The Bombay High Court Thursday asked the state government to take the initiative to constitute family courts in every district.
A division bench of Justice Anil K Menon and Justice Makarand S Karnik was hearing a PIL by a businessman, Tushar Gupta, who said at least one family court is required for every city with a population of over a million, according to the Family Courts Act.
The petitioner, who is studying law, said he was surprised to learn through RTI replies that in Mumbai alone, there were more than 5,000 divorce cases pending and there were only seven family court judges, while as per the 2011 census, six more judges are required and the requirement could be even higher now due to increase in population.
The plea claimed that even though Maharashtra has a population of at least 11.24 crore as per the 2011 census, the total number of family courts in Maharashtra is 19 when it should be 39 as per law. The state’s lawyer said that the Registrar General of the High Court be made party to the plea as the family courts are to be established in consultation with the High Court administration.
The bench questioned as to where land was available for establishing family courts and that the state should first provide the same. “First step is taken by you (state). Give us land. We’ll tell you how to build it (family court),” the bench orally remarked.
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