Government’s apathy hampers establishment of family courts in JK
Jammu, Nov 29: Establishment of family courts for ensuring quick disposal of domestic violence cases and other matrimonial matters has remained a distant dream in Jammu and Kashmir; courtesy- laidback approach of subsequent governments which failed to come up with a relevant legislation to pave way for the setting up of such judicial institutions.
According to the sources, lack of interest by state’s Law Department in introducing a bill in the state legislature is the main stumbling block in making these courts a reality.
At present about 3000 cases of this category are pending in various courts of the state, which could have been disposed off much faster with the creation of the family courts. Even the fate of Domestic Violence Bill hangs in balance as it has been introduced in the state legislature but is yet to be passed.
Women Commission chairperson Shamima Firdous who is also National Conference MLA said, “Delay is on part from the government, I had taken up the matter with the Law Department to bring the Legislation in the Assembly, but it was not taken up”.
Firdous said that such courts are a necessity as the numbers of matrimonial and domestic violence cases have rouse alarmingly in recent years, especially in Kashmir valley.
"If the government approves the recommendation it will be a big relief to the women who avoid moving to the general courts due certain reservations of the conservative society ", she said.
Secretary women commission, Hafeeza Muzaffar said, “It has become imperative as the women usually avoid coming in open courts to make statements in presence of male members. As otherwise, they can confidently appear before family courts where the judges and lawyers will be from the fair sex”.
When constituted the range of issues which these courts will hear includes physical torture, domestic violence, sexual harassment and eve teasing. “There is total lack of interest from the government over the issue and possibly it would never see the light of the day”, said a source
It was also planned to open sub offices of Women Commission at the district headquarters in the State to provide legal help to the women living in rural and far-flung areas but so far no headway has been made in this regard.
If setup, women from far-flung areas could easily approach the Commission to seek justice and their time will also be saved.
It is often observed that fearing backlash most of the women from conservative societies hesitate to come forward to complaint against harassment by the family members or others. In many cases peer pressure forces women to avoid moving to courts.
"There is need to involve women specific NGOs to create awareness among the womenfolk about their rights and establishment of female courts could be a good way to create confidence among them", said Suman Kapil, who runs a NGO in Jammu.
The only women specific institution where they can approach for redressing their grievances, the state women commission has registered a total of 2000 cases during last one decade, out of which only 500 were disposed off so far. As much as 800 cases of marital discords were registered from the Kashmir, while 700 were filed from various parts of Jammu region in recent past by the commission.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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