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Gujarat High Court: Senior Citizens Act to not have overriding effect on Domestic Violence Act

2 min read
Gujarat High Court Law insider

Munmun Kaur

Published On: January 22, 2022 at 15:11 IST

Recently, the Gujarat High Court ruled that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 will not have an overriding effect on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

The ruling came in a case where the Petitioner was a senior citizen whose son was residing abroad and his daughter-in-law Allegedly Illegally Trespassed his house, prompting him to reside at a different place. The contention raised by the Petitioner was that he was entitled to the house as per the Senior Citizens Act. Therefore, he sought Eviction of the daughter-in-law. On the other hand, the daughter-in-law contended that she was entitled to a shared household in her matrimonial home, and could not be Evicted from the same in light of the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act.

After the Injunction application filed by the Petitioner in Family Court at Ahmedabad was dismissed, he moved to the High Court.

Justice Ashokkumar C. Joshi, who was hearing the matter observed, “Allowing the Senior Citizens Act 2007 to have an overriding force and effect in all situations, irrespective of competing entitlements of a woman to a right in a shared household within the meaning of the Domestic Violence Act 2005, would defeat the object and purpose which the Parliament sought to achieve in enacting the latter Legislation”.

Justice Joshi further pointed out that although the provisions of the later Enactment prevail over the former, this rule had exceptions. Therefore, both the Acts must be harmoniously construed.

The High Court also referred to a Supreme Court’s Judgment in S Vanitha v. Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban District, where the Apex Court held that the right of a woman to secure a Residence Order in respect of a shared household could not be defeated by the simple expedient of securing an Order of Eviction by adopting the summary procedure under the Senior Citizens Act.

The Gujarat High Court dismissed the Petition and held that the Right of a woman to secure a Residence Order for a shared household under the Domestic Violence Act cannot be defeated by an eviction Order under the summary procedure laid down by the Senior Citizens Act.

Also read: Are men subjected to Domestic Violence?