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Split Wide Open


5,516 divorce cases are pending in Pune’s family court. As couples make a beeline for the family court, authorities can’t handle the load


By Tanaji Khot
Posted On Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 12:17:30 AM
New site of the family court opposite Shivajinagar court
New site of the family court opposite Shivajinagar court

Divorce is in and alimony is the new label to flaunt! You could blame the economically independent woman, major changes in lifestyle and the social value system, but if  you go by the number of divorce cases pending in Pune’s family court, the city has a new trend.

The court receives an average of ten divorce cases a day. The number of cases are so high that the family court is buckling under the pressure of having to resolve all of them. 

The number of divorce cases and other marriage disputes are increasing and the present staff of ten marriage counsellors and four judges on the panel cannot tackle the heap of cases coming in.

The State goverment officially admitted this in the Legislative Council on Thursday.

Their statements made the government promise to take appropriate steps to resolve the issue. The issue was raised by Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Mohan Joshi and Nilam Gorhe.

It is easy to understand, after going through the pending cases in the Pune family court, why the supreme Court (SC) recently said that there was an urgent need of an amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act in order to speedily dispose of family disputes. There are 5,516 cases pending in the Pune family court alone which has jurisdiction only within the PMC limits.

Vacant posts
One post in a panel of five judges has been lying vacant since August last year. The court does not have its own space and is being run in a rented building for the last 22 years.

This information was provided by Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, the Law and Justice Minister of Maharashtra in the legislative council.

Replying to a question by member Mohan Joshi and Neelam Gorhe, Vikhe-Patil said, “The court is being run in a rented space since 1988.”

A new court building
Vikhe-Patil also said that since the court has many types of cases, people come there in large numbers. He promised that a supervision of the present space will be carried out by the Minister of State Bhaskar Jadhav and legislators. He added that appropriate action will be taken according to their suggestions.

“The court has a panel of five judges. One post in the panel is vacant at present. The court had 5,516 cases pending as on June 10 while there is a stipulation of one judge per 2,000 cases.

In fact, there were two vacant posts of judges in the court, out of which one was filled this June,”  Jadhav said.

“The court is being run in a rented space since 1988. A new building will be built for the court, which is estimated to cost about Rs 10,13,00,000.

A provision of Rs eight crore has been made in the current budget and the new building will be completed within a year,” he promised

Mohan Joshi told Pune Mirror, “Since the family court is a place of hope for many women, the state is socially obligated to give them respite on time. However, the picture in Pune’s family court is very different.

A large number of women flock to the court premises, but the court cannot give them basic amenities like adequate sitting arrangements or toilets. Therefore, we raised the issue in the house.

The minister has promised to take appropriate steps to fill the vacant posts as well as speed up the ongoing work of family court building and providing adequate infrastructure to the people as early as possible.”

Divorce cases filed till June 30: 1050

Cases sanctioned (mutual consent): 377

Cases court gets each day: 10

No of judges on the panel: 4

Pending cases
Custody battles in court: 124

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