Sub: Crisis in Family and Family Court
Save Indian Family Foundation, an NGO dedicated to promote the cause of Family Harmony and Gender Equality, issues press release highlighting severe crisis in Family Court in Bangalore. It has come to the notice of Save Indian Family Foundation via various media reports there has been a serious dearth of judges in the Family Court of Bangalore on Siddhaiah Road. The Times of India reported it on 14 August 2008, whereas the DNA reported it on 16 November 2008.
Firstly it was the vacancy of IIIrd Additional Family Court as previous judge Shri Radhakrishna Holla was promoted to Principal Judge and then it was the sudden transfer of Shri Mariyappa to Bijapur which vacated the IInd Additional Family Court as well. Justice Mariyappa was also handling the additional burden of the IIIrd Additional Family Court and had disposed of 1200 cases in four months.
Currently there are 11,000 cases pending and 3,000 cases are just adjourned due to the non availability of judges. This is a grave concern for litigants who are entangled in family problems. As the old adage goes, “Justice delayed is Justice denied”, such inadvertent delay of justice due to non availability of judges is a cause of grave concern for Save Indian Family Foundation.
Family problems are very serious yet sensitive and quick relief is the call of the day for such problems. It has come to our notice through media reports that there is reluctance among judges to serve in Family Courts and this is one of the major reasons that the courts are empty since 6 months with no one to hear the woes of litigants. There is not even a semblance of justice for the 3000 odd cases and their applicants whose matters are adjourned daily.
Because of this political delay in justice and hearing of cases,
1. Non-custodian fathers are not able to see their children.
2. Children are not able to see their non-custodian fathers.
3. Women who are entitled to maintenance are not able to collect it.
4. One family which could be reunited via Restitution of Conjugal Rights provision is denied the chance.
5. One young couple, entangled in an unpleasant divorce, could have been granted divorce and they would have been able to move on in their life without wasting their youthful years.
6. Grandparents aka parents of the non-custodian parent, are denied the chance to meet their grandchildren and similarly those children also miss the love and affection of their grandparents.
The judiciary is in dire need of sensitization of critical and crucial family issues in order to handle the load on Family Courts. It needs to realize the importance of speedy disposal of cases and prevention of procedural and administration delays in family matters. Times have changed a lot and so has the family structure. The dynamic socio-economic revolution, largely influenced due to blind westernization of cultural Indian values, is taking a heavy toll on the life and longevity of today’s marriage. Divorces are being filed at the drop of a hat.
The Government and the Judiciary has a serious role to play in it. Currently unintentionally the process itself has become more barbaric than the final order that divorce comes as a long awaited relief like an oasis in a desert. A national debate on this issue is needed.
Save Indian Family Foundation urges the Government and the Judiciary to take immediate and positive steps to address the problem of Family Court in Bangalore and provide,
1. At least 5 Family Court Judges with at least 2 female judges, and
2. Open up additional family courts to dissipate the load of pending cases.
Save Indian Family Foundation fears the fulcrum of family is in grave danger and the crisis is not only on the Family Court, it is on the Family. In order to create awareness about the issue and submit a memorandum to the Principal Judge of the Family Court, Save Indian Family Foundation is organizing a flash Dharna in front of the family court on Saturday 17th Jan 2009 at 11: 00 AM. Members of Save Indian Family Foundation will be distributing pamphlets.
Date: 16 January 2009 Thanks and Regards
Place: Bangalore Public Relations Officer
Save Indian Family Foundation, Bangalore