Maharashtra Family Courts


The need to establish the Family Courts was first emphasized by late Smt Durga Bai Deshmukh after her visit to China in the year 1953, where she had the opportunity to study the working of Family Courts. She discussed the subject with Hon’ble Mr Justice M.C. Chagla of Bombay High Court and also Hon’ble Mr Justice P.B. Gajendragadkar, then the Judge, Bombay High Court. She also discussed the matter of setting up of the Family Courts with the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. Several women associations, welfare organizations and individuals also mounted pressure for setting-up of the Family Courts to provide a forum for speedy settlement of family relates disputes. The emphasis was on a non- adversarial method of resolving family disputes and promoting conciliation and securing speedy settlement of dispute relating to marriage and family affairs.

The Law Commission in its 59th report (1974) also recommended for setting-up of special courts where rules of procedure would be simpler. The Law Commission also emphasized that such courts may adopt and approach radical steps distinguished from the existing civil courts and that such courts should make reasonable efforts for settlement before commencement of the trial. In 1975, the ‘Committee on the Status of Women’ recommended that all matters concerning the ‘family’ be dealt with separately.

In 1984, the Family Courts Act was passed and it came into force on September 14, 1984. The objective was to take family and marital disputes away from the overcrowded intimidating and congested environment of traditional courts of law and bring them to congenial and sympathetic surroundings. The aim was ‘conciliation’ between the estranged family members and not ‘confrontation’.

Family Court Mumbai was established with effect from 7th October began with 5 Courts initially and during May 1995 6th and 7th Court operations started.

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