Working couples unable to find time to turn up at courts to settle matrimonial disputes can heave a sigh of relief.
Family courts in at least seven districts of the state will start functioning on Sundays from March 3. Supreme Court judge Justice M.Y. Eqbal will formally inaugurate the Sunday court, which will be known as holiday family court, in Ranchi on Saturday. The court will hear cases from 10am to 2.30pm with a half-an-hour break from noon to 12.30pm on Sundays.
The step was taken following a direction from Jharkhand High Court to principal judges of family courts of seven districts — Bokaro, Dhanbad, Deoghar, Giridih, Hazaribagh, East Singhbhum and Ranchi — a few days ago.
“The holiday family court will help settle disputes between working partners. The high court has directed us to take up at least 25 such cases in which both the partners or one of the partners is working,” said principal judge of the family court in Ranchi S.K. Dubey.
He further said that though initially, the working hours of the special courts have been kept short, the same will be increased in keeping with the rise in number of cases.
A civil court employee of the state capital welcomed the move. “In Ranchi, the family court has been running since 2001 and approximately, 700 cases are filed every year. Out of them, about 20 per cent cases involve working couples who are too busy to come on given dates to settle the dispute. If the courts run on holidays, the number of pending cases will automatically go down,” he said.
However, another civil court lawyer was critical. “Why such a facility is being given to fighting couples only when similar problem is faced by thousands of litigants who cannot attend court on working days?” he asked.
But Dubey justified the decision, saying that the family court was a special set-up.