Family Courts Authorized to State Its Procedures on Matrimonial Matters : Says High Court of Madras

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On last week, the hon’ble High Court of Madras held that the Family Court has the authority to stipulate the modes to reach a conclusion or to find out the truth in the matters related with marriages. The bench comprises Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul as well as Justice M Sathyanarayanan who were considering the Public Interest Litigation initiated by Sudha Ramalingam who is also a lawyer. The Court said that when inquiring with the Madras High Court Registrar General, it was realized that there was no notification which is issued to give previous authority on the family courts to lay down its own procedure to take video conferencing while deciding the matrimonial matters. Therefore, the Court grants discretionary power to the family court to take evidence by introducing the mode of video conferencing. Hence, the Court provided authority on the family courts on the said matters. The family court can enunciate the methods to find out the correct reason of the issue by using video conferencing.

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Moreover, the family courts are not empowered to issue direction on general matters that will have an effect on judicial diplomacy as per the Act. The petitioner have attained a direction to the High Court Registrar General as well as the Law Secretary to formulate proper rules to seek appearance of the parties involved in the case by using video conferencing in Tamil Nadu family courts. The petitioner further submitted that the number of petitions for divorce by mutual consent and the cases were all the parties consented are not decided with any development as there is confusion and disallow the video conference process.

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While settling the petition, the Court also opined that when a case is referred to another bench for pronouncement of judgment, the parties shall appear at the first instance before the proceedings under the family court to prevent options of imposture. Therefore, no general direction is to be issued that will influence judicial prudence of the family court.