Family Courts Constituted Under Secular Law; Cannot Turn Away Parties Seeking Divorce Under Customary Laws: Jharkhand High Court

first_imgNews UpdatesFamily Courts Constituted Under Secular Law; Cannot Turn Away Parties Seeking Divorce Under Customary Laws: Jharkhand High Court Akshita Saxena3 May 2021 8:16 PMShare This – xIn a significant judgment, the Jharkhand High Court has held that Family Courts cannot turn away parties seeking divorce under their customary laws.A Division Bench comprising of Justices Aparesh Kumar Singh and Anubha Rawat Choudhary has held, “The Family Court fell in error in holding that the suit is not maintainable in absence of codified substantive law as are applicable to the parties…whether the parties are able to plead and prove the custom governing the matters of divorce between them for seeking relief was an issue to be decided on merits after considering the pleadings and evidence on record.” The Court emphasized that the Family Courts Act, 1984 is a secular law applying to all religions.Section 7 thereof relates to Jurisdiction of Family Courts and sub-section (1)(A) of the provision confers on them “all the jurisdiction” hitherto exercised by any District Court in suits or proceedings relating marriage, divorce, etc. Thus, it is held that there is no precedent which bars members of the Scheduled Tribe to approach the Family Court by filing any suit or proceedings relating to matters mentioned in Section 7 of the Family Courts Act. The order further states, “If at all, such matter is filed, seeking adjudication under the law, applicable to them, i.e. Customary Laws, they cannot resort to the provisions of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, if the parties are not governed by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.” Background The Court was hearing an appeal against an order of the Family Court, Ranchi dismissing a suit for Divorce filed by the Appellant-husband, a member of the Oraon community, on the ground of adultery, as non-maintainable. The Family Court referred to the book “The Customary Laws of the Munda and the Oraon” and held that there is no substantive codified law, applicable to the parties. It further took note of Section 2(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 which makes the Act inapplicable to the members of any Schedule Tribe within the meaning of Article 366 of the Constitution of India, unless notified by the Central Government. Thus, it was held that since the Appellant is seeking divorce on the basis of the customs and usage applicable to the parties, the petition is not maintainable and the same may be adjudicated only by the Community Panchayat, and not by a Court of Law. Submissions Amicus Curiae Kumar Vaibhav and Shubhashis Rasik Soren submitted that even customs and usage cannot impede rights of a citizen to approach the Court of Law, i.e. a family court seeking divorce. It was contended that if at all a custom forbids access to Family Court and relegates a person seeking divorce to Panchayat/Community court, the same will be violative of right to access to justice and any sanctification of customs, resulting in violation of fundamental rights ought not be resorted to. Findings At the outset, the Division Bench observed that ouster of jurisdiction should not be readily inferred [Bhanwar Lal & Anr. v. Rajasthan Board of Muslim Wakf & Ors., (2014) 16 SCC 51]. It observed that the use of the words ‘all the jurisdiction’ in Section 7 of the Family Courts Act makes the legislative intent clear that all the enumerate matters in the provision would be the exclusive domain of the Family Courts. Reliance was placed on the Supreme Court’s observations in KA Abdul Jaleel v. TA Shahida, (2003) 4 SCC 166, that jurisdiction of a court created especially for resolution of disputes of certain kinds should be construed liberally. “FCA created a forum for adjudication of matrimonial matters of the nature enumerated in the explanation to Section 7 of the FCA, which forum can be resorted to by one and all, be it a member of scheduled tribe or a person of any religion,” the Division Bench ruled. Jurisdictional Facts & Adjudicatory Facts The Division Bench went ahead to discuss the concept of ‘Jurisdictional Facts’ and ‘Adjudicatory Facts’. The facts or facts upon which the jurisdiction of a Court, a Tribunal or an Authority depends can be said to be ‘Jurisdictional Fact’. If the ‘Jurisdictional Fact’ exists, a Court, Tribunal or Authority has jurisdiction to decide other issues. An ‘Adjudicatory Fact’ is a ‘fact in issue’ and can be determined by a Court, Tribunal or Authority on merits, on the basis of the evidence, adduced by the parties. Such facts may be decided based upon the pleadings of the parties. In the present case, the Bench explained, the underlying jurisdictional fact as pleaded before the Family Court, is that both the parties belonged to Oraon Community and their marriage was solemnized as per the Customary Law of Oraon. “The Family Court Act, being a secular law, applying to all religions and communities and conferred with the power to adjudicate on matters mentioned in Clauses (a) to (g) of the Explanation to Section 7 of the FCA, could not have held that the suit is not maintainable in the absence of a codified Customary Law of the parties,” the Bench observed. It added, “Family Court would not have straightaway dismissed the suit as not maintainable holding that there is no codified substantive law, governing the parties. In such a case, where parties claimed to be governed by Customary Law, the learned Family Court ought to have framed an issue to that effect. Once it is found that the parties are governed by the Customary Law, the parties are required to plead and prove the customs, by which, they are governed in matters concerning, marriage and divorce.” Case Title: Baga Tirkey v. Pinki Linda & Anr. Click Here To Download Order Read OrderTagsJharkhand High Court Family Courts Act Secular Customary Divorce Section 7 of the Family Court Act 1984 Next Storylast_img read more

Money mules moving illicit proceeds from COVID-19-related crimes

first_imgFrom economic stimulus payments to unemployment benefits, criminals are thriving on unparalleled opportunities for fraud during the COVID-19 crisis. With over 189M stolen through COVID-19-related fraud as of November 2020, criminals deploy a variety of tactics to disguise their illicit activity, including the use of money mules to launder funds from fraudulent schemes.Money mules are individuals who transfer the profits of financial crimes on a fraudster’s behalf. The movement of these illicit funds, occurring through bank transfers and cash transactions, complicate and disguise the money trail, impeding law enforcement investigations. While some mules are complicit and financially desperate, others are unknowingly recruited through romance or employment scams and believe their actions are work-related or helping a loved one in need. Once a money mule is recruited, the illicit funds are deposited into their bank account and instructions are provided on how the money should be moved. This often involves wiring the funds to a third account owned by another mule or under criminal control, where they are withdrawn or further circulated. By intersecting fraud schemes and money laundering activities, money mule activity complicates financial crime management.Criminals Recruit Potential Mules Through Fraud ScamsAs unemployment soars amidst the COVID-19 crisis, criminals are using work-from-home scams to target the growing number of Americans searching for income to recruit mules. These schemes are similar to employment scams — fraudsters advertise phony jobs, such as processing donations for COVID-19 relief, that actually involve laundering stolen funds.Other criminals are capitalizing on loneliness during the pandemic, using romance scams to trick well-meaning victims into mule activities. While these interactions start innocently, they become financially and emotionally devastating as criminals escalate requests to open bank accounts and transfer funds.Money Mules are a Tool for Criminal NetworksMoney mules can be the bridge between seemingly isolated instances of COVID-19-related fraud and networks responsible for crime on a global scale. Transnational criminal organizations can use mules to move money across borders to obscure the source of funds. The U.S. Secret Service has identified a crime ring coordinating a massive scheme to defraud U.S. unemployment benefits programs with a substantial network of mules likely recruited through romance or employment scams.Considerations for Financial InstitutionsWith COVID-19 creating historic opportunities for criminals to steal and launder funds through sophisticated mule schemes, financial institutions must have controls in place to protect themselves and their customers from the financial and reputational risks of illicit activity.The Verafin Financial Crime Management platform offers a suite of solutions to efficiently and effectively fight financial crime. Verafin combats COVID-19-related fraud and money mule schemes with real-time fraud detection for mobile deposit scams and unusual incoming wires, performs targeted AML analysis to alert investigators to potential structuring activities, and facilitates collaborative investigations and information sharing to provide insight into mule activity spanning multiple institutions. Complicit or deceived, money mules are laundering funds for organized COVID-19-related crime. As the pandemic enhances opportunities for fraud and money laundering, financial institutions must act now to improve investigations and prevent losses.Visit our Resource Center for the latest information on financial crime, including schemes exploiting the COVID-19 crisis, or register for an upcoming demo or webinar to learn how Verafin is responding to the unprecedented challenges facing the industry today. This post is currently collecting data… This is placeholder text center_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Peddle Over several years at Verafin, Scott has excelled in a wide range of roles, from Customer Support to Training, Sales, and Product Management. This includes time as the leader of … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Yorkshire Forward: Yorkshire’s star turn

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