"One cannot shy away from the hard-hitting reality that it is not always the daughter-in-law who is berated but at times the in-laws who are at the receiving end of the daughter-in-law's cantankerousness (crankiness). It should not be consigned to oblivion that the parents-in-law have every right to live in peace in their own property and the right to property vested in them cannot be snatched away and used as a tool to harass them," said Justice Kailash Gambhir.
"The daughter-in-law has no right to stay in the said property especially after the exit of her husband from the property," Justice Gambhir added.
Many harassed parents — whose daughters-in-law continue to live with them even after separation from their sons with an eye on the property and maintenance, even when the son has left their home — can draw relief from this judgment.
The remarks came while delivered judgement in a suit filed by a mother-in-law Radha seeking a direction to her son and daughter-in-law to vacate her house.
Her son Suraj had married Renuka on April 27, 2009. But soon serious differences arose between them after which Suraj moved out.
Radha complained of harassment at Renuka's hands. Renuka too filed a complaint of domestic violence, claimed maintenance and a decree declaring the matrimonial house as her sole and exclusive property. Perusing the files, the judge came to the conclusion that the property was owned by her mother-in-law and could not be treated as a joint family property.
(Names have been changed to hide identities)