Court stops NRI from selling Delhi property

NEW DELHI: It was a matrimonial dispute spread across continents. Married to an India-born UK citizen, a woman was sent back to her maternal house in India when things turned ugly between her husband and her. The woman filed a case against her husband and in-laws in a trial court here, despite the fact that the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, has no jurisdiction outside the country.

The woman finally got some respite when the trial court directed her in-laws, who came to the country last month to sell off their property here and thereafter move back to London, not to sell their house without permission from the court. While the Supreme Court has said a woman does not have any right over the house owned by her in-laws, the trial court’s order came after the woman told the court her belongings were still lying inside the Paschim Vihar house.

“I direct the respondents not to alienate the house and not to remove the household articles without seeking prior permission of the court,” a mahila court at Tis Hazari said. It also directed the woman’s brother-in-law, who also lives in London, not to leave the country without first taking permission from the court. Even though the woman has no right over the house belonging to her in-laws, the court’s order has now allowed the woman to seek maintenance from her husband.

Arguing before the court, the woman’s counsel, Prashant Mendiratta, said the woman, living with her parents in Gurgaon, had a three-month old daughter. He said the dowry, given at the time of the wedding, were lying in the woman’s in-laws’ house. The couple got married on November 23, 2008, in Delhi. After living in the country for a month, the couple left for London. However, the woman was allegedly thrown out after a dispute and came back to India in May 2009.

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