Monday October 18, 2021

KP sees increase in family court cases

September 20, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Among all the provinces, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is the only one to witness hike in cases of family disputes in family courts for the year 2020-2021, reveals data from Law and Justice Commission.

The data about the cases/ appeals running in family courts during the year 2020-2021 showed that apart from KP, the family courts in rest of the provinces managed to clear their pending cases.

The data, available with The News, also showed that cases of separation or dissolution of marriages were the highest in the family courts across the country. The accumulated data from all family courts of Punjab showed that the province reported 22,438 less cases on the closing date of courts for the year 2020-2021 compared to the last year's closing date. Followed by Sindh, Islamabad and Balochistan, the cases decreased by 460, 162 and 136, respectively, in these provinces. However, KP reported 1,715 more cases compared to the closing date of civil courts for the year 2019-2021.

The data provided by an NGO, Women Aid Trust, said cases of dissolution of marriage topped the list. Around 3,000 such cases were reported only in Rawalpindi for the year 2019. Cases of maintenance allowance were a little over 2,000, while cases of conjugal rights, guardianship and divorce stood at 626, 676, and 17, respectively.

The NGO study claimed that the institution of marriage was undergoing a severe crisis and it supported the theory that perhaps a change in the socioeconomic situation of either party might change the fate of their relationship. The study claimed alcohol and drug abuse as the foremost behavioural reasons identified for divorce in midlife. Furthermore, infidelity often breaks down the marital bond leading to family disputes, added the study.

According to the research, domestic violence was also a major cause of why the marital relationship dissolved and broke down. Women belonging to highly patriarchal family structures were more susceptible to domestic violence, according the research study. The study noted that despite recent legislation on the matter, no real progress had been made on ground.

It was also reported in a newspaper that 2020 was a particularly difficult year for women around the world, as cases of domestic violence rose sharply in the wake of economic and social adversity triggered by Covid-19 lockdowns in a number of countries, including in the West.

According to a news report, the cases of separation, filed in the family courts of Sindh, jumped by over 700 per cent during 2020. Due to domestic insecurity, lack of education, unfamiliarity with the sanctity of relationships, intolerance and unequal distribution of wealth, increasing poverty and ignorance, the divorce rate in Pakistan is increasing alarmingly.