What Is Alternate Accommodation?
According to the PWDVA's statement of objects and reasons, the law's goal is to
guarantee a woman's right to live in her matrimonial home or shared household,
regardless of whether she has a right, title, or interest in the home.
Every woman in a domestic relationship, regardless of her household title, is
guaranteed the right to live in the matrimonial or shared household under
Section 17 of the Act.This is one of the most important aspects of the PWDVA,
which aims to protect the aggrieved woman's right to have a place to live and a
different place to live while the domestic violence case is being investigated.
As a result, the aggrieved woman can only be removed from the shared home in
accordance with the legal procedure. The right of residence under PWDVA is a
separate, independent, and higher right granted to the aggrieved woman to
prevent her vagrancy and destitution, despite the fact that personal laws and
Section 125 of the CrPC provide for maintenance provisions that may include the
right of residence in certain cases.
Understanding the meaning of shared household and how courts have interpreted it
over time is essential for gaining a better understanding of the nature and
scope of right of residence.
What Does A Shared Household Entail?
A shared household is one in which the aggrieved woman lives with the respondent
in a domestic relationship, as defined in Section 2(s) of the PWDVA.
The parties' previous homes can also be included in the definition of a shared
household because it is sufficiently broad.As a result, even if the woman was
evicted or temporarily absent from the shared household on the date of making
the application under Section 12 of the PWDVA, this does not affect her right to
It aims to protect the interests of women in situations in which they are
intentionally evicted from a shared household in order to deny them the benefit
of the right to live there.
It is also essential to keep in mind that the term "shared household" does not
apply to all properties that the respondent directly owns; rather, it only
applies to households or dwelling houses in which the respondent and the harmed
woman live or have lived together for some time.The court takes into account the
parties' intentions as well as the nature of living, including the nature of the
household, to determine whether a particular house is a shared household or not.
The Following Shall Be Included In The Definition Of Shared Household,
Subject To The Facts And Circumstances Of Each Case:
- Any house, whether jointly owned or rented by the respondent and the
aggrieved person, or owned or rented by either of them, in which either the
respondent or the aggrieved person has a right, title, or interest;
- Regardless of whether the respondent or the aggrieved person has any
right, title, or interest in the shared household, any household that may
belong to the respondent's joint family. Sneha Ahuja v. Satish Chander
Ahuja, 2020) What are Residence Orders?
Under Section 19 of the PWDVA, an aggrieved woman can obtain a Residence Order
if the respondent threatens to evict her or if living with the respondent poses
a threat.Depending on the facts and circumstances of each case, these orders may
be prohibitive or mandatory.
When The Respondent Is Prohibited By The Magistrate From:
- Getting Into Any Part Of The Shared House Where The Offended Woman
- Removing The Offended Woman From The Household Together;
- Causing Hostility To Or Leaving The Shared Household; or
- Reneging On His Rights To The Shared Home Except With The Court's
When The Magistrate Directs The Respondent To Do Any Of The Following, These
Orders May Be Deemed Mandatory:
- Eliminate Himself From The Household With Others;
- Provide The Displeased Woman With Alternative Lodging; Or
- The Displeased Woman's Alternative Lodging Costs Rent.
As a result, these orders have the effect of not making the harmed woman
homeless in any way. Either she will be allowed to stay in the same house or the
respondent will pay rent or find her another place to live if the situation
calls for it. According to the provision of Section 19(1) of the PWDVA, the
Magistrate cannot issue a Residence Order against a woman
The Magistrate is authorized by Section 19(1)(f) of the DV Act to grant a victim
of domestic violence an order of alternate accommodation .The court can make
such an order if your wife can prove that there was domestic violence in a
shared household. If the court determines that your wife is in danger of living
in the shared house, you may be required to provide her with an alternative
place to live that is comparable to the shared house.
The provision of an alternate accommodation relief is subject to a precondition.
The court will look at the shared house's apparent danger to her life, your
financial situation, and ultimately the case's circumstances .Alternative
accommodation relief is highly subjective.
What Are The Requirements For Issuing An Order Of Alternate Accommodation?In a shared house, extreme violence:
If your wife was experiencing the highest level of violence in her shared house,
the court may issue an order for alternate housing. The shared housemates'
severe physical abuse constitutes the highest level of violence. A tourture of
this kind suggests that the shared house is not safe for the aggrieved
individual. Consequently, the husband should pay for a different place to live.
Situation with regard to his finances:The court takes into account the husband's
financial situation because he will pay for all new housing. The husband's
primary duty is to provide his wife with adequate housing.As a result, the court
assumes that husband is able to pay for a different place to live.You must now
demonstrate that it would be difficult for you to pay those costs.
Other common situations: If the facts and circumstances of the case call for it,
the court may issue such an order.The amplitude of this condition is enormous.
The court will look at all the relevant information about your wife's fear and
the danger to her life and limb. It is contingent on the particular facts and
circumstances of the case. We cannot go into detail about it here.
Supreme Court On Alternate Accommodation Under Domestic Violence Act 2005.
In Satish Chander Ahuja v. Sneha Ahuja (2020)
, the Supreme Court ruled
that the right to residence granted by Section 19 is not inherently
indefeasible, particularly in cases involving elderly in-laws, and that courts
must attempt to strike a balance between the rights of the woman who is harmed
and those of senior citizens when deciding such cases.
Any person who receives a complaint of domestic violence must inform the harmed
woman of her right to a court-ordered residence order as a form of relief. This
obligation applies whether the complaint is filed by a police officer, a
protection officer, an NGO, or a magistrate.
Under Section 12 of the PWDVA, the aggrieved woman, her protection officer, or
anyone acting on her behalf may submit an application with an affidavit to the
Magistrate for an order for secure housing in the form of a Residence Order.
Under Section 19 of the PWDVA, the Magistrate may issue a time-limited Residence
Order after determining that domestic violence has occurred. That it is right of
each and every domestic violence victim.
Written By: Jasdip Kaur ( Advocate)
Ex Law officer Women and Child
Dept Govt of Delhi NCT Ex panel lawyer govt of Delhi NCT I did my schooling from
GHPS Vasant Vihar New Delhi Graduation in BA English Hons from Mata Sundri
college of Women University of Delhi i did my LLm ( USLLS IP university Delhi
Dwarka) currently pursuing my Phd in Law