In Case Of Justifiable Reason For Early Hearing Or Time-Bound Disposal, Family Court Must Pass Order Specifying Time Limit: Kerala HC
The Kerala High Court has held that if an applicant has stated any justifiable or valid reason for the early hearing or time-bound disposal, the Family Court has to pass an order specifying the time limit in the same.
A Division Bench of Justice Anil K. Narendran and Justice P.G. Ajithkumar observed, “In case the applicant has not stated any justifiable or valid reason for early hearing or time-bound disposal, the Family Court has to dismiss that application, stating a brief reason. On the other hand, if the applicant has stated any justifiable or valid reason for early hearing or time-bound disposal, the Family Court has to pass an order in that interlocutory application ordering early hearing or time-bound disposal of that case or cases, specifying the time limit in that order.”
The Bench said that a motion made by a party for an early hearing or time-bound disposal of a case or cases for any justifiable or valid reason has to be dealt with appropriately by the Family Court, by passing an order for early hearing or time-bound disposal of that case or cases.
Advocate A. Muhammed Musthafa appeared for the petitioner in this matter.
In this case, the petitioner filed a plea before the Family Court, Palakkad, under Section 13(1)(i)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, against the respondent i.e., the husband, seeking a decree of divorce to dissolve the marriage solemnized between them at Sree Krishna Temple, Guruvayur.
The petitioner i.e., the wife sought time-bound disposal of a plea. In that interlocutory application, the Family Court passed an order which read as-
“Petition allowed and the case will be disposed of at the earliest.”
The High Court after hearing the contentions of the counsel asserted, “The disposal of such an application, by passing an order that the case will be disposed of at the earliest, is not the disposal contemplated in the decision of this Court in Shiju Joy [2021 (2) KLT 607].”
The Court noted that the evidence on the side of the petitioner was over by November 11, 2022, and after repeated postings, the original petition stood listed the next day i.e., April 11, 2023, for the evidence of the respondent.
“Having considered the submissions made by the learned counsel for the petitioner, we deem it appropriate to dispose of this original petition by directing the Family Court, Palakkad to finally dispose O.P.No.1159 of 2018, as expeditiously as possible, at any rate, within a period of three months from the date of production of a certified copy of this judgment”, directed the Court.
Accordingly, the Court disposed of the plea and issued necessary directions to the Family Court.
Cause Title- Neethu Jagdish v. Manumohan Mani