The
Family Courts (Amendment) Ordinance 2001

An Ordinance further to
amend the Family Courts Act, 1964

Statement of Objects and Reasons
These recommendations of the Pakistan Law Commission seek to amend the Family Courts Act 1964 (W. P. Act XXXV of 1964) to empower the said Court to determine all family matters in a single suit to avoid multiplicity of suits, ensure the quick disposal of suit for dissolution of marriage on the sole ground of Khula, prescribe a time frame for disposal of suits and appeals, raise the non-appealable limit of decrees of recovery of dower and maintenance, make provision for interim maintenance during pendency of such claim, exempt appeals from levy of court fees, invest powers under the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 upon the Court to try minor criminal offences involving spouses, enable the Court to issue injunction for protection of suit property and empower the High Court to amend, with approval of the Government, the Schedule and make rules.

WHEREAS it is expedient further to amend the Family Courts Act, 1964 (W.P. Act XXXV of 1964), for the purposes hereinafter appearing;

AND WHEREAS the National Assembly and the Senate stand suspended in pursuance of the Proclamation of Emergency of the fourteenth day of October, 1999, and the Provincial Constitution Order No. 1 of 1999;

AND WHEREAS the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action;

NOW, THEREFORE, in pursuance of the Proclamation of Emergency of the fourteenth day of October, 1999, and the Provisional constitution Order No. 1 of 1999, read with the Provisional Constitution (Amendment) Order No. 9 of 1999, and in exercise of all powers enabling him in that behalf, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance:-

1. Short title and commencement.- (1) This Ordinance may be called the Family Courts (Amendment) Ordinance, 2001.

(2) It shall come into force at once.

2. Amendment of section 5 W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the Family Courts Act, 1964 (W.P. Act XXXV of 1964), hereinafter referred to as the said Act,-

(a) section 5 shall be renumbered as sub-section (1) of that section and in sub-section (1), renumbered as aforesaid, for the words “the Schedule “ the words “Part I of the Schedule” shall be substituted; and
(b) after sub-section (1) amended as aforesaid, the following new sub-sections shall be added, namely:-

“(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act X of 1898), the Family Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to try the offences specified in Part II of the Schedule, where one of the spouses is victim of offence committed by the other.

(3) The High Court may, with the approval of the Government, amend the Schedule so as to alter, add or delete any entry thereto”.

3. Amendment of section 7, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, in Section 7,-

(a) in sub-section (2), before the existing proviso the following proviso shall be inserted, namely :-
“Provided that a plaint for dissolution of marriage shall contain all claims relating to dowry, maintenance, dower, personal property, custody of children and right of visit to meet children;”

(b) in the second proviso, after the word “Provided” the word “further” shall be inserted;

(c) in sub section (3) in clause (ii) after the word plaint, the full stop shall be omitted and the words “giving reasons of relevancy to the claim in the plaint” shall be added.

4. Amendment in section 8, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, in sub-section (6) after comma and the figure “19” the comma and the figure “20” shall be inserted.

5. Amendment of section 9, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, in Section 9, after sub-section (1),-
(a) the following new sub-sections shall be inserted, namely:-

“(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.
(IB) A defendant wife may, in the written statement to a suit for restitution of conjugal rights, make any claim provided in Part I of the Schedule, which shall be deemed as a plaint.”.

(b) in sub-section (3) at the end, the full stop shall be omitted and the words “giving reasons of relevancy to the defence in the written statement” shall be added.

6. Amendment of section 10, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, in section 10, after sub-section (4) the following new sub-section shall be added, namely :-
“(5) In a suit for dissolution of marriage on the sole ground of Khula, the Court shall determine and restore to the husband benefits, derived by the wife in consideration of marriage and pass decree of dissolution of marriage.”.

7. Amendment of section 12, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, in section 12, after sub-section (2) the following new sub-sections shall be added, namely:-
“(3) The Family Court shall, while passing decree of dissolution of marriage, determine the remaining claims in the plaint.

(4) The Family Court may, while dismissing the suit of the wife for dissolution of marriage, pass a decree for restitution of conjugal rights in favour of husband, if such claim is established.

(5) The Family Court may, while dismissing the suit of the husband for restitution of conjugal rights, pass a decree in respect of any claim made by the wife in the written statement.”.

8. Substitution of section 12A, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, for section 12A, the following shall be substituted, namely :-
“12A. Cases to be disposed of within a specified period.- A Family Court shall dispose of any case under this Act within a period of four months.”.

9. Amendment of section 14,W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, in section 14,-

(a) In sub-section (2),-

(1) in clause (b),-

(i) after the word “dower” the coma and the words “dowry and personal property” shall be inserted; and
(ii) for the words “fifteen thousands” the words “thirty thousands” shall be substituted; and

(2) in clause (c) for the words “five hundred” the words “one thousand” shall be substituted; and

(b) after sub-section (2), the following new sub-section shall be added, namely :-

“(3) No appeal shall lie against an interim order.”.

10. Amendment in section 16, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, in Clause (c), for the words “two hundred” the words “one thousand” shall be substituted.

11. Amendment in section 17, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, in section 17, after the word “Court” the full stop shall be omitted and the words “in respect of Part I of the Schedule” shall be added.

12. Addition of new sections 17A and 17B,W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, after section 17, the following new sections shall be added, namely:-
“17A. 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, failing which the Court may strike off the defence of the defendant and decree the suit.

17B. Power of the Court to issue Commissions.- 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.”.

13. Substitution of section 19, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, for the section 19, the following shall be substituted, namely.-
“Court-fees.- Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the Court Fees 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.”.

14. Substitution of section 20, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, for section 20, the following shall be substituted, namely :-

“20. Family Court to exercise the 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 X of 1898).”.

15. Insertion of new section 21-A, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, after section 21, the following new section shall be inserted , namely :-
“21A. Interim order pending suit.- The Family Court may pass an order to preserve and protect any 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.”.

16. Amendment of section 26, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, in section 26, for sub-section (1) the following shall be substituted, namely :-
“(1) The High Court may, with the approval of the Government, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules to carry into effect the provisions of this Act.”.

17. Amendment of Schedule, W.P. Act XXXV of 1964.- In the said Act, in the Schedule,-

(a) before serial number 1 and entry relating thereto the word and letter “Part I” shall be inserted;

(b) in serial number 5 after the word “of” the words “and meeting” shall be added; and

(c) after serial number 8, the following new serial number shall be added, namely :-
“9. Personal property”.

(d) after serial number 9 and entries relating thereto the following shall be added, namely :-
“Part II
Offences and abetment thereof under sections 337A (i), 337F (i), 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 352 and 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860).”