What is a Residence Order under Domestic Violence law?

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

[Trigger Warning: The following content contains information on domestic violence which some readers may find disturbing.]

If you are being thrown out of your shared household (house) by your harasser or you don’t feel safe living in your house, you can approach the Court for help with the assistance of a lawyer or a Protection Officer. The residence order will help you1:

Stay in the House

By way of a residence order, the harasser may be asked not to throw you out or force you to leave the house. You have a right to stay in the house wherein you lived there together as a couple  i.e. as husband and wife2 or live-in partners, even if:

  • You don’t have any legal share, title or right in the house.3
  • The harasser does not live in that house anymore.4
  • The harasser does not have any legal share, title or right in the house.5

Keep you away from the Harasser

The harasser may be asked to:

  • Leave the house.6 This may also include the relatives of the harasser but the Court can only direct such orders against a male harasser.7
  • Not enter the premises of the house.1

Help you get alternative accommodation

The harasser may be asked to:

  • Give you a portion of the house to live in along with all the necessary amenities for a comfortable and dignified stay8 and not enter your portion of the house.1
  • Pay for9 or buy another house for you, if needed8 and provide monetary relief by paying rent.1

Protect finances and property

The harasser may be asked not to:

  • Sell, lease or mortgage the house.
  • Renounce rights in the shared household, for example, by alienating or disposing the shared household.10

The Court may also ask the harasser to follow any other conditions that are required to protect you and your children.

Some states provide handbooks for ASHA workers where you can find more information on forms on violence, where it can happen and how to file a complaint to seek protection against domestic violence. For example, see this handbook published for ASHA in Chattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

  1. Section 19, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.[][][][]
  2. Section 2(f), The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.[]
  3. Section 19(a), The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 ; Roma Rajesh Tiwari v. Rajesh Dinanath Tiwari  I (2018) DMC 123 Bom.[]
  4. Lalita Toppo v. State of Jharkhand & Anr.  2018 (4) RCR (Criminal) 976.[]
  5. Roma Rajesh Tiwari v. Rajesh Dinanath Tiwari  I (2018) DMC 123 Bom.[]
  6. Sabita Mark Burges v. Mark Lionel Burges  2013 (5) Bom CR 387; Manju Sharma v. Ramesh Sharma CRL.O.P.(MD)No.12092 of 2008.[]
  7. Meenavathi v. Senthamarai Selvi Crl. O.P. (MD) No. 12092/2008.[]
  8. V.D Bhanot v. Savita Bhanot (2012) 3 SCC 183.[][]
  9. Ajay Kumar Jain v. Baljit Kaur Jain 2009 SCC OnLine DEL 1538.[]
  10. Navleen Kler Bhatia v Sarabjit Singh Bhatia.,Criminal Appeal No.No. 28/2011 ID No. 02406R0298502011[]

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