Bhopal: Family court counsellors want hike in honorarium

Honorarium of Rs 300 per session had not been enhanced for more than seven years

SmitaUpdated: Monday, August 29, 2022, 10:55 PM IST
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Bhopal(Madhya Pradesh): Counsellors at the Bhopal District Family Courts want hike in honorarium and also increase in the number of sessions for counseling which, as they say, have been reduced from four to one per case this year.

As per some of the counselors who spoke to Free Press they are paid an honorarium of Rs 300 per session. They are not entitled to any conveyance allowance.

The Family Courts Act, 1984, provides that in every case related to matrimonial disputes, an endeavour shall be made by the family court “to assist and persuade the parties in arriving at a settlement in respect of the subject-matter of the suit or proceeding.”

It also provides that the court may adjourn the proceedings “for such a period as it thinks fit to enable attempts to be made to effect such a settlement.”

Counsellors are appointed to assist the family courts in helping the parties involved arrive at a settlement. They are trained professionals, who interact with the parties with the objective of finding a common ground to save marriages from collapse.

One of consellors said the honorarium of Rs 300 per session had not been enhanced for more than seven years.

“In these inflationary times, this amount is grossly inadequate,” said the counsellor, who did not wish to be identified.

They want the amount to be raised to at least Rs 1,000 per session.

They also say that they are not getting any conveyance allowance too. “Petrol costs more than Rs 100 per litre,” reminds another counsellor.

The counsellors also say that the reduction in the number of counselling sessions should be restored to four per case as ‘in the first session, we just get introduced to the litigants and their issues. They talk and we listen. It is only in the subsequent sessions that we counsel them, suggest solutions and try to save their marriage’.

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