The Kerala High Court recently held that a son-in-law cannot have any legal right in his father-in-law’s property and building, even if he has spent an amount for the construction of the building.
The below case is a classic example of how our laws are completely Gender Biased, favouring only wives/daughter-in-laws. When roles are reversed, it is the men who are ‘shamed’ by courts.
The father-in-law (plaintiff) filed an original suit before the trial court claiming for permanent injunction interdicting the defendant (his son-in-law) from trespassing into the plaint schedule property or interfering with his peaceful possession and enjoyment of the said property, which belongs to the plaintiff by virtue of a gift deed.
The plaintiff’s wife and daughter had also filed for a protection order against the defendant. Although the cases were settled, the behaviour of the defendant allegedly became intolerable, which forced the plaintiff to seek a permanent prohibitory injunction restraining his entry.
It was contended that the defendant has no manner of right over the property.
The defendant (appellant herein) on the other hand contended that he had married the only daughter of the plaintiff and had been thereby practically adopted as a member of the family subsequent to the marriage. On these grounds, he maintained that he has a right to reside in the house.
The son-in-law also pointed out the fact that he had constructed the building after availing a loan. He had even produced certain receipts allegedly issued in his favour by Taliparamba Service Co-operative Bank to show that housing loan was cleared by him.
The trial court held that the plaintiff is the owner in possession of the plaint schedule property and the son-in-law has no manner of right in interfering with the possession of the plaint schedule building.
Although an appeal was moved, the first appellate court also came to the conclusion that the defendant has no manner of right to disturb the peaceful possession of the plaintiff over the plaint schedule building. The appeal was dismissed, accordingly.
Aggrieved by this, the defendant sought a regular second appeal before the High Court.
Kerala High Court
The primary question for consideration before the Court was whether a son-in-law can claim any legal right in his father-in-law’s property and building.
Justice N. Anil Kumar while dismissing a second appeal with costs, remarked as such:
When the plaintiff is in possession of the property, defendant, son-in-law cannot plead that he had been adopted as a member of the family, subsequent to the marriage with plaintiff’s daughter and has right in the property.
Residence of son-in-law, if any, in the plaint schedule building is only permissive in nature. Hence, son-in-law cannot have any legal right to his father in law’s property and building, even if he has spent an amount on the construction of the building.
The Court further noted that the plaintiff was paying tax to the property and to the building. He had also been residing in the plaint schedule building. It was also found to be difficult to hold that the defendant is a member of the family. The court categorically stated that the family of the plaintiff consists of his wife and daughter. The court noted,
The defendant is the son-in-law of the plaintiff. It is rather shameful for him to plead that he had been adopted as a member of the family, subsequent to the marriage with the plaintiff’s daughter.
Therefore, it was held that when the plaintiff is in possession of the property, the son-in-law cannot plead that he had been adopted as a member of the family, subsequent to the marriage with the plaintiff’s daughter and has right to the property.
The court reiterated that the residence of son-in-law, if any, in the plaint schedule building is only permissive in nature. Hence, the Court ruled that a son-in-law cannot have any legal right in his father-in-law’s property and building, even if he has spent an amount for construction of the building.
Upholding the decisions of the trial court and the first appellate court, the High Court observed,
This Court does not find any error in the judgment of the first appellate court confirming the judgment and decree of the trial court by decreeing the suit for injunction simpliciter. Thus, this RSA is dismissed with costs.
- If a woman spends most of her married life in her in-laws’ home, that becomes her matrimonial residence, and as per Supreme Court order dated December 2020, her right to that residence cannot even be overruled by the Senior Citizen’s Act (if exercised by her in-laws)
- Whereas, if a man has spent major part of his married life, even contributed financially to his wife’s shared household, he has no right to that property
- Most of the feminist portals will never share how matrimonial laws are so unfair to Men; you will only end up reading more and more demands in the name of equality, because the other side is completely disregarded
- Every man in India, who is planning to get married, must read up few basic matrimonial laws before he gets into the legal trap
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