Family Courts

  Family Courts Act, 1984 was enacted to provide for the establishment of Family Courts
1)-To promote conciliation(समझौता)
2)-Secure speedy settlement of disputes relating to
  Marriage and
  Family affairs

Why Separate Family Courts

Several associations of women, other organizations and individuals have urged, from time to time, that Family Courts, be set up for the settlement of family disputes, where emphasis should be laid on conciliation and achieving socially desirable results and adherence to rigid rules of procedure and evidence should be eliminated
Law Commission in its 59th report (1974) had also stressed that in dealing with disputes concerning the family the Court ought to adopt an approach radically different from the adopted in ordinary civil proceedings and that it should make reasonable efforts at settlement before the commencement of the trial.
Code of Civil Procedure was amended in 1976 to provide for a special procedure to be adopted in suits or proceedings relating to matters concerning the family.

 Courts deal with family disputes in the same manner as other civil matters and the same adversary approach prevails.
 The need was, therefore, felt, in the public interest, to establish Family Courts for speedy settlement of family disputes
Main objectives and reasons for setting up of Family Courts
(i) To create a Specialized Court which will exclusively deal with family matters so that such a court may have the necessary expertise to deal with these cases expeditiously.
 Thus expertise(विशेषज्ञ) and expeditious(शीघdisposal are two main factors for establishing such a court;
(ii) To institute a mechanism for conciliation(समझौता) of the disputes relating to family;
(iii) To provide an inexpensive remedy; and
(iv) To have flexibility and an informal atmosphere in the conduct of proceedings.

Features

Salient features of the Family Courts Act, 1984
1. It provides for the establishment of Family Courts by the State Governments in consultation with the High Courts.
2. It makes it obligatory on the State Governments to set up a Family Court in every city or town with a population exceeding one million.
3. It enables the State Governments to set up Family Courts in other areas also, if they deem it necessary.
4. It exclusively provides within the jurisdiction of the Family Courts matters relating to:-
 Matrimonial relief, including nullity of marriage, judicial separation, divorce, restitution of conjugal rights, or declaration as to the validity of marriage or as to the matrimonial status of any person; the property of the spouses or of either of them; declaration as to the legitimacy of any person; guardianship of a person or the custody of any minor; and maintenance of wife, children and parents.
 It makes it obligatory(अनिवार्) on the part of the Family Court to endeavour(प्रस), in the first instance to effect a reconciliation(सुलह) or a settlement b/w parties to a family dispute.
During this stage, proceedings will be informal and rigid rules of procedure shall not apply
Court may, in the interest of justice, seek assistance of a legal expert as amicus curiae.
 Simplifies the rules of evidence and procedure
 Provides for only one right of appeal which shall lie to the High Court.

Establishment

 Total of 438 Family Courts are functional in the country(2018)
 Uttar Pradesh- 76, Madhya Pradesh – 44, Bihar -39
 Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh— (0)
Source:- Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India.

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