Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

This Parsi divorce court convenes only twice a year

Indian courts abound with pending cases, but there is a court which does not seem to have much in hand.

Article by Hetal Vyas / DNA India

Therefore, it sits only twice a year. It’s a divorce court for Parsis, which operates from the Bombay high court and has five members from the community on the jury.

Earlier, the court, presided over by a high court judge, used to assemble just once a year. This year, it was held in March, where justice DG Karnik and the five delegates heard about 17 cases. The session, which went on for about half a day, did not dispose of any petition and most of the cases were adjourned to the next session, which will now be in October 2010.

A Parsi woman, who has filed a divorce petition, said that as cases are heard only once or twice a year, it creates problems for litigants. “The court sits just twice a year, which makes it mandatory for litigants to wait for long,” the woman added.

However, Dr Viraf Kapadia, who is one of the delegates for this session, said: “It is okay to have two sessions. It is like a fast-track court. As the community is very small and the number of cases is not very high, two sessions a year are reasonable.”

Incidentally, there have been debates to transfer the Parsi matrimonial cases to family courts because matrimonial cases of all other religions are heard in family courts.

But lawyers say that transferring the cases to family courts would be difficult because as per the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, the court has to have the five members of the community.