New Delhi: A woman cannot book her in-laws
under the Domestic Violence Act if she, along with her
husband, had stayed abroad at the time of matrimonial dispute,
the Delhi High Court held today.
"There can be no domestic relationship of the wife of the
son with the parents when the parents are not living along
with the son and there can be no domestic relationship of a
wife with the parents of her husband when the son, along with
the wife, is living abroad, maintaining a family there and
children are born abroad...," said Justice Shiv Narayan
"In order to constitute a family and domestic
relationship, it is necessary that the persons who constitute
domestic relationship must be living together in the same
house under one head. If they are living separately, then they
are not a family but they are relatives related by blood or
consanguinity to each other...," said Justice Dhingra in a
"Once a son grows up and he starts earning, marries,
makes his separate home and sires (fathers) children, the
burden of his wife cannot be put on to the shoulders of his
father or brother on an estrangement between husband and
wife...." the court said.
The Court also pulled up a family court judge for
directing the in-laws, who stay in India, to pay jointly Rs
50,000 towards the monthly maintenance to their daughter-in
-law, Payal Malik.
"I am surprised that the court below did not give weight
to the judgment of New Jersy, USA, court where parties lived
for seven and half years but assumed jurisdiction under the
Domestic Violence(DV) Act because of the pure temporary
residence of the wife in Delhi who is otherwise a resident of
Hissar...," said the court and set aside the lower court`s
July 27, 2009, order to pay maintenance to the woman.
The Court`s ruling came on an appeal filed by Harbans
Lal Malik, father-in-law, Neelam (mother-in-law) and Varun
Malik, brother-in-law besides Nagesh Malik, the husband,
challenging the lower court`s order.