B.P. Achala Anand vs. S. Appi Reddy and Anr.

Smt. B.P. Achala Anand had been living in a tenanted apartment under her estranged husband’s name for several years when the landlord initiated proceedings for eviction. Smt. Achala’s husband, H.S. Anand, appeared in court to defend the suit, but it appears that he was not invested in defending his claim to remain on the property considering that he had a strained relationship with his wife and was no longer living there.

Smt. Achala decided to take matters into her own hands and filed an appeal to defend against the eviction. The landlord filed a petition contesting Smt. Achala’s right to be involved in the suit as it was a landlord-tenant dispute, and she was not the written tenant. While this matter was pending in the High Court, Smt. Achala and H.S. Anand got divorced.

The Supreme Court ruled that wives of tenants have the right to join as party to such eviction proceedings and to defend their right to remain in their matrimonial home. However, in this particular case, Smt. Achala was not permitted to prosecute the appeal and defend her right against the claim for eviction, as the property was no longer considered her matrimonial home by the end of the proceedings on account of the divorce.