The Supreme Court in the recent case has observed that to issue an order under Domestic Violence Act permitting a party to occupy a household, it is necessary that the parties have lived in a domestic relationship in the household.

While adjudicating the matter, of Mammohan Attavar v. Neelam Manmohan Attavar the bench comprising of Justice RF Nariman and justice Kishan Kaul observed that the “domestic relationship”, as defined under Section 2(f) of the DV Act, refers to two persons who have lived together in a “shared household” as defined under Section 2(s) of the DV Act.

In the present matter of the respondent claims to be the wife of Manmohan for 20 years. Though in her own statement she has admitted that she has never stayed with him in the same premises.

The Bench said, “In order for the respondent to succeed, it was necessary that the two parties have never lived together in the property in question.”

In the present matter, it is not as if the respondent has been subsequently excluded from the enjoyment of the property or thrown out by the appellant in an alleged relationship which goes back to 20 years. They fell apart, even as per the respondent, more than 7 years ago. The court also noted that till 22.2.2010, even the wife of the appellant was alive. As per the records, the appellant is a Christian and there could be no question of visiting any temple and marrying the respondent by applying “Kumkum”, and even when the wife of the appellant was alive.

The bench also agreed with the submission made on behalf of Manmohan Attavar that there was no reason for the proceedings to be withdrawn from the appellate court to the high court itself.