Right to residence in matrimonial home includes right to safe, healthy living: Delhi High Court

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The Delhi High Court last month observed that the right to residence in a matrimonial home under the provisions of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act also includes the right to safe and healthy living [Niharika Ghosh v Shankar Ghosh].

The observation was made by Justice Tushar Rao Gedela while hearing a matrimonial dispute.

“It goes without saying that the right to residence in a matrimonial home, under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, also would subsume within itself, the definition of “right to safe and healthy living” too. Hence, requiring interference by this Court,” the Court said.

The trial court while disposing of the woman’s application for interim relief, had observed that there was no prima facie case of harassment and torture made out against her husband and in-laws.

The wife submitted that the trial court had overlooked the fact that her husband and in-laws had been feeding street dogs in the shared household in violation of her fundamental rights as their presence in the house would ultimately cause a number of diseases and nuisance to her.

Considering the trial court’s order, Justice Gedela opined that the first appellate court ought to have considered balancing equities between the parties especially keeping in view their relationship.

“Issue notice. Upon petitioner taking steps within a week, notice may be served through all permissible modes. Additionally, through learned counsel appearing for the respondents before the learned Trial Court. Reply, if any, be filed within four weeks. Rejoinder thereto, if any, be filed within four weeks thereafter,” the court thus ordered.

The matter will be now be heard next on May 22.

The petitioner-wife was represented by Advocate Om Prakash Gulabani.

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