Governor to enact J&K Family Courts Act within next few days

Step to ensure speedy disposal of burgeoning cases
CJ constitutes committee of Judges to work out modalities

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Nov 6: With State Administrative Council (SAC) clearing the proposal of the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Governor Satya Pal Malik will enact the Jammu and Kashmir Family Courts Act within next few days. Moreover, Chief Justice of State High Court Justice Gita Mittal has constituted a committee of Judges to work out modalities for establishment of Family Courts so as to ensure speedy disposal of burgeoning cases.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that State Administrative Council cleared the proposal of the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs in its last meeting without any observation or modification and thereafter the draft bill was submitted to the Governor Satya Pal Malik.
“Governor is going to enact the law within next few days in exercise of the powers vested under Proclamation No.P-1/18 dated June 20, 2018 by issuing notification, which will be subsequently published in the Government Gazette”, they said, adding “it is due to the keen interest of the Chief Secretary that Act of immense importance is going to become reality within one and half month of its planning”.
It is pertinent to mention here that the draft Jammu and Kashmir Family Courts Bill was placed in the public domain for inviting objections and suggestions on September 18, 2018. EXCELSIOR in its edition dated October 23, 2018 had exclusively reported that SAC was going to clear the proposal vis-à-vis setting up of Family Courts in the State as no major suggestion was received from any quarter.
According to the sources, the Law Department will shortly set into motion the process for preparation of rules for carrying out the purposes of the J&K Family Courts Act, 2018 in consultation with the State High Court.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Gita Mittal has constituted a committee to look into all matters relating to creation and working of Family Courts.
The committee headed by Justice Tashi Rabstan and comprising of Justice Rashid Ali Dar, JMIC Fozia Paul and District Judge Abdul Rashid Malik will identify suitable premises in the existing complexes for setting up of Family Courts and recommend Judicial Officers suitable for posting as Family Courts Judges.
Moreover, the committee will prepare and recommend panel of Principal Counsellors and Counsellors for the Family Courts. Besides holistically considering all issues relating to Family Courts, the committee will also look into sensitization and training of Family Courts Judges, Counsellors and staff.
“The committee will furnish reports to the Chief Justice on all these aspects after regular intervals so as to ensure smooth establishment and functioning of the Family Courts”, sources said.
They said that decision to establish Family Courts has been taken keeping in view alarming rise in disputes relating to marriage and family affairs and to ensure speedy disposal of cases besides to decrease burden on the existing courts, which are finding it difficult to deal with the prevailing situation in befitting manner.
At the Central Government level a law to provide for establishment of Family Courts was enacted in the year 1984 but need of such courts in Jammu and Kashmir was felt only by the Governor’s administration in the recent past to promote conciliation in and secure settlement of disputes relating to marriage and family affairs and connected matters.
The Family Courts will deal with a suit or proceeding between the parties to a marriage for a decree of nullity of marriage or restitution of conjugal rights or judicial separation or dissolution of marriage; a suit or proceeding for declaration as to the validity of a marriage or as to the matrimonial status of any person; a suit or proceeding between the parties to a marriage with respect to the property of the parties or of either of them; a suit or proceeding for an order of injunction in circumstances arising out of a martial relationship; a suit for maintenance and proceeding in relation to the guardianship of the person or the custody of, or access to, any minor.