Wife not lived in the matrimonial home cannot claim alternate accommodation

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow

Domestic Violence

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Advised on 3 Apr, 2022

Question: Is this a justice to pass an order of alternate accommodation to the wife when she has committed violence. Wife not lived in the matrimonial home can she claims alternate accommodation Marriage took place on 17.06.2014 and we spent only 16 days together out of which 09 days on honeymoon, it was alleged that we threw her out of the alleged matrimonial home as before marriage that we both parties agreed that bridegroom has promised to keep her seperate house, yes i had sent an email as marriage proposal stating that ” I forgot to add my new flat address not mentioned anywhere in writing that my owned house” It was a common family property purchased in the name of my real sister.   

She is in a continuous job under govt service earning 45000/- per month. But the Magistrate passed an order of alternate accommodation to the wife. No fact of domestic violence has been proved in her evidence /cross. All allegations are blanket no dates no specific allegations no medical evidence not annexed with any Medical reports. Despite being a postgraduate under Journalism and working with Lok Sabha tv maintaining an iphone equipped with every latest gadget she has. She has been going to her office after returning from honeymoon wholly paid by me. 

The honeymoon fact was completely hidden by her that we only asked several questions. In her DV Act petition U/s 12 she has not asked for maintenance rather ask for 50 Lakhs as domestic violence compensation along with alternate accommodation. She has mentioned in her cross examination that she had told about such domestic violence to her mother and brother but she never put them under the cross examination. 

Now today the judge has passed the judgement to pay 10000/- to pay as monthly for accommodation from the date of application i.,e 08 years ago. Along with 25000/- one time payment as mental agony caused to her by us. I was not cross examined by the complainant lawyer at all despite 09 months time passed. But the judge has mentioned that I did not tender my evidence by way of affidavit. 

Hence she is not considering it. But, point to be noted that äll documents copy of email with dowry item list have been exhibited, but the Judge has not pointed this out in her judgement order. No proof has been adduced by the complainant to substantiate her allegation of domestic violence caused to her by us. Yet, the judge has given her final relief of monthly payment of rs. 10000/- as alternate accomodation from the date of complaint.

Asked from: Delhi

Your wife had lived in her matrimonial home for only seven days. She has falsely filed a case of domestic violence after concealing several relevant facts. The court cannot give any relief under the Domestic Violence Act when the wife has spent only seven days in the shared household.

A person aggrieved of domestic violence can seek remedy under the Domestic Violence Act. It is almost impossible to say that a newly wedded wife has faced immense violence in her matrimonial home in the first seven days of marriage. Such an incident is against the common course of natural events as happens in the Indian family.

The court should presume under Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act that the alleged acts have not happened. When the aggrieved person is making such a bald or unusual allegation the Magistrate must take extra caution when providing relief to her.  The Magistrate while passing the order of alternate accommodation must satisfy the fact of:

  • Wife lived in the matrimonial home with some permanency.
  • She has faced violence in the matrimonial home.
  • Wife has been subjected to violence on several occasions. 
  • Living in a matrimonial home is dangerous to her life and limb.
  • Wife cannot maintain separate accommodation out of her own sources.

Alternate accommodation when wife not lived in the matrimonial home 

Alternative accommodation is a special remedy under the DV Act. When the wife claims right of residence in a matrimonial home, she must prove that she has the intention to live therein. When the wife is living apart and spent only seven days in a matrimonial home in eight years of marriage, it proves that she has no intention to live with husband and in-laws in the shared household. 

Section 2(q) of DV Act clarifies that the aggrieved wife or a female living in relationship in the nature of marriage may also file a complaint under Section 12. When your wife is not living in the matrimonial home, she cannot claim any relief provided under the DV Act.

In Satish Chander Ahuja V. Sneha Ahuja [Aironline 2020 SC 784] the Supreme Court has held that mere fleeting living in shared household does not entitle the wife to claim any relief under the DV Act. The court has held that:

The words “lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship” have to be given its normal and purposeful meaning. The living of a woman in a household has to refer to a living which has some permanency. Mere fleeting or casual living at different places shall not make a shared household. The intention of the parties and the nature of living including the nature of the household have to be looked into to find out as to whether the parties intended to treat the premises as a shared household or not.

Thus, your wife cannot get any relief in the Domestic Violence Act because she has lived in the shared household. Your wife has manipulated several vital pieces of evidence. The court has not appreciated the evidence while providing relief to her.

The Judgement is apparently erroneous. You should file an appeal in the Court of Session under section 29 of DV Act. There is a thirty days limitation period for filing appeal against the order of the Magistrate. You’ll get justice from the appellate court because seven days stay in the shared household does not entitle her to claim relief under DV Act. Fleeting stay also shows that she had no intention to live in matrimonial home.