Emphasizing that family court cases are “sensitive” and require “attention”, Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday informed parliament that he had “writes to all states to ensure” that family courts are put in place. in every district with more than 10 lakh population.
The statement came as the Lok Sabha debated the Family Court Amendment Bill, which was passed by the lower house.
Defending the bill, Rijiju also gave data on the current number of family courts and pending cases.
According to the response given to the Lok Sabha, there are currently 715 family courts in the country with 11,49,907 cases pending as of April 31. The country has a total of 773 districts.
“I tell you the record until May, 69,464 new cases were registered,” Rijiju said.
The law and justice minister also said he will “take stock” of the situation later this week at a conference of all district judges scheduled for July 30. The Chief Justice of India, the Prime Minister and District Judges from all districts in the country will attend the conference. “We recently had a conference of chief justices of all high courts and the senior justices of the Supreme Court will be considered as important issues. This conference will also deliberate on these issues and the issue of family courts” , said Rijiju.
“Resolving cases in family courts requires slow, careful and sensitive resolution. The government is studying how to proceed,” Rijiju said.
Under the Family Courts Act, the responsibility for establishing special family courts rests with the state government.
In response to a specific question from MP Kaushalendra Kumar regarding the absence of family courts in Bihar, the Minister of Justice assured the House that he would raise the matter with the state government as well as with the Chief Justice of the High Court.
The Minister also championed the required amendment in the Family Courts Act which was originally passed in 1984.
The law, Rijiju said, had given states the power to create special family courts. “There are only 5 states left that don’t have family courts. Now, with this law, I hope there won’t be any more problems,” the minister said.
The Lok sabha debate had asked why the government decided to create a retrospective amendment to include states that created family courts at a later stage. The attorney general pointed out that “thousands of cases” would be affected if the amendment did not give state courts legal legitimacy.
He also emphasized the use of technology and mediation to expedite the resolution of cases in family court. “Most family and business cases can be resolved through mediation. We are also introducing a mediation bill. District legal aid advice will be free through the National Legal Services Authority,” Rijiju said.
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