The development of civilization is a continuous process. New discoveries, New technologies, new circumstances. that is, with the changing times, the rules and regulations are also updated. Codes are also changed according to the needs of the new era, and so are the laws too.

Human history has moved from the period of the chaos of the Group-Living Animal’ to the era of civilization of Rules and Regulations to the era of modern civilization.  Rights, their acknowledgment, and their protection are the foundation of civilization.  Discrimination in rights on the basis of gender is against the principle of equality.  In spite of clear rules and regulations, discrimination against women is a bitter reality of society.  One of the major reasons for this is the lack of awareness about rights. 

If you are aware of your rights, then discrimination can be ended.  In the episode of rights, let us know what are the rights on the property of the in-laws of a daughter-in-law.  Together, know the historic decisions of the courts which have proved to be indicators in defining the rights of the daughter-in-law.

Rights of the daughter-in-law

 First of all, let’s see what the law says about the rights of the daughter-in-law to property.



According to Hindu Law, Streedhan is owned by the daughter-in-law. It is important to know what comes under the view of Streedhan. Actually, whatever the woman gets during the rituals, and ceremonies related to marriage, whether it is movable or immovable property or any other gift, the woman has the right to it. That is, the neg (gift) received on engagement, god-bharai, procession, mouth shown or the birth of children will come under Streedhan. Streedhan is owned by the woman only, even if that money is in the custody of the husband or mother-in-law. If a mother-in-law has got Stridhan from her daughter-in-law and she died without any will, then the daughter-in-law has the legal right to that wealth, and not the son or any other member of the family has any right to it.

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The Delhi High Court said in March 2022, in its order that a woman who misbehaved with a mother-in-law does not have the right to live in their house. The High Court said that in such a situation, the mother-in-law can ask the daughter-in-law to vacate the house as she has the right to live peacefully. In fact, in the case of domestic violence, the trial court had ordered that the woman could not live in her matrimonial house. The woman challenged him in the High Court.

if a married woman gets separated from her husband, she will have the right over Streedhan. The right of women’s ownership of Streedhan is such that no one can take it away. If a married woman is deprived of her Streedhan, it will amount to Domestic Violence for which the husband and in-laws will face a criminal case.

Right to live with Dignity and Self-respect

A married woman has the right to live with Dignity.  She deserves the same lifestyle as her husband.  The right to live with Dignity means to be free from Mental or Physical torture.  If this is not happening, then he will come under the ambit of Domestic Violence.

Right over in-laws house

The house that a woman shares with her husband is called the house of in-laws.  Whether this house is taken on rent, formally if, or owned by a husband or relatives, for a woman, it is an in-laws house i.e. Matrimonial home.

Under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act), a Hindu wife has the right to live in her matrimonial home even if she does not own it.  Whether it is an ancestral house, a joint family, self-acquired, or even a rented house.  However, if the in-laws have self-acquired property, the married woman cannot live there without their consent as this property cannot be treated as shared property.

It is clear that a woman has the right to live in her matrimonial home, but this right is only so long as the marital relationship with her husband is maintained.  However, even after separation from the husband, the wife is entitled to maintenance to live according to his lifestyle.  This also applies to the children born to the husband.  Despite the sourness in the marital relationship, the husband cannot be free from the responsibilities of his wife and children for a living, food, clothing, education, medical treatment, etc.  He has to provide for it.

Historic verdict on women’s right

In December 2006, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court had given a decision on whether the daughter-in-law had the right to live in a common house. In the Taruna Batra case, Justice S. B. Sinha and Markandey Katju held that a wife has only the right to the property of her husband, she cannot claim the right to reside in the common house. However, in October 2020, a three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan overturned the 2006 decision. The court made it clear in its judgment that a woman who is a victim of domestic violence has a legal right to live in a shared house with her in-laws. – Daughter-in-law has the right to live in a common house

Supreme Court expands the scope of ‘shared house’

In the judgment, the apex court gave a comprehensive interpretation of the ‘right to reside in the common house’ which will prove to be a precedent in the matters related to it. The Supreme Court, in its decision, explained what will come under the ‘Shared Household’ ie ‘shared house’ under the Domestic Act.

 The court said in its decision that the woman has the right to live in a shared house. Whatever religion the woman belongs to, whether she is a mother, daughter, sister, wife, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, or any category falling under domestic relationship, she is given a shared house and the right to live in. He cannot be evicted from that house.

Justice MR Shah and Justice B. The Supreme Court bench of V. Nagarathna clarified in its judgment that even if a woman decides to live with her husband at some other place after marriage due to education, employment, job, or any other valid reason, even then in a shared house. His right to stay will continue. In this way, if a woman is living with her husband in another city, then she has every right to live in her husband’s house but also has the right to live in a shared house in another city or place. Section 17(1) of the Domestic Violence Act gives him this right.

Giving examples in its judgment, the Supreme Court said, ‘A woman may have to go abroad with her husband in connection with job or employment after marriage. In such a situation, after marriage, the woman will not get a chance to live in a shared house. If for any reason she had to return from abroad, she would have the right to live in the house shared by her husband. Even if the house is not owned by her husband or her husband. In such a situation, the mother-in-law cannot take the woman out of the common house.

If the husband dies, the Daughter-in-law will not have the ‘right to live in the common house’?

The Chhattisgarh High Court gave an important verdict this month in the maintenance case of a Hindu widow. The High Court said that if a Hindu widow is unable to live on her income or other assets, she can claim maintenance from her father-in-law. The court said that if the father-in-law throws his daughter-in-law out of the house after the death of the husband or the woman lives separately, she will be legally entitled to maintenance. Even if a Hindu widow remarries, she will have full rights over the property of her first husband. In this regard, the Karnataka High Court had ruled that the remarriage of a widow does not take away the right over the property of her deceased husband.

Under Section 15 of the Hindu Succession Act, when a widow dies without making a will, her heirs, including sons and daughters, or children born out of illicit relations, also share in her ancestral property. This decision was taken by the Gujarat High Court in June this year. Was told Under Section 15 of the Hindu Succession Act, a Hindu widow can inherit land from her second husband. Also, his children born from the first marriage can also inherit the land of the second husband.

Courts have also clarified from time to time exceptions regarding the 
'right to live in the common house' in which kind of cases it will 
not be applicable.

If the daughter-in-law is torturing the mother-in-law then can the mother-in-law remove her from her house.?

The Supreme Court in January 2022, in a case related to domestic violence, ordered that if an elderly mother-in-law is harassed by her daughter-in-law, they can vacate the house. In fact, under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, for the maintenance and protection of elderly parents and senior citizens, an elderly person had harassed by his daughter-in-law. The elder had demanded to get the daughter-in-law out of his house. In this case, the SDM, giving a verdict in favor of the elderly, ordered the daughter-in-law to vacate the house within 30 days. 

Against this order, the daughter-in-law went to the High Court. Even if he did not get relief from the High Court, he reached the Supreme Court but he did not get relief even there. The Supreme Court also made it clear that the daughter-in-law will have to vacate the father-in-law’s house. Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abhay S. Oka’s Bench gave their verdict on January 24 on the petition of the daughter-in-law filed against the decision of the Uttarakhand High Court. During the hearing in the Supreme Court, the father-in-law proposed that his daughter-in-law can live in another flat. 

The Supreme Court, while preferring that proposal, ordered that the daughter-in-law will live with her daughter in another flat and will not interfere in the life of the mother-in-law. Not only this, but it will also not create any legal right for any third party on the flat in which the daughter-in-law will live.





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