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Parliament Passes Family Courts(Amendment) Bill 2022

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
5 Aug 2022 2:22 AM GMT
Parliament Passes Family Courts(Amendment) Bill 2022
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The Rajya Sabha on Thursday(August 4) passed the Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2022 to overcome the issue of lack of jurisdiction of Family Courts in the States of Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland. The Lok Sabha had cleared the Bill on July 26.

Though the Government of Nagaland established two Family Courts in September 2008 and the Government of Himachal Pradesh established three Family Courts in February 2019, the same are yet to be brought into force by the Central Government vide notification in the Official Gazette as prescribed under Section 1(3) of the Family Courts Act, 1984.

Thus, the Bill introduced by Law Minister Kiren Rijiju sought to "validate" and "save" all the functions performed by such courts till date.

The Amendment Act seeks to amend the Act of 1984 by inserting a proviso in Section 1(3) to provide for the establishment of Family Courts in the State of Himachal Pradesh with effect from the 15th February, 2019 and in the State of Nagaland with effect from the 12th September, 2008. It also seeks to insert a new section 3A to retrospectively validate all actions under the said Act taken by the State Government of Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland and the Family Courts of those States prior to the commencement of the Family Courts (Amendment) Act, 2022.

About the Bill
Section 3A of the Amendment Bill further provides any action taken, any appointment made, any duty performed, any rules made, any notification issued under the Family Courts Act in the States of Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland prior to the commencement of this Amendment Act shall be deemed valid.

It adds that "Every power exercised and function performed, every matter dealt with, every proceeding undertaken, every order, judgment, decree or sentence passed and every other act done by the Family Courts in the States of Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland prior to the commencement of the Family Courts (Amendment) Act, 2022 shall be deemed to be validly exercised, performed, dealt with, undertaken, passed or done under the provisions of this Act."

It may be noted that the issue of lack of jurisdiction of Family Courts in Himachal Pradesh is pending before the High Court in the case of Omkar Sharma v. State of Himachal Pradesh & Anr., Crl Rev No. 180/2021.

The Petitioner therein stated that as the Central Government has not issued any notification to extend the jurisdiction of Family Courts in the State, such Courts are functioning without jurisdiction and anything done or any action taken under the said Act appears to be void ab initio and the notification issued by the State establishing the Family Courts is ultra vires. The Union of India is impleaded as a party and the matter is pending before that Court.

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