The Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was taken up for discussion in Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to retrospectively apply the 1984 Act to family courts in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland, which were established without a Central notification under the Act. Speaking on the Bill, a Member highlighted the lapse on part of the Law Ministry and suggested setting up a Committee to look into other such lapses that may have occurred. Several Members raised concerns over high pendency in Family courts across the country. Another Member pointed out the need to establish more family courts, especially in highly populated districts. The parent Act requires a Family court to be established for every city or town with more than 10,00,000 population.
Responding to the discussion, the Law and Justice Minister noted that more than 11 lakh cases are pending as of May 2022 in the 715 family courts in the country. The Minister assured the House that the government is working to reduce pendency by bringing in the Mediation Bill, 2021 and by making legal-aid counselling available for free from this year.
In Rajya Sabha, 19 Members were suspended for the remainder of the week. The House, however, continued to see repeated disruptions and adjourned without taking up its legislative business.
Earlier in the day, Question Hour was briefly taken up in Lok Sabha. Raising the issue of a 61-day fishing ban, a Member asked about alternative employment being provided to fishermen during this period. The MoS for Fisheries informed the House that the government is encouraging seaweed cultivation and cage culture as alternative employment. A 61-day uniform fishing ban in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone beyond territorial waters in East and West Coasts is implemented annually to conserve marine resources. A compensation of Rs 3,000 is also provided to each beneficiary under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana.
Numbers to note
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs informed Rajya Sabha today that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty amounting to ₹4,369.4 crore on 241 companies for violation of various provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 (between April 2017 and June 2022). So far, ₹197.9 crore has been paid by the companies. The remaining penalties have been stayed/set aside by Tribunal/Courts and in some cases, the statutory time granted for deposit of penalty by the parties has not expired. The difference amounts to ₹4,171.5 crore.