Friday, November 4, 2016

No handing over of suit property under DV laws: HC

Gujarat high court held that a property owned by a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) and any suit property cannot be straightaway given to an aggrieved woman complainant under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

With this observation, the HC quashed a lower court's direction to a family to hand over a shop to the daughter-in-law after her husband's death.

In this case, after the death of her husband in 2013, Parul Bambhania moved a magisterial court in Bhavnagar complaining about domestic violence and at the same time demanding her rights under DV laws from her in-laws. The magisterial court rejected her application in 2015. Before her husband's death, she was living with her two children in a separate house.

However, a sessions court entertained her petition in February this year and ordered Parul's brother-in-law Jitendra Bambhania and sisters-in-law Anita and Divya to allow her to continue her accommodation in the house and not to disturb her. But this court also asked the in-laws to hand over possession of a shop to Parul and ordered the cops to ensure that the complainant took possession in a peaceful manner.

When the issue came before the HC, it noticed that there was a civil dispute about the ownership of the properties. Hence, their possession cannot be straightaway given to the widow under DV laws. The HC also refrained from making any comment about suit properties due to the pendency of civil litigation.

After hearing the case, the HC permitted the widow to continue possession of the house where she had been living with her husband till 2013 and asked the in-laws not to disturb her. But the high court quashed the order of handing over possession of the shop to her.

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