Review of Laws and Legislative Measures Affecting Women
by National Commission for Women (NCW)

No. 30 Family Courts


Suggested Amendments by NCW
  1. There shall be one or more Courts designated as Family Courts in every district who shall have ewxclusive competence to entertain and try suits in respect of all matters arising under this Act and no other court shall entertain and try any such suit.

  2. The exclusive competence of the Family Courts shall also extend to criminal cases arising out of:
    1. Offences punishable under this Act;
    2. Contravention of clause b) of sub-section 1) of section 3 of this Act, being offence punishable under section 494 of the Indian Penal Code;
    3. Offences punishable under sections 493. 495, 496, 497, 498-A of the Indian Penal Code; and
    4. Offences punishable under section 5 and 6 of the Child Marriage Restraint Act and offences relating to domestic violence.

  3. When exercising jurisdiction under, sub-section 1), the Family Court shall have all the powers of an ordinary civil court of unlimited pecuniary jurisdiction. The procedure shall be as laid down in the code of Civil Procedure except that on the date of the first appearance of the parties a time-schedule shall be worked out which shall not be departed from same for grave an exceptional reasons however, that the entire proceedings; including the pronouncement of judgement shall be concluded within six months from the date of institution.

  4. When exercising jurisdiction under sub-section 2), the Family Court shall have all the powers of a magistrate of the First Class and may pass any sentence which may be passed by the Court of a Chief Judicial Magistrate. The procedure shall be as laid down in the code of Criminal Procedure except that on the date of the first appearance of the accused a time schedule shall be worked out which shall not be departed from save or grave and exceptional reasons so however that the entire proceedings including the pronouncements of judgement shall be concluded within six months from the date of institution. The following additional recommendations have been made:
    1. Grant of maintenance should include provisions for residence for women
    2. There must be speedy settlement of disputes and there should be a fixed time limit for disposal of the cases by the Family Courts
    3. Judges and other court stall must be gender sensitized through appropriate training
    4. Family Courts can also take the help of NGOs in the settlement of disputes
    5. Counsellers should be appointed on a permanent basis and should be given training
    6. Family Couyrts should follow simple procedures which should not create hurdles to justice
    7. Drafting of the application or complaint may be done in the vernacular language
    8. Appearance of the Lawyers may be permitted in the Family Courts subject to a proviso that in case the Court feels that the Lawyer is getting the matter adjourned an delaying the process, the court may have power to terminate his Vakalatnama asking the party to engage another Lawyer to pursue the matter. With this much control un-necessary adjournment may be avoided.
    9. There should be an informal atmosphere in the Family Courts and the Family Courts should not work like any other Civil Courts
    10. Qualified social workers and social activists, having para legal training may also be considered for appointment as judges of the Family Courts
    11. To bring uniformity in the Rules of Family Courts, all over the country, a Drafting Committee may be set up to draft the rules. Drafting Committee may also devise the sample draft of the application normally filed in the Family Court which include application under section 125.
    12. Every district should have Family Courts, Attempts should be made to bring around all States to ensure the establishment of Family Court in every district.
    13. Good practices such as facilities like children complex etc. should be introduced in all Family Courts. Necessary infrastructure should be provided at the time of institution of the Family Courts.
    14. A uniform model rules should be prepared for the appointment of judges in Family Courts. Judges can also act as a counsel at the second stage of counsellng.
    15. A women should be allowed to file a case in the Family Court in the district or state where she resides not necessarily at the place where the marriage took place or where the husband resides.
    16. There should be more judges and courts if the work so demands to handle the litigations effectively.

 

Page | INDEX | Prev | Next |      

Copyright � National Commission for Women, All Rights Reserved.