FAMILY COURTS BILL
27th July, 2022 Social Issues
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- The Lok Sabha has passed the Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2022 to amend the Family Courts Act, 1984.
- The main objective of the amendment bill was to establish family courts in Himachal Pradesh.
- It aims to insert a new Section 3A to validate all actions taken by the Family court of the State Government of Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland before the commencement of the Family Courts (Amendment) Act, 2022.
- The Union Law Minister has stated that there are at present 715 family courts in the country with 11,49,907 cases pending at the beginning of May.
- The Minister suggested all the state to establish family courts in every district.
- Family Courts were created to decide matters and make orders in relation to family law, including custody of children.
- Family courts hear all cases related to familial and domestic relationships.
- Why Family Court
- More than 4 cr cases are pending in the Indian Judiciary, and the number of cases being filed in Court is on the rise.
- There are cases related to family matters and property which continue for generations.
- The channelling of cases to different courts to ensures their speedy disposal.
- To ensures that the cases are being dealt with by experts
The Family Courts Act, 1984
- It was enacted to ensure the welfare of women all over the country.
- The Act was expected to facilitate satisfactory resolution of family disputes while ensuring maximum welfare of society and protecting the dignity of women.
- The need to establish the Family Courts was first emphasized by the late Smt. Durgabai Deshmukh in 1953.
- The main objective was to transfer the cases dealing with family matters from the regular courts and ensure speedy justice in cases related to marriage, divorce, alimony, child custody etc.
- It improved the efficiency of the judicial system rather than changing the system.
- Family courts are equipped with counsellors and psychologists who ensure that the disputes are handled by experts.
- Family Courts are free to evolve their own rules of procedure.
- A party is not entitled to be represented by a lawyer without the express permission of the Court. However, the court grants permission and usually, it is a lawyer which represents the parties.
- Family Court first tries for conciliation and only when the conciliation proceedings fail to resolve the issue successfully, the matter taken up for trial by the Court.
- The Conciliators are professionals who are appointed by the Court.
- Once a final order is passed, the party has the option to appeal before the High Court.
- Such an appeal is to be heard by a bench consisting of two judges.
- The Family Court has restrictive jurisdiction and does not have the power to decide issues of contempt.
- Lack of uniformity regarding the rules laid down by different states also leads to confusion in its application.
- Merely passing central legislation is not in itself a complete step; for implementation in its spirit, it is to be ensured that some level of uniformity is maintained.