It is well settled that any interpretation which leads to absurdity should not be accepted.

S R Batra and Anr vs Smt Taruna Batra

Supreme Court

15/12/2006

Appeal (civil) 5837 of 2006

About/from the judgment:

It is well settled that any interpretation which leads to absurdity should not be accepted.

 

In our opinion, the claim for alternative accommodation can only be made against the husband and not against the husband's in-laws or other relatives.

 

As regards Section 17(1) of the Act, in our opinion the wife is only entitled to claim a right to residence in a shared household, and a `shared household' would only mean the house belonging to or taken on rent by the husband, or the house which belongs to the joint family of which the husband is a member. The property in question in the present case neither belongs to Amit Batra nor was it taken on rent by him nor is it a joint family property of which the husband Amit Batra is a member. It is the exclusive property of appellant No. 2, mother of Amit Batra. Hence it cannot be called a `shared household'.

 

No doubt, the definition of `shared household' in Section 2(s) of the Act is not very happily worded, and appears to be the result of clumsy drafting, but we have to give it an interpretation which is sensible and which does not lead to chaos in society.

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