From now onwards, mediation centre, district courts at Panchkula will take up the marital disputes at pre-litigation stage for counselling which was earlier taken up by the women cell of Panchkula police.
“We will ask the police to send the cases pending with them. Anyone going through marital dispute can also approach us directly. We will look into all kinds of marital disputes, including dowry and domestic violence cases,” said chief judicial magistrate (CJM)-cum-nodal officer mediation centre, Panchkula, Sunil Chauhan.
With thousands of marriages being dissolved every year, the district legal services authority (DLSA), Panchkula, following the Supreme Court order of February 22, 2013, has now stepped in to save the institution of marriage.
The mediation centre at Panchkula has six trained mediators.
“Two mediation chambers will exclusively look after the matrimonial disputes at pre-litigative stage. In this regard, letter will be dispatched to the Panchkula deputy commissioner of police by the CJM to impress upon him to send cases received in the women cell to us at pre-litigation stage,” informed Manbir Singh Rathi, panel advocate of DLSA.
Taking note of the increasing number of complaints of dowry harassment being filed under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Supreme Court had said in K. Srinivas Rao vs D.A.
Deepa on February 22, 2013, “The criminal courts dealing with the complaint under Section 498-A of the IPC should, at any stage, and particularly before they take up the complaint for hearing, refer the parties to mediation centres if they feel that there exist elements of settlement and both the parties are willing. ”
The Supreme Court had also said in the case that all mediation centres should set up pre-litigation desks/clinics and make efforts to settle matrimonial disputes at pre-litigation stage.