Family Courts Act, 1964
( XXXV OF 1964)
Assented to by Governor on 14th July, 1964,
and enforced w.e.f 2nd November 1965
An Act to make provision
for the establishment of Family Courts
WHEREAS it is expedient to make provision for the establishment of Family Courts for the expeditious settlement and disposal of disputes relating to marriage and family affairs for matters connected therewith;
Legal Amendments1. Omitted the words “WEST PAKISTAN” by family Courts (Amendment) Act No.X Of 1996.,dated 5.8.1996.
It is hereby enacted as follows:
1. Short title, extent and commencement..(1) This Act may be called the Family Courts Act , 1964.
2) It extends to the whole of [Pakistan] the province of west Pakistan except the Tribal Areas.
3) It shall come into force in such area of area and or such date of dates as Government may, by notification in the official Gazette specify in his behalf.
4) Nothing in this Act shall apply to any suit, or any application under the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 pending for trial or hearing in any Court immediately before the coming into force of this Act, and all such suits and applications shall be heard and disposed of as if this Act were not in force.
[5) Any suit, or any application under the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890, which was pending for trial or hearing in any court immediately before the coming into force of this Act, and which his been dismissed solely on the ground that such suit or application is to be tried by a Family Court established under this Act shall, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law ,on made to it in that behalf by any party to the suit or application ,be tried and heard by such court from the stage at which such or application had reached at the time of its dismissal.
2. Definitions. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions shall have the meaning hereby respectively assigned to them, that is to say—
a) “Arbitration Council” and “Chairman” shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961;
b) “Family Court” means a Court constituted under this Act;
c) “Government” means the [Provincial Government-.
d) “party” shall include any person who as such in considered necessary for a proper decision of the dispute and whom the Family Court adds as a party to such dispute;
e) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act.
2) Words and expressions used in this Act but not herein defined shall have the meaning respectively assigned to them in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
3. Establishment of Family Courts: 1) Government shall establish one or more Family Courts in each District or at such other place as it may deem necessary and appoint a Judge for each such Courts.
Provided that at least one Family Court in each District shall be presided over by a woman Judge to be appointed within a period of six months or within such period as the Federal Government may, on the request of Provincial Government, extend:
2) A woman Judge may be appointed for more than one District and in such cases the woman Judge may sit for the disposal of cases at such place or places in either District, as the Provincial Government may specify.
3) Government shall, in consultation with the High Court, appoint as many woman Judges as may be necessary for the purposes of sub-section (1).
4 Qualification Of Judges. No person shall be appointed as a Judge of a family Court unless he is or has been or is qualified to be appointed as a District Judge, an Additional District Judge, A Civil Judge or a Qazi appointed under the Dastural-Amal Diwani Riasat Kalat]
1[(1) Subject to provisions of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961, and the Conciliation Courts Ordinance, 1961, the Family Courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction to entertain, hear and adjudicate upon matters specified in 2[Part I Of the Schedule].
3[(2) Notwithstanding any thing contained in the code of criminal procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898),the Family court shall have jurisdiction to try the offences specified in Part II of the Schedule, where one of the spouses is victim of an offence committed by the other.
(3) The High Court May with the approval of the Government, amend the Schedule so as to alter, delete or add any entry thereto.]
1. S.5 shall be renumbered as sub-section (1) by the family courts (Amendment) Ord. (lv of 2002), dt.1st October , 2002
2. Words ‘’the schedule’’ subs.by the family courts (Amendment) Ord. (lv of 2002), dt.1st October , 2002
3. Sub Sec. (2) &(3) added by the family courts (Amendment) Ord. (lv of 2002), dt.1st October , 2002
6. Place of sitting.— Subject to any general or special orders of Government in this behalf, a family Court shall hold its sitting at such place or places within 1[the District or areas for which it is established] as may be specified by the District Judge.
7. Institution of suit.-
1) Every suit before a Family Court shall be instituted by the presentation of a plaint or in such other manner and in such Court as may be prescribed.
2) The plaint shall contain all material 1[facts relating to the dispute and shall contain a Schedule giving the number of witnesses indeed to be produced in support of the plaint, the names and addresses of the witnesses and a brief summary of the facts to which they would depose:
Provided that the parties may, with the permission of the Court, call any witness and at any later stage, if the Court considers such evidence in the interest of justice.
2[Provided Further That a plaint for dissolution of marriage may contain all claims relating to dowry, Maintenance, dower, personal property and belongings of wife, custody of children and visitation rights of parents to met their children.]
(3) (i) Whereas a plaintiff sues or relied upon a document in his possession or power, he shall produce it in Court when the plaint is presented, and shall at the same time deliver the document or a copy thereof to be filed with the plaint.
ii) Where he relies on any other document, not in his possession or power as evidence in support of his claim, he shall enter such documents in a list to be appended to the plaint. 4[giving reasons of relevancy of these documents to the claim in the plaint.]
4) The plaint shall be accompanied by as many duplicate copies thereof including the Schedule and the lists of documents referred to irk sub-section (3), as there are defendants in the suit, for service upon the defendants.
(5) A Family Court shall conduct hearing of the suits as expeditiously as possible and shall not adjourn hearing for a period exceeding seven days and shall dispose off the suit within a period of 120 days from the date fixed by the court for the appearance of the Defendant.]
8. Intimation to defendant.– 1) Where a plaint is presented to a Family Court it:-
a) may fix a date ordinarily of not more than 2[fifteen days] for the appearance of the defendant;
b) shall issue summons to the defendant to appear on a date specified therein;
c) shall within three days of the presentation of the plaint, send:–
i) to each defendant, by registered post, acknowledgement due, a notice of the suit, together with a copy of the plaint, a copy of the Schedule referred to in sub-section (2) of section 7 and copies of the document and a list of documents referred to in sub-section (3) of the said section; and
ii) to the Chairman of the Union Council within whose jurisdiction the defendant or defendants, as the case may be, reside, and where the defendants reside within the jurisdiction of different Union Councils, to the Chairman of every such Union Council, a notice of the plaint having been presented.
2) Every summons issued under clause (b) of sub-section (1) shall be accompanied by a copy of the plaint, a copy of the Schedule referred to in sub-section (2) of section 7, and copies of the documents and list of documents referred to in sub-section (3) of the said section.
3) On receipt of the notice under clause (c) of sub-section (1), the Chairman shall display the notice on the Notice Board of the Union Council for a period of seven consecutive days, and shall, as soon as may be, after the expiry of the said period inform the Family Court of the notice having been so displayed.
4) Service of the plaint and its accompaniments in the manner provided in clause (b) or clause (c) of sub-section (1) shall be deemed to be due service of the plaint upon the defendant.
5) Every notice and its accompaniments under clause (c) of sub-section (1) shall be served at the expense of the plaintiff. The postal charges for such service shall be deposited by the plaintiff at the time of filing the plaint.
6) Summons issued under clause (b) of sub-section (1) shall be served in the manner provided in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, Order V, rules 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28 and 29. The cost of common shall be assessed and paid as for summons issued under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
Explanation. .For the purposes of this section, the expression “Union Council” means a Union Council, Town Committee or Union Committee constituted under section 57 of the Electoral College Act, 1964 (IV of 1964).
PUNJAB AMENDMENT–: In section 8 in subsection (1), for clause (c), the following clause shall be substituted;
(c) shall within three days of the presentation of the plaint, send to each defendant by registered post, acknowledgment due, a notice of the suit, together with a copy of the plaint, a copy of the Schedule referred to in subsection (2) of section 7 and copies of the documents and a list of documents referred to in sub-section (3), of the said section. and
(ii) sub-section (3) and the Explanation occurring at the end of the section shall be deleted.
[9. Written statement.
1) On the date fixed under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 8, the plaintiff and the defendant shall appear before the Family Court and the defendant shall file his written statement, and attach therewith a list of his witnesses alongwith a precise of the evidence that each witness is expected to give.
2[1a) A defendant husband may, where no earlier suit for restitution of conjugal rights is pending, claim for a decree of restitution of conjugal rights in his written statement to a suit for dissolution of marriage or maintenance, which shall be deemed as a plaint and no separate suit shall lie for it. –
[1b) A defendant wife may, in the written statement to a suit for restitution of conjugal rights, make a claim for dissolution of marriage including Khula which shall be deemed as a plaint and no separate suit shall lie for it.-
Provided that the proviso to sub-section (4) of section 10 shall apply where the where the decree for dissolution of Marriage is to be passed on the ground of Khula.
2) Where a defendant relies upon a document in his possession or power, he shall produce it or a copy thereof in the Court alongwith the written statement.
3) Where he relies on any other document not in his possession or power as evidence in support of his written statement, he shall enter such documents in a list to be appended to the written statement. 3[giving reasons of relevancy of these documents to the defence in the written statement].
4) Copies of the written statement, list of witnesses and precise of evidence referred to in sub-section (1) and the documents referred to in subsection (2) shall he given to the plaintiff, his agent or advocate present in the Court.
5) If the defendant fails to appear on the date fixed by the Family Court for his appearance then:–
a) if it is proved that the summons or notice was duly serve on the defendant, the Family Court may proceed ex parte:
Provided that where the Family Court has adjourned the hearing of the suit ex parte, and the defendant at or before such hearing appears and assigns good cause for his previous non-appearance, he may, upon such terms as the Family Court directs, be heard in answer to the suit as if he had appeared on the day fixed for his appearance; and
b) if it is not proved that the defendant was duly served as provided in sub-section (4) of section 8, the Family Court shall issue fresh summons and notice to the defendant and cause the same to be served in the manner provided in clauses (b) and (c) of sub-section (1) of section 8.
6) In any case in which a decree is passed ex parte against a defendant under his Act, he may apply within 4[thirty days of the service of notice under sub-section (7) of the passing of the decree] to the Family Court by which the decree was passed for an order to set it aside, and if he satisfies the Family Court that he was not duly served, or that he was prevented by any sufficient cause from appearing when the suit was heard or called for hearing, the Family Court shall, after service of notice on the plaintiff, on such terms as to cost as it deems fit, make an order for setting aside the decree as against him and shall appoint a day for proceeding with the suit:
Provided that where the decree is of such a nature that it cannot be set aside as against such defendant only„ it may be set aside against all or any of the other defendant also.’
[7) The notice passing of the ex-parte decree referred to in sub-Section 96 shall be sent to the defendant by the Family court together with a certified copy of the decree within three days of the passing of the decree, through process server or by registered post, acknowledgement due, or through courier service or any other mode or manner as it may deem fit.
8) Service of notice and it accompaniment in the manner provided in sub-section 7 shall be deemed to be due service of the notice and decree on the defendant.
10. Pre-trial proceeding.— 1) When the written statement is filed, the Court shall fix an early date for a pre-trial hearing of the case.]
2) On the date so fixed the Court shall examine the plaint, the written statement (if any) and the précis of evidence and documents filed by the parties and shall also, if it so deems fit, hear the parties and their Counsel.
3) At the pre-trial, the Court shall ascertain the points at issue between the parties and attempt to effect a compromise or reconciliation between the parties if this be possible,
4) If no compromise or reconciliation is possible the Court shall frame the issues in the case and fix date for the 2[recording] of evidence.—
11. Recording of evidence.-
1) On the date fixed for the 1[recording of the evidence], the Family Court shall examine the witnesses produced by the parties in such order as it deems fit.
2) The Court shall not issue any summons for the appearance of any witness unless, within three days of the framing of issues, any party intimates the Court that it desires a witness to be summoned through the Court and the Court is satisfied that it is not possible for such party to produce the witness,
(3) The witnesses shall give their evidence in their own words;
Provided that the parties or their counsel may further examine, cross examine or re-examine the witness:
Provided further that the Family Court may forbid any question which it regards as indecent, scandalous or frivolous or which appears to it to be intended to insult or annoy or in needlessly offensive in form],
3-A) The Family Court may, if it so deems fit, put any question to any witness for the purposes of elucidation of any point which it considers material in the case .]
4) The Family Court may permit the evidence of any witness to be given by means of an affidavit:
Provided that if the Court deems fit it may call such witness for the purpose of further examination in accordance with sub-section (3).
12. Conclusion of trial. 1) After the close of evidence of both sides, the Family Court shall make another effort to effect a compromise or reconciliation between the parties. 1[within a period not exceeding fifteen days]
2) If such compromise or reconciliation is not possible, the Family Court shall announce its judgment and give a decree.
12-A Cases to be disposed of within a specified period. A Family Court shall dispose of case, including a suit for dissolution of marriage, within a period of six months from the date of institution:
Provided that Where a case is not disposed of within six months either party shall have a right to made an application to the High Court for necessary direction as the High Court may deem fit.
13. Endorsement of decrees.—
1) The Family Court shall pass a decree in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed, and shall enter its particular in the prescribed register.
2) If any money is paid, and any property is delivered in the presence of any Family Court, in satisfaction of the decree, it shall enter the fact of payment 1[and] the delivery of property, as the case may be, in the aforesaid register.
3) Where a decree relates to the payment of money and the decretal amount is not paid within the time specified by the Court, 2[not exceeding thirty days] the same, shall, if the Court so directs, be recovered as arrears of land-revenue and on recovery shall be paid to the decree-holder.
4) The decree shall be executed by the Court passing it or by such other Civil Court as the District Judge may, by special or general order, direct.
5) A Family Court may, if it so deems fit, direct that any money to be paid under a decree passed by it be paid in such installments as it deems fit.
(1) Notwithstanding anything provided in any other law for the time being in force, a decision given or decree passed by a Family Court shall be appeal able]–
a) to the High Court, where the Family Court is presided over by a District Judge, an Additional District Judge or any person notified by Government to be of the rank and status of a District Judge or an Additional Distinct Judge; and
b) [to the District Court, in any other case.]
2) No appeal shall lie from a decree by a Family Court:–
a) for dissolution of marriage, except in the case of dissolution for reasons specified in clause (d) of item (viii) of section 2 of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939;
b) for dower 2[or dowry] not exceeding 3[rupees thirty thousand];
c) for maintenance of 4[rupees one thousand] or less per month.
3) No appeal or revision shall be against and interim order passed by a Family Court.
4) The appellate court referred to in sub-section (1) shall dispose of the appeal with in a period of four months.
15. Power of the Family Court to summons witness.- 1) A Family Court may issue summons to any person to appear and give evidence, or to produce or cause the production of any document:
a) no person who is exempted from personal appearance iii a Court under sub-section (1) of section 133 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, shall be required to appear in person;
b) a Family Court may refuse to issue summons or to enforce a summons already issued against a witness when, in the opinion of Court, the attendance of the witness cannot be procured without such delay, expense or inconvenience as in the circumstances would be unreasonable.
2) If any person to whom a Family Court has issued summons to appear and give evidence or to cause the production of any documents before it, willfully disobeys such summons, Family Court, may take cognizance of such disobedience, and after giving such person an opportunity to explain, sentence him to a fine not exceeding one 1[thousand] rupees.
16. Contempt of Family Court. A person shall be guilty of contempt of the Family Court if he, without lawful excuse:–
a) offers any insult to the Family Court; or
b) causes an interruption in the work of the Family Court; or
1[bb) misbehaves with any person in the court premises or uses abusive language, threats or uses physical force or intimidates in any form;]
c) refuses to answer any question put by the Family Court, which he is bound to answer; or
(d) refuses to take oath to state the truth or to sign any statement made by him in the Family Court, and the Family Court may forthwith try such person for such contempt and sentence him to a fine not exceeding rupees 2[ two thousand]
17. Provision of Evidence Act and Code of Civil Procedure not to apply.—
1) Save as otherwise expressly provided by or under this Act, the provisions of the Qanun-e-Shahadat,1984 (P.O. No. 10 of 1984). and the Code of Civil Procedure 1908, 2[except sections 10 and 11, shall not apply to proceedings before any Family Court. 3[in respect of Part I of Schedule
2) Sections 8 to 11 of the Oaths Act, 1873, shall apply to all proceedings before the Family Courts.
17-A Interim order for maintenance. At any stage of proceedings in a suit for maintenance, the Family Court may pass an interim order for maintenance, whereunder the payment shall be made by the fourteenth of each month, family which the court may strike off the defence of the defendant and decree the suit.
17-B. Power to the court to issue Commission. Subject to such conditions and Limitations as may be prescribed, the court may issue a Commission to ,
a) examine any person;
b) make a local investigation ; and
c) inspect any property or document. ]
18. Appearance through agents.— If a person required under this Act to appear before a Family Court, otherwise than as a witness, is a pardanashin lady, the Family Court may permit her to be represented by a duly authorized agent.
19. Court Fees.- Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the Court-Fee Act, 1872, the court-fees to be paid on any plaint or memorandum of appeal shall be Rupees Fifteen for any kind of suit or appeal under this Act.]
In Section 19. For the words “rupee one”, the words “rupees fifteen” shall be substituted.
20. family Court to exercise powers of the Judicial magistrate.- A family Court shall have and exercise all the powers of a judicial Magistrate of the First Class under the Code of criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898).
21. Provision of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance to be applicable.—
1) Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to affect any of the provision of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961, or the rules framed thereunder and the provisions of sections 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the said Ordinance shall be applicable to any decree for the dissolution of marriage solemnized under the Muslim Law, maintenance or dower, by a Family Court.
(2) When a Family Court passes a decree for the dissolution of a marriage solemnized under the Muslim Law, the Court shall send by registered post, within seven days of passing such decree, a certified copy of the same to the appropriate Chairman referred to in S. 7 of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961, and upon receipt of such copy, the Chairman shall proceed as if he had received an intimation to talaq, required to be 2[given] under the said Ordinance.
3) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other law, decree for dissolution of a marriage solemnized under the Muslim Law shall:–
a) not be effective until the expiration of ninety days from the day on which a copy thereof has been sent under sub-section (2) to the Chairman; and
b) be of no effect if within the period specified in clause (a) reconciliation has been effected between the parties in accordance with provisions of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961.
Punjab Amendment. For section 21, the following section shall be substituted:–
21. Provisions of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 not affected. Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to affect any of the provisions of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961, or the rules made thereunder.
21-A.-Interim order pending suit. The Family Court May pass an interim order to preserve and protect and property in-dispute in a suit and any other property of a party to the suit, the preservation of which is considered necessary for satisfaction of the decree, if and when passed.
22. Power to issue injunctions. A Family Court may grant such interim relief or injection as it may deem fit in the interest of justice during the pendency of the suit.
Provided that a Family Court shall not have the power to issue an injunction to, or stay any proceedings before, Chairman or an Arbitration Council.
23.-Validity of marriage registered under the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961, not to be questioned by Family Courts.—A Family Court shall not question the validity of any marriage registered in accordance with the provision of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 nor shall any evidence in regard thereto be admissible before the said Court.
24.-Family Courts to inform Union Councils of cases not registered under the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961.— If in any proceedings before a Family Court, it is brought to the notice of the Court, that a marriage solemnized under the Muslim Laws Ordinance, 1961, has not been registered. in accordance with the provisions of the said Ordinance and the rules framed thereunder, the Court shall communicate such facts in writing to the Union Council for the area where the marriage was solemnized
25. Family Court deemed to be a District Court for purposes of Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.—
A Family Court shall be deemed to be a District Court for the purposes of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890, and notwithstanding anything contained in this Act shall, in dealing with matters specified in that Act. follow procedure prescribed in that Act.
25-A.- Transfer of cases.— Notwithstanding anything contained in any law the High Court may either on the application of any party or of its own accord, by an order in writing,
1) a) transfer any suit or proceeding under this Act from the Family Court to another Family Court in the same district or from a Family Court of on district to a Family Court of another district; and
b) transfer any appeal or proceeding under this Act from the District Court of one district to the District of another district.
2) A District Court may, either on the application of any party or of its own accord; by an order in writing, transfer any suit or proceeding under this Act from one Family Court to another Family Court in a district or to itself and dispose it of as a Family Court.
[2a) Where a Family Court remains vacant or the presiding officer remains on leave or absent for any reason. Except due vacations, for more than thirty days, a District Court may, either on the application of any party or of its own accord, by order in writing transfer any suit or proceeding from such Family Court to another Family Court in a District or to itself and dispose it of as a Family Court.-
3[2b) On the application of any of the parties and after notice the parties and after hearing such of them as desire to be heard, or of its own motion without such notice, the supreme court may at any stage transfer any suit, appeal or other proceedings under this Act pending before a court in one province to a Court in another province, competent to try or dispose of the same. ]
3) Any Court to which a suit, appeal or proceeding is transferred under the proceeding sub-sections, shall, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, have the jurisdiction to dispose it of in the manner as if it were instituted or filed before it:
Provided that on the transfer of a suit, it shall not be necessary to commence the proceedings before the succeeding Judge de novo unless the Judge. for reasons to be recovered in writing, directs otherwise.
After section 25 of the said Act this following new section should be added.
25-A. Transfer of cases:-
1) Notwithstanding any thing contained In any law, the High Court. may, either on the application of any party or on its own accord; by an order in writing– .
a) transfer any suit or proceedings under this Act from one Family Court to another Family Court in the same district or from a Family Court of one district to a Family Court of another district; and
b) transfer any appeal or proceedings under this Act from the District Court of one district to the District Court of another district.
2) Any Court to which a suit, appeal or proceedings is transferred under the preceding subsection, shall, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, have the jurisdiction to dispose it of in the manner as if it were instituted or filed before it:
Provided that on the transfer of a suit, it shall not be necessary to commence the proceeding before the succeeding Judge de novo unless the Judge, for reasons to be recorded in writing, directs otherwise.”]
“25-B. Stay of proceedings by the High Court and District Courts.—
Any suit, appeal or proceeding under this Act, may be stayed:
a) by the District Court, if the suit or proceeding is pending before a Family Court within its jurisdiction; and
b) by a High Court, in the case of any suit, appeal or proceeding.”
1[Provided that the stay application shall be finally decided by the district Court or the High Court , as the case may be , within thirty days failing which the interim stay order shall cease to be operative.]
26. Power to make rules.— 1) Government may, by Notification in the official Gazette, make rules to carry into effect the provisions of this Act.
2) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions contained in sub-section (1) the rules so made may, among other matters, provide for the procedure, which shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, to by followed the Family Courts.
(See section 5)
1. Dissolution of marriage.-2[including Khula].
4. Restitution of conjugal rights
5. Custody of children 3[ and the visitation rights of parents to meet them].
7. 4[Jactitation of marriage.]
9. 6[Personal property and belongings of a wife.]
Offences and aid and abetment thereof under sections 337A(i), 337F(i) , 341, 342, 344, 345, 346, 352, and 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860).}
1. Added by the family Courts (Amendment) Ordi. (LV Of 2002), dt. 1st of October,2002
2. Added by the family Courts (Amendment) Ordi. (LV Of 2002), dt. 1st of October,2002
3. Added by the family Courts (Amendment) Ordi. (LV Of 2002), dt. 1st of October,2002
4. Inserted by West Pakistan Act I of 1969, S. 8
5. Added by family courts Act Vii of 1997 dated , 26. 4. 1997.
6. Added by the family Courts (Amendment) Ordi. (LV Of 2002), dt. 1st of October,2002
7. Added the family Courts (Amendment) Ordi. (LV Of 2002), dt. 1st of October,2002