While dismissing a plea challenging the appointment of a woman to the post of Panchayat Secretary claiming that she was not a resident of that place, the Madras High Court observed that a married woman should not be presumed to have disowned the residential rights at her parents home on account of her marraige.

A married woman though ordinarily lives at her husband’s place, cannot be presumed to have disowned her residential rights at her parent’s house on account of her marriage . For the purpose of getting a separate ration card after her marriage her name would have got deleted from her parent’s ration card and included in her husband’s ration card. With that alone it cannot be said that a married woman had several her ties with her parent’s place and her residential status in respect of her parent’s house has come to a closure once and for all. The rules of marriage do not impose any such condition  on a woman.

That retaining or waiving the residential address was completely at the will of the married woman and her family in certain circumstances. This along with a house was enough to provide her with a residential certificate.

In the case of G. Mayakannan V The District Collector , Madras High Court, the petitioner had challenged one  B Saranya’s appointment to the post of Panchayat Secretary.  Petitioner claimed that the Respondent was not a resident of the panchayat and had secured the employment through forgery and misrepresentation. He added that Respondent was much Junior to him in the Employment Exchange registration.

The court noted that the terms of employment did not impose a compulsion that senior most person sponsored by the employment exchange should be selected, the court also added that a person who has registered earlier and waiting should not be bypassed for the purpose of sponsoring a person who had registered later.

With respect to the challenge to residence, the court observed that Respondent’s parents were still in the Panchayat and had not uprooted from the place and thus Respondent had every right to visit or stay with her parents as per her convenience and choice.

There was a notion that married woman completely abandons her native place and assumes her husband’s place as her place of residence. However that if a woman chooses to live between her natal home and marital home, nothing could prevent her from exercising that option.

A woman would turn out to her parental abode for any good or bad reasons and sometimes she would even prefer to stay there for any period of her choice with an understanding with her parental home inmates. A choice and will of a woman to exercise residential choice at her natal home should not be viewed through patriarchal prism in order to deny her the residential status there.

Written by Adv Rohit Yadav

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