The Family Courts

Introduction

In view of increase in the incidence of matrimonial disputes and increasing pendency of the cases in civil and criminal courts, many requests had arose from the Judges and women organizations to the Central Government to pass a special legislation to deal exclusively with matrimonial matters. The law Commission in its reports 54 and 55 (1974) recommended the Government to pass a special enactment for establishment of Court or courts to deal with family matters. As a result, the Family Courts Act was passed in 1984 for the establishment of Family Courts in India.The Family Courts Act, 1984 has not yet been brought into force in all the states. The Family Courts have been established in some towns and cities.

The Family Courts are designed for speedy trial and quick disposal of matrimonial disputes. It includes divorce, maintenance and alimony or custody, education, financial support for children etc. The Family Courts Act, 1984 is considered as a progressive legislation. It contains 23 sections. The High Court of a state is empowered to establish the Family Courts in consultation with the State Government, for those towns and cities whose population exceeds one million. The Judges of the Family Courts are appointed by the State Government with the consent of the High Court. A Family Court may consist of one or more than one Judge.Sec. 4 (3) of the Act lays down the qualifications of Judges of the Family Court.

Sec. 7 of the Family Courts Act, 1984 provides the list of Jurisdiction of Family Courts.

(1) A suit or proceeding between the parties to a marriage for a decree of nullity, Restitution of Conjugal Rights, Judicial Separation and Divorce;

(2) A suit or proceeding as to the validity of a marriage or as to the matrimonial status of any person;

(3) A suit or proceeding between the parties with respect to the property;

(4) A suit for proceeding for an order or injunction in circumstances arising out of a marital relationship;

(5) A suit for proceeding for a declaration of legitimacy of any person;

(6) A Suit for maintenance of wives, children and old parents;

(7) A suit or proceeding in relation to the guardianship or the custody of, or access to any minor ;

In Shyni V. George (AIR 1997 Ker 231), it was held that wife can implead a close relative of her husband or even a stranger on allegations that the husband had handed over the property to them in a suit for recovery of the property. This would not oust the jurisdiction of the Family Courts.

The jurisdiction on the Family Court can also be conferred in any other matter under a statute.

Conclusion

The Family Courts are designed for speedy trial and quick disposal of matrimonial disputes. It includes divorce, maintenance and alimony or custody, education, financial support for children etc. The Family Courts Act, 1984 is considered as a progressive legislation.The Family Court system visualizes assistance of specialised agencies or persons.

References

Family Law by Dr. Paras Diwan.

Lectures on Family Law by Dr. Rega Surya Rao.

Aishwarya Says:

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