A month ago a number of cases related matrimonial disputes and maintenance from Mulky and Ullal referred from the jurisdictional magistrate courts to the new family court were recently returned back. This is because the two areas do not come under the jurisdiction of the family court, which is restricted to the areas coming under the city corporation.
Having a separate family court was among the many long pending demands of the litigants from the city. It was on May 23 that the family court started functioning in the district court premises. The family court deals with cases such as divorce, restitution of conjugal rights, for maintenance and those related to custody of a minor child. This court has been operating from a small hall adjoining the post office in the District Court Complex.
Mangalore District Bar Association president S.G. Chengappa said that restricting the jurisdiction of the family court only to the city areas was not serving any purpose.
“Ideally this family court should have covered the entire Mangalore taluk. This would match with the cadre of the judge appointed for the court. The government has failed to consider the fact that Mangalore had grown well beyond the corporation areas,” he said.
Advocate Harish Rai said restricting family court only to city areas had limited the legal remedy for the litigants. “While litigants from the city have to go on appeal to the High Court against the order of the family court, those from Ullal and Mulky can approach the district court against the order of the magistrate court. The city litigants should not be denied of the benefits that the adjoining areas enjoy,” he said.
Mr. Chengappa said the court hall of the family court was too small and there was not enough space for the litigants to sit.
The court was functioning with a minimal staff and not all the 24 posts have been filled.
Mr. Chengappa said the association would be making a representation to the State government to bring the entire Mangalore taluk under the jurisdiction of family court.
It would ask the government to direct the private construction company to speed up the work of new seven-storey district court complex.
As many as 30 court halls would come up in the new complex.
“A lot of our infrastructural problems of the courts, including that of the family court, will be addressed if this new building comes up.
The construction of this building commenced in 2006,” Mr. Chengappa said.