Kerala HC: Property Dispute b/w Mother & Child Does Not Fall Under Explanation (c) to Sec 7(1) Family Courts Act

Kerala HC Law Insider

Khushi Bajpai

Published on: September 11, 2022 at 17:54 IST

The Kerala High Court recently held that in order to attract Clause (c) of explanation to Section 7(1) of the Family Court Act, it must be satisfied that a suit or proceedings for an order or injunction should be in circumstances “arising out of a marital relationship”, and the dispute should be one with respect to the properties of such “parties to marriage”.

The provision states that a family court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of suits and proceedings between the parties to a marriage with respect to the property of the parties of either of them.

Thus, Justice MR Anitha held that a property to dispute between a mother and her children cannot be included under Clause (c) of explanation to Section 7(1) of the Family Courts Act;

  • For it is a civil dispute and does not involve any questions regarding the martial status or validity of marriage and;
  • As a consequence, it cannot say that jurisdiction of civil courts is barred in case of such dispute between a mother and child.

The observation of the lower courts that only the family court had jurisdiction to entertain the matter, was thus found by the court to be wrong in this end.

The court ascertained that the following substantial question of law arose in the interest of the case to be determined:

“When the suit was filed for setting aside a will executed by the decease, since no questions regarding marital status, validity of marriage and rights arising therefrom are involved, and since no adjudication in that regard is to be made, whether the courts below had erred in finding that the suit is not maintained before the civil court, and that it could be adjudicated only by a family court”.

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