Mumbai: Legal provisions meant to prevent domestic violence and protect married women from harassment are sometimes misused, a judge of the Bombay High Court has said. Justice Vasanti Naik of the Nagpur bench of High Court was speaking after inaugurating the new courtroom of the family court at Amravati District Court here on Sunday.
Expressing concern over the growing number of divorces in metropolitan cities, Justice Naik quoted a recent study, which says that nearly forty per cent of marriages in Mumbai and Delhi are heading towards divorce.
Further, “Provisions of section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code (‘husband or relative of husband subjecting married woman to cruelty’) and certain provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act are being misused”, she said.
“The family court should keep note of this,” the judge added. Section 498-A is commonly invoked in cases of harassment for dowry. The family court system has several advantages, Justice Naik noted. “Some families cannot resolve their disputes on their own. Family courts are equipped with mediators and counsellors who try to resolve their disputes without court’s intervention,” she said.
Fifty couples, who resolved marital disputes with the help of counsellors provided by the family court during the last year, were felicitated on this occasion. Justice Naik congratulated Amravati family court judge I J Nanda for reducing the number of cases pending before her court.
Justice S B Shukre presided over the function, which was also attended by district judge Anil Pansare and president of Amravati Bar Association Advocate Prashant Deshpande. Justice Naik also announced that a second family court for Amravati has been sanctioned, and the process of appointment of staff is underway.