KOCHI:A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday held there should be no more recording of evidence by Advocate Commissioner in marital disputes. Marital disputes have a personal touch depending on the character of the warring spouses and their social background which the judge of the family court needs to assess first hand.
The life and future of the parties in a marital dispute are at stake and the resolution of such disputes cannot be treated on par with the adjudication of other disputes by the civil court. The Bench comprising Justice V Chitamabresh and Justice Sathish Ninan issued the order on the petition filed by Shameera of Sooranadu challenging the decision of the family court ordering a joint trial in marital dispute cases and also appointed an Advocate Commissioner to record evidence of witnesses. Counsel for the petitioner Sam Isaac Pothiyil submitted the power to record evidence in the case ought not to have been delegated to the Advocate Commissioner in the wake of vehement objection.
The court observed the Family Court often misses the woods for the trees when faced with voluminous evidence recorded by the Advocate Commissioner most of which may not be relevant for deciding the issue.“This can be obviated by enabling the parties to adduce evidence before the face of the court itself whereupon the judge can himself monitor the process of examination of the witness. Unwanted questions can be weeded out and the parties directed to focus on the cardinal issues,” the court said.
The court also emphasised the need for video conferencing in all marital disputes, if required by the parties. The court directed the Chavara family court to record the evidence of the witnesses by itself without delegating it to the Advocate Commissioner and proceed further in accordance with the law.