Hyderabad: The city has witnessed an increase in the number of family dispute cases in the last decade that from one family court, the Ranga Reddy district now has three more in Kukatpally, LB Nagar and Malkajgiri.
This is not sufficient to clear the pending cases. And yet more cases are being added every day. Lawyers say between 100 and 200 family dispute cases get registered daily.
At a recent event conducted by the Council for Alternative Dispute Resolution Trust, Ranga Reddy district principal district and sessions judge Renuka Yara said, “The institution of family is under stress. A huge responsibility lies on advocates to find solutions to save our generation. Advocates must not support divorce as the first step.” Lawyers mention how family matters escalate in court. “When either party approaches the court or the police station, 90 per cent of the times the marriage ends there. The court is barely seen as a mediator now,” said advocate Ratan Singh.
The opposing parties file charges on each other ranging from cruelty, to 498A and domestic violence to strengthen their case. Most couples spend years seeing the divorce proceedings through, and passing on the bitterness to the children.
High Court advocate Deepak Bhattacharjee said advocates and judicial officers must take the first step and assume the role of panchayat heads, as the families have turned nuclear and have no elderly influence to sort out matters. Apart from this, lawyers see duality in the Family Court Act, 1984 and substantive law to be causing delay.
“The Family Court Act says a gist of evidence would suffice for a judgement. This was initiated to reduce pendency of cases and provide for quick redressal. But the courts insist on proper proof of cruelty or violence in order to give a judgement. How can cruelty be proved in a gist? This duality of substantive law and Family Court Act must be reconciled,” said advocate Vani. Alternative dispute redressal centres are also being pitched as an option.
“Trained judicial officers and lawyers must be a neutral third party to help couples solve their marital problems outside courts, bringing ease and comfort to the litigants,” said advocate Mahendar Reddy....