Family court cases await online updates
VISAKHAPATNAM: The Indian government may have started the e-courts idea to sanction a person anywhere in the world to view the status of a case filed in any district court in the country, but petitioners complain that the status of family court cases is not being uploaded over the past few months.
The e-courts cover around 4,000 district courts of various states in the country. Family courts hear cases pertaining to civil disputes related to marriage, divorce, child custody, maintenance and so on. In the Vizag family court alone, around 1,800 cases are filed each year, with nearly 100-150 cases being filed per month. Given the rising number of family court cases and involvement of NRI spouses in these cases, online information on the status of cases becomes essential for clients, point out advocates.
D L Lakshmana Rao, a petitioner from Peda Waltair, said, “Since the last six months we have not been able to find the family courts window in the e-courts website. Over the past three months, I have sent mails to central and AP state law ministries, Supreme Court, High Court of AP and Telangana, district court, bar associations, National Informatics Centre, which manages the website and many other agencies notifying them about the problem but to no avail.”
“Since many NRIs are party to family court cases, it becomes a Herculean task for them to contact their advocates in India due to time variations and other constraints. It will be very convenient for them to find out the status of their case at the click of a mouse to plan their journey to India to attend court proceedings,” added Rao.
Krishna Reddy, a petitioner from Tagarapuvalasa, said, “At least the status of the original petition for a family court case should be uploaded so that clients can track the next date of hearing and be prepared to attend the court. In the absence of status updates, clients have to come to the court physically and check the manual diary for dates.”
When asked about the issue, senior advocate and president of Forum of Legal Professionals (FLP), Kuppili Muralidhar, said, “The possible reasons for the non-updation of family court cases may be the large number of interlocutory applications that are filed along with the main petitions. For instance, a petition for divorce may have other applications attached such as those of maintenance and child custody. In fact, it’s possible to have more than a dozen applications in one single petition. This makes the petitions complicated and hence their status with case number doesn’t get displayed. Another reason can be lack of adequate expert staff to upload the cases online. However, we are yet to ascertain the exact reason for the family court case status not being updated online.”
Vizag Bar Association president, J Pruthviraj, said, “We will look into this aspect and discuss the online updation of family court cases during our next meeting.”