Property right of women are considerably complex. As women become part of a different family after their marriage, the issue becomes even more complex. Presently, what are Daughter-In-Law property rights over in-laws’ self- acquired property? Let us find out.
Property rights of a married woman in India
In the year 2016, the Punjab and Haryana High Court stated that a daughter-in-law has no right on the self-acquired property of her parents-in-law. A case when father-in-law accused his son and daughter-in-law of ill-treating him and his wife.
Due to family dispute, the son and daughter-in-law had started living separately, however, after the birth of their child, they both came back to live in the shared property in which she had been residing ever since she got married. As discontent began again, the son moved out. On the other hand, the daughter-in-law moved court, claiming she has a legal right on her matrimonial home.
Daughter-in-law have right of residence only
Several court orders state that a daughter-in-law has a right of residence in a shared household property under the Domestic Violence Act. This is even if her in-laws do not own the house, and the husband had no ownership rights in the supposed house. From time to time, courts have ordered that a woman has a right to residence in such property as long as the marital relationship between her and her husband remain intact. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has ordered that a married woman has no right on the self-acquired property of her in-laws, as this property and land cannot be treated a shared property.
If daughter-in-law and son are living separately
If a house entirely belongs to a father-in-law and his son is living separately, the daughter-in-law has no right to live in the home. The property and land cannot be claimed to be a shared household.
If the daughter-in-law is a widow
Supreme Court has also ordered that a widowed daughter-in-law has no right to live in her parents-in-laws property and land against their desires if the property is a self-acquired property.
Parents in law not liable for maintenance
The maintenance of a wife is the personal responsibility of the husband. As per the Section 4 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, any liability in terms of maintenance of daughter-in-law in the event of the death of the son cannot be held upon the self-acquired property of the parents-in-law.
The properties shown especially in the name of parents cannot be the prime matter of any attachment or implementation of any right of maintenance of wife against her husband.
No right over mother-in-law’s property
As per SC ordered a house which was the exclusive property of a mother-in-law could not be said to be a shared household. A married lady cannot claim her right on such a property and land either.