Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru

Your legal questions answered by Justice K Chandru, former Judge of the Madras High Court Do you have a question? Email us at
Justice K Chandru
Justice K Chandru

Social media trials unwarranted in cases of student suicides

Q: The violence and arrests following the girl’s suicide in Kallakurichi continue to make headlines in local media. Sensationalisation of suicide deaths in educational institutions — mostly due to sexual abuse or exam scare — is leading to copycat suicides, according to experts on suicide research and prevention. They say students either identify with the person or their situation. Our party leaders are to be blamed for giving false hopes to get entrance examinations like NEET scrapped, just to derive political mileage out of it. They tend to forget they are playing with students’ lives. Can’t the court intervene and stop such party leaders when they are found misleading the masses? — Saraswathy, Vadapalani, Chennai

A: The Madras High Court has asked for details regarding the instigators behind the violence at Chinnasalem. The CB-CID police are giving the gathered details in parts. The full truth will emerge only after the investigation is completed. In the meanwhile, several persons are conducting their own trials through YouTube channels and other social media platforms which really creates confusion. I think in the end, not only justice will be awarded to the girl’s family but also the persons who indulged in the destruction of properties will be punished.

Family courts can grant maintenance for dependents in divorce cases

Q: My husband is seeking a divorce from me for reasons I fail to appreciate. Since I am not interested in creating bad blood over the issue, so as not to bring any trauma to our children, I have accepted his demand to part ways. He is not staying with us now and is put up elsewhere. I won’t be able to meet kids’ edu- cational expens- es with my parttime job. Can I ask for financial support from my husband when divorce proceedings are in progress? How long will a family court take to decide on our case and alimony? Since my husband is into business, will he be able to hide his income and deny us alimony? — Name withheld on request

A: If you are living in a Corporation area there are family courts functioning. They have power under Section 125 CrPC to grant maintenance for the dependents. You can seek maintenance for children and for educational expenses from your deserted husband. Normally, these petitions will take nine months to one year. Your petition for divorce and permanent alimony may take some time. You can move the High Court which at times fixes a time limit to dispose of such matters.

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