Last week, the Chief Justice of J&K High Court inaugurated the first ever family court in Srinagar.
The objective of having a family court is to ensure speedy justice and inexpensive relief in family matters with least formalities.
Section 3 of the Family Courts Act 1984 provides for establishing of a family court in every area of the State comprising of city or town whose population exceeds one million.
The court’s main duty is to assist and persuade the parties in arriving at a settlement in respect of the subject-matter of the suit or proceeding.
It is different from ordinary courts in the procedure. For example, section 13 of the Act provides for proceedings to be held in camera if the Family Court so desires and shall be so held if either party so desires. Also, no party to a suit or proceeding before a Family Court shall be entitled, as of right, to be represented by a legal practitioner. However if the Family Court considers it necessary in the interest of justice, it may seek the assistance of a legal expert as amicus curiae. Plainly a party does not have to bear the cost of a lawyer or proceeding can be held out of public gaze, maintaining higher levels of privacy. In terms of effect, a decree passed by a Family Court shall have the same force and effect as a decree or order of a civil court and shall be executed in the same manner as is prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure.
A beginning has been made in establishing the family court and has been started with Srinagar. While some benefits have been given an overview above, the family matters constitute the bulk of litigations to be decided in courts and have been burdening the system for a long. To overcome the burgeoning docket burden, establishing the family court is a step in the right direction. It’s establishing should bring about spectacular changes and live to expectations of ensuring dispensation of speedy and inexpensive justice.
The contemporary times see intricate issues around, calling for innovative changes and reforms as also providing such platforms which ensures savings time, avoidable lengthy paper works, and formalities. The government needs to be proactive in seeing the success of the first family court as well as establishing more such courts in other places which satisfy the criterion on the population as people may be prompted to refer the family matters to such courts.