Family Courts
Introduction:
1.1       The Family Courts Act, 1984 provides for establishment of Family Courts by the State Governments in consultation with the High Courts with a view to promote conciliation and secure speedy settlement of disputes relating to marriage and family affairs and for matters connected therewith. Under Section 3(1)(a) of the Family Courts Act, it is mandatory for the State Governments to set up a Family Court for every area in the State comprising a city or a town whose population exceeds one million. In other areas of the States, the Family Courts may be set up if the State Governments deem it necessary.
1.2       The States/UTs also specify, after consultation with the High Court, the local limits of the area to which the jurisdiction of a Family Court shall extend. The Family Courts function under the administrative control and superintendence of the State Government/ UT and the High Court concerned. Judges for the Family Courts are appointed by the State Govt. with the concurrence of the High Court.
2.         Objectives and reasons for setting up of Family Courts:
The main objectives and reasons for setting up of Family Courts are:
(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 and expedition are two main factors for establishing such a court;
(ii)               To institute a mechanism for conciliation 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.
3.         Following type of cases are heard in the Family Courts
1.      Decree for nullity of marriage
  1. Restitution of Conjugal rights
  2. Judicial Separation
  3. Divorce
  4. Declaration of marital status of any person
  5. Matrimonial property matters
  6. Claim of maintenance
  7. Guardianship
  8. Custody of children
  9. Access of children
  10. Application for injunction in matrimonial matters.
 
4.         Scheme of Financial Assistance to States
4.1       A scheme of Central financial assistance was started in 2002-03 for setting up of Family Courts. As per the scheme, Central Government provides 50% of the cost of construction of the building of Family Court and residential accommodation of the Judge subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10 lakh as a one-time grant as Plan support and Rs. 5 lakh annually as the recurring cost under Non-Plan. The State Government is required to provide matching share.
Updated Since: 01/07/2011