The Gujarat High Court ruled that the Senior Citizens Act will not override the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
The petitioner is the father-in-law of the respondent and the father of the other respondent. The marriage of the respondents was solemnized in 2017. It was the second marriage of both the respondents after their divorce from the previous marriage. From their previous marriage, the respondent was having a daughter namely Kashvi, whereas, the other respondent was having a son. After the marriage, the respondents started living in the suit property, however, the respondent returned to the USA and on the very same day, the daughter-in-law also left the suit property, so as to reside at her own flat. The daughter-in-law never resided along with the petitioner in the absence of the respondent and never cared for them. Even during the visit of the respondent to India, they used to reside at the flat owned by the daughter-in-law at Vejalpur, Ahmedabad.
The petitioner heavily contended that in the case on hand, it is the respondent wife who came to the house of the petitioner and thereafter, registered the FIR. Not only that, the respondent wife went to the extent that the petitioner could not live his life peacefully.
He argued that even otherwise, none of the respondents has invested a single penny in the suit property and the petitioner senior citizen has paid Rs.12 lakh for the same.
Advocate Vishal Thakkar for the respondent wife original plaintiff, while opposing the present petition, contended that it may be true that the flat owned by the respondent wife is given on rent, however, the same does not, in itself debar the respondent wife from staying in her matrimonial home, besides, it is also a fact that the respondent wife would have no other means to live if the order impugned would be set aside.
The single judge bench of Justice A. C. Joshi noted that the issue, largely involved in the present petition, is with regard to the applicability of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 vis-a-vis the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and inter se overriding effect thereof.
The court held that the respondent wife, under the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, has the right to reside in a shared household and added that merely an offer being made to provide another suitable accommodation, cannot snatch away the legitimate right of the respondent wife of the shared household.
The court while dismissing the petition said that the Family Court has committed no error which requires interference.
Case title: Jagdeepbhai Chandulal Patel v/s Reshma Ruchin Patel d/o Shankarlal Hathiram Sanjhira
Citation: R/SPECIAL CIVIL APPLICATION NO. 11129 of 2021