Pune’s family court to be replicated elsewhere in Maharashtra

PUNE: Pune’s family court – a five storeyed government-owned building – will now be replicated in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Satara, Nashik and Nagpur. The family court in Pune, stands adjacent to the existing district and sessions court premises near the government godown, and was inaugurated in 2017 although its actual construction began in 2009. On February 20 this year, it added two new floors and an alternate dispute resolution (ADR) centre that will help resolve 8,500 cases every month. With the addition of two new floors, the court now has ten court halls, 14 counselor rooms, an auditorium, eight new resting rooms for judges travelling on official duty, a cafeteria, a canteen, ATM, a children’s play area, a gazebo in the garden, a microphone and speaker facility for announcements, motivational posters along the staircase, and a child-friendly room.

Principal judge, family court, Subhash Kafre, said, “This family court is built on the concept design of guardian judge justice Revati Mohite-Dere. The two new floors will house an ADR centre along with a mediation room to attempt to settle disputed cases. We have also added four new counselor rooms bringing the total count to 14 rooms. Besides this, we have a play area developed on the ground floor along with a gazebo in the garden so that couples can meet and talk. This court has also developed a childcare centre for custody dispute cases where non-custodial parents can meet their children, and a child-friendly room meant for recording the statements of child witnesses and for interviewing children in custody cases in an informal setting.

Kafre said that with the inclusion of 34 villages, the family court has seen a rise in the number of cases from 6,000 to 8,500 per month. “Daily, we hear around 25 cases including divorce, restitution of conjugal rights, mutual consent divorce, maintenance cases, custody cases, cases filed for execution of order etc.,” he said.

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