Parliament has passed the Family Courts (Amendment) Bill 2022 with the Rajya Sabha approving it today amid din. The Lok Sabha has already cleared the Bill.
It seeks to amend the Family Courts Act, 1984. The Act allows state governments to establish Family Courts. The central government is empowered to notify dates for the Act to come into force in different states. The governments of Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland have set up Family Courts in their states under the Act. However, the central government has not extended the application of the Act to these states.
The Bill seeks to extend the application of the Act to the state of Himachal Pradesh with effect from 15th February 2019 and to the state of Nagaland with effect from 12 September 2008. The establishment of Family Courts in both states will be retrospectively valid from these dates.
Speaking on the Bill, Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju highlighted the importance of the legislation. He termed the bill important as it is related to the family. He stressed the need to give priority to the family courts saying the government has urged the states and the High Courts to establish family courts in each district in the country. He said there are 11 lakh cases pending in 715 courts and Centre has urged the judiciary to dispose of them. The Minister said the Central government is providing infrastructure and other support to the courts.
Initiating the discussion, Saroj Pandey of the BJP said, family, plays an important role in an individual’s life. She said, more family courts need to be set up in the country to protect Indian family culture. BJD MP Muzibulla Khan, Subhas Chandra Bose Pilli of YSR Congress, Ram Nath Thakur of JD(U), AD Singh of RJD, G K Vasan and others also spoke on the Bill. The Bill was passed amid continuous protest by the opposition parties.