“Eviction proceedings under Senior Citizens Act, 2007 cannot override the Right of Residence of a woman in a shared household as per the protection of women against Domestic Violence Act, 2005”
- On May 30, 2002, the appellant and the fourth respondent got married. The appellant’s husband had property in his name before the marriage. However, he later transferred it to his father via a sale deed a few years later.
- Following the emergence of a marital quarrel between the pair, the appellant’s husband initiated divorce proceedings against her.
- The appellant claims she was harassed for dowry and was even forced to file a partition suit against her father in 2003, which she later dropped after her hubby reportedly abandoned her to pursue a relationship with another lady.
- A residential house in Gangondonahalli, Dasanapura, Hobli, Bengaluru North Taluk, is the subject of the dispute. The appellant married the Fourth respondent on May 2, 2002, just a few months after he bought the estate.
- Her father, according to the appellant, financed a portion of the transaction. On October 5, 2006, the fourth respondent sold the land to his father, the third respondent. The father and son sold the property for the same price of Rs.1.19 lacs that the Fourth Respondent paid for the property when it was first purchased in 2002.
- The appellant and the Fourth respondent had a daughter by that time. In 2009, the Fourth respondent filed a divorce case with the Senior Civil Judge and Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Nelamangala, under Section 13(1)(ia) and (ib) of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955.
- The husband’s father donated it to his wife, the appellant’s mother-in-law after the divorce proceedings had started. For the dowry, the appellant has filed harassment actions against her husband and mother-in-law.
- The appellant’s in-laws applied under the Senior Citizens Act 2007 to evict their daughter-in-law from their residence while the proceedings were underway.
- The Assistant Commissioner granted the appellant’s in-laws’ application, which the Deputy Commissioner upheld on appeal. Before the Single Judge and the Division Bench of the High Court of Karnataka, the appellant filed a writ proceeding under Article 226 of the Constitution.
- The appellant was ordered to remove the suit premises by the Division Bench, which upheld the Deputy Commissioner’s order.
- Under Article 136 of the Indian Constitution, the appellant petitioned the Supreme Court, challenging the Assistant Commissioner’s and Deputy Commissioner’s jurisdiction to compel her eviction under the Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
WHAT DOES SUPREME COURT SAY:
- The Supreme Court ruled that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007 does not influence a woman’s right to remain in a shared household under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDV) of 2005.
- According to Section 17 of the PWDV, 2005, every woman in a domestic relationship has the right to live in the shared household, regardless of whether she has any right, title, or beneficial interest in it.
- The court used its legislative framework to address the discrepancy between the requirements of the PWDV, 2005, and the Senior Citizen Act, 2007.
- Under the Senior Citizens Act of 2007, the court noted that the Tribunal has the jurisdiction to impose an eviction if it is necessary and reasonable to guarantee the senior citizen’s or parent’s maintenance and protection.
- On the other hand, the remedy of eviction can only be provided when the conflicting claims in the dispute have been addressed. The court construed the provisions of the PWDV of 2005 and the Senior Citizen Act of 2007 consistently.
- It was observed that Section 3 of the Senior Citizens Act of 2007 stated that its requirements apply despite anything contradictory in any enactment. Furthermore, Section 36 of the PWDV, 2005 states that the Act’s provisions are in addition to, not in derogation of, the requirements of any other legislation now in effect.
- The purpose of the clause is to guarantee that the enactment’s remedies are in addition to, not in substitute of, other remedies. According to statutory interpretation standards, the court stated that the latter will win over the former where two special acts have a non-obstante provision.
- The court decided that in the event of a disagreement between the provisions of two statutes, the court must consider the primary goals of both legislation to determine which should take precedence.
- As a result, the court determined that allowing the Senior Citizens Act 2007 to have overriding force and effect in all situations, regardless of competing entitlements of a woman to the right to live in a shared household under the Domestic Violence Act 2005, would defeat the object and purpose of the latter legislation.