occupation.
"The quantum of rent granted by the trial court as an alternative relief also appears to be just and reasonable. I find no illegality in the impugned order. The appeal is accordingly dismissed," the sessions judge said.
In his appeal, the father-in-law, a Southwest Delhi resident, had contended that his daughter-in-law did not have legal right to reside in his house after the death of his son.
The man had also referred to earlier Delhi High Court judgements in which it was observed that a wife can assert her rights only against the property of her husband and cannot claim a right to live in the self acquired house of her husband's parents against their wishes.