Petitioner allowed to appear through ‘Skype’ in Family Court

Karnataka High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of A.S. Bopanna, J., decided a set of writ petitions filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, wherein the petitioner husband; residing abroad, was granted permission to appear in the Court through Skype.

The matter related to a marriage dispute between the petitioner-husband and the respondent-wife. The matter was initially filed before the Family Court by the wife against the husband. The petitioner-husband in the instant petition prayed to quash the order of the Family Court whereby the petitioner was directed to appear in person before the Court in Bangalore. The petitioner submitted that he was residing in the USA and had difficulties in traveling to India and appearing before the Family Court. During the pendency of instant petition, a compromise petition was filed by both the parties before the Court whereby they had agreed to dissolve the marriage. The said petition was signed by father of the petitioner-husband as his power of attorney. Hence for reaching finality in the matter, petitioner’s appearance before the Court was necessary to ascertain that the joint petition was filed with his concurrence.

The High Court referred to an earlier decided writ petition, wherein a detailed consideration regarding leave to be granted to appear through Skype had already been adverted to. The Court observed that in appropriate circumstances where both the parties agreed on a compromise and when it is only for the purpose of satisfaction of the Family Court that the compromise has been entered, it is permissible that such appearance through Skype would be sufficient. The Court found that in the instant case, the respondent-wife had no objection to such prayer and hence considering that the petitioner-husband was in the USA, the Court thought it fit to grant permission to appear through Skype. Accordingly, the petition was allowed and the impugned order of the Family Court directing the petitioner to appear in person was set aside. [Rahul Chandra Kone v. Jahanvi, WP Nos. 24580 of 2015, order dated 30.01.2018]

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