New Delhi: A Hindu woman cannot be evicted
out of the matrimonial home after divorce except through
procedure established by law, as there is no provision for her
automatic eviction, the Supreme Court has ruled.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S D Mukhopadhyay, in
a judgement, said that though a woman may not have a legal
right to continue in the house of the ex-husband, yet the
latter cannot forcibly evict her.
The apex court gave the ruling while upholding an appeal
filed by Ranjit Kaur challenging the decisions of the Punjab
and Haryana High Court which had upheld her eviction from the
house of a disputed property upon a decree of divorce granted
to the husband Major Harmohinder Singh, an Army officer.
"Learned counsel is right in his submission that even
though in the decree of divorce, the appellant has not been
given a right of residence and her occupation of the suit
property can be treated as unauthorised, respondent No 1
(Singh) cannot evict her except after following the procedure
established by law.
"The material placed on record shows that the appellant
had entered into the property as the wife of respondent No. 1.
Therefore, even though, after passing of the decree of the
divorce she may not have a legal right to continue to remain
in possession of the suit property, respondent No. 1 cannot be
given liberty to forcibly evict her," the bench said.