The Kerala High Court is slated to consider pertinent questions regarding the jurisdiction of family courts when it comes to original petitions seeking reliefs under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
A division bench consisting of Justices A Muhamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas on August 2 appointed advocate M Ashok Kini as Amicus Curiae to assist the bench in the matter.
The High Court was considering a petition filed by a man (petitioner) who moved the Court contending that the family court does not have the jurisdiction to entertain an original petition filed under Domestic Violence Act.
A divorce plea filed by the petitioner was earlier pending before a family court in Alappuzha district.
While seeking a transfer of this case to another district, the petitioner’s estranged wife filed a fresh petition before a family court in Ernakulam seeking relief under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
The petitioner objected to the wife’s plea on the ground that an original petition under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act can only be filed before a judicial magistrate and not before a family court.
Despite the petitioner’s objection, the family court at Ernakulam proceeded to consider and pass an order in the matter.
This led the petitioner to approach the High Court for relief, which earlier directed the family court at Ernakulam to consider the issue.
However, after the family court at Ernakulam dismissed the petitioner’s objection, he approached the High Court again for relief.
After appointing an Amicus Curiae to assist the High Court, the bench on Wednesday proceeded to adjourn the matter. The case will be taken up next on August 10.