Tag Archives: living together

Domestic Relationship – At Any Point of Time

The problem arises with the meaning of phrase “at any point of time”. That does not mean that living together at any stage in the past would give right to a person to become aggrieved person to claim domestic relationship. At any point of time, indicates that the aggrieved person has been continuously living in the shared household as a matter of right, but if for some reason if the aggrieved person has to leave the house temporarily and when she returns she is not allowed to enjoy her right to live in the property. Where a family member leaves the shared household to establish his or her own household, he or she cannot claim to have a right to move an application under Section 12 of the DV Act on the basis of domestic relationship. This proposition of law came up before the Delhi High Court in the case of Vijay Verma v. State (NCT) of Delhi reported in (2010) 172 DLT 660, wherein it has been observed as under:

6. A perusal of this provision makes it clear that domestic relationship arisen in respect of an aggrieved person if the aggrieved person had lived together with the respondent in a shared household. This living together can be either soon before filing of petition or ‘at any point of time’. The problem arises with the meaning of phrase “at any point of time”. Does that mean that living together at any stage in the past would give right to a person to become aggrieved person to claim domestic relationship? I consider that “at any point of time” under the Act only means where an aggrieved person has been continuously living in the shared household as a matter of right but for some reason the aggrieved person has to leave the house temporarily and when she returns, she is not allowed to enjoy her right to live in the property. However, “at any point of time” cannot be defined as “at any point of time in the past” whether the right to live survives or not. For example if there is a joint family where father has several sons with daughters-in-law living in a house and ultimately sons, one by one or together, decide that they should live separate with their own families and they establish separate household and start living with their respective families separately at different places; can it be said that wife of each of the sons can claim a right to live in the house of father-in-law because at one point of time she along with her husband had lived in the shared household. If this meaning is given to the shared household then the whole purpose of Domestic Violence Act shall stand defeated. Where a family member leaves the shared household to establish his own household, and actually establishes his own household, he cannot claim to have a right to move an application under Section 12 of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act on the basis of domestic relationship. Domestic relationship comes to an end once the son along with his family moved out of the joint family and established his own household or when a daughter gets married and establishes her own household with her husband. Such son, daughter, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, if they have any right in the property say because of coparcenary or because of inheritance, such right can be claimed by an independent civil suit and an application under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act cannot be filed by a person who has established his separate household and ceased to have a domestic relationship. Domestic relationship continues so long as the parties live under the same roof and enjoy living together in a shared household. Only a compelled or temporarily going out by aggrieved person shall fall in phrase ‘at any point of time’, say, wife has gone to her parents house or to a relative or some other female member has gone to live with her some relative, and, all her articles and belongings remain within the same household and she has not left the household permanently, the domestic relationship continues. However, where the living together has been given up and a separate household is established and belongings are removed, domestic relationship comes to an end and a relationship of being relatives of each other survives. This is very normal in families that a person whether, a male or a female attains self sufficiency after education or otherwise and takes a job lives in some other city or country, enjoys life there, settles home there. He cannot be said to have domestic relationship with the persons whom he left behind. His relationship that of a brother and sister, father and son, father and daughter, father and daughter-in-law etc. survives but the domestic relationship of living in a joint household would not survive & comes to an end. N.S. Lellavathi v. Dr. R. Shilpa Brunda, Cri. Revision Petition No. 1146 of 2019 decided on 11.12.2019

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Filed under Domestic Reltionship

Major Boy and Girl Living With Their Free Will – Nobody Has a Right to Interfere

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in a long line of decisions has settled the law that where a boy and a girl are major and they are living with their free will, then, nobody including their parents, has authority to interfere with their living together. Reference may be made to the judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Gian Devi v. Superintendent, Nari Niketan, (1976) 3 SCC 234; Lata Singh v. State of U.P., (2006) 5 SCC 475; Bhagwan Dass v. State, (2011) 6 SCC 396, which have consistently been followed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court in Deepika v. State of U.P., 2013 (9) ADJ 534. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Gian Devi v. Superintendent, Nari Niketan, (1976) 3 SCC 234 has held as under:

        “Whatever may be the date of birth of the petitioner, the fact remains that she is at present more than 18 years of age. As the petitioner is Sui Juris no fetters can be placed upon her choice of the person with whom she is to stay, nor can any restriction be imposed regarding the place where she should stay. The Court or the relatives of the petitioner can also not substitute their opinion or preference for that of the petitioner in such a matter.” Hasina Bano v. State of U.P., 2018 (6) AWC 5599.

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Relationship in the nature of marriage vis-à-vis marital relationship

Relationship of marriage continues, notwithstanding the fact that there are differences of opinions, marital unrest etc., even if they are not sharing a shared household, being based on law. But live-in relationship is purely an arrangement between the parties unlike, a legal marriage. Once a party to a live-in relationship determines that he/she does not wish to live in such a relationship, that relationship comes to an end. Further, in a relationship in the nature of marriage, the party asserting the existence of the relationship, at any stage or at any point of time, must positively prove the existence of the identifying characteristics of that relationship.
Many a times, it is the common intention of the parties to that relationship as to what their relationship is to be, and to involve and as to their respective roles and responsibilities, that primarily governs that relationship. Intention may be expressed or implied and what is relevant is their intention as to matters that are characteristic of a marriage. Having children is a strong circumstance to indicate a relationship in the nature of marriage. Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma, 2014 (84) ACC 290.

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Filed under Criminal Law, Matrimonial Relationship