Resolve differences among married couples: HC judge

Resolve differences among married couples: HC judge

‘Divorce petitions on basis of mental health should be shunned’

awareness: High court judge N Kumar hands over a handbook on psychology to C R Chandrashekar after releasing it in Mysore on Saturday. Principal district and sessions judge H P Sandesh, deputy commissioner P S Vastrad, Bar Association president Basavaraj, director of MMC and RI Dr Geetha K Avadhani and police commissioner K L Sudheer are seen. DH PhotoHigh court Judge N Kumar on Saturday gave a call to legal, medical and police fraternity to practice professionalism that could save one’s life from the brink of collapse.

He was speaking after inaugurating mental health awareness programme organised jointly b the department of health and family welfare and medical education, Karnataka State Mental Health Authority, district judiciary and District Legal Services Authority and district administration at Senate Hall in the city.

Delving into the divorce petitions filed on the basis of a person’s mental health, the high court justice said- it (mentally unsound) has become a tool enough for the advocates to file petitions on behalf of their clients. Instead, the advocates should behave responsibly by getting into the knitty- gritty of the issue. For example, if a woman wants divorce from her husband on the afore said grounds, the lawyers should at least try to know whether his client has made all possible efforts to cure her spouse’s ailments. If it’s curable, the lawyers should refer clients to experts and try their best to resolve the differences among the couple. On the other hand they can also delay filing the petitions. “Such actions save a relationship”, the judge said.

Referring to the current scenario, where seven family courts in Bangalore top with divorce petitions, the justice said the law devised to benefit women is being misused to the hilt. There is a demand from Mysore too to sanction additional court to the existing one family court, justice said indicating that the Mysore is also not behind in divorce petitions.

Apart from lawyers, doctors and cops also have a key role to play here by practicing professionalism. The doctors should not certify one as mentally unsound following a mere request for a supporting document, while the cops should be patient enough to take such persons to hospitals.

Also elaborating on the need for creating awareness on identifying one’s mental condition, the judge said ‘if a person succeeds in identifying one’s agony, he or she could stop suicides from happening’. One cannot take the extreme step  overnight to end life, the judge said.

However, it’s the people again who are hesitant to consult psychologists when compared to other health disorders. The judge attributed it to the society which makes a man live a life of recluse if he or she is found mentally unstable. The impact is such that though all the district hospitals in the city is well-equipped with experts to handle such cases, the number of people making use of the facility is still less.

Principal district and sessions court judge H P Sandesh, renowned psychologist from Nimhans, C R Chandrashekar, secretary, Karnataka State Mental Health Authority, H Chandrashekar, member secretary, district legal services authority, Raja Somashekar, assistant director, directorate of health and family welfare services, B V Karoor, police commissioner K L Sudheer, district surgeon Dr G M Vamdev and others were present.