SC allows video conferencing in matrimonial matter, though not as a matter of course

Supreme Court: The 3-Judge Bench of S.A. Bobde, CJ and L. Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran, JJ., dismissed a review petition while directing the Family Court, Gautam Budh Nagar, to conduct proceedings by video conferencing.

Petitioner preferred the instant petition seeking transfer of HMA No. 487 of 2015 filed by the respondent from Principle Jude, Family Court, District Gautambudh Nagar, U.P. to the Court of Principal Judge, Family Court, Saket District, New Delhi.

The transfer petition was dismissed the and Court directed the trial to be conducted at Gautambudh Nagar, Family Court through Video conferencing.

Reasoning placed by the petitioner for filing the present petition was that there was no video conferencing facility at Gautambudh Nagar, District Courts. Another ground was that video conferencing is not permissible in matrimonial matters in light of the Supreme Court decision in Santhini v. Vijaya Venketesh, (2018) 1 SCC 62.

 Since March 2020, due to the physical functioning of the Courts were stopped. Hence, proceedings in all Courts are being conducted only through video conferencing.

Bench stated that in the normal course, it would not have directed video conferencing in respect of matrimonial matters as per the above-referred Judgment, but in the present matter, since all the proceedings are being conducted in video conferencing, Court directed the Family Court, District Gautambudh Nagar, U.P. to conduct the trial through video conferencing.

In light of the above, the review petition was dismissed. [Anjali Brahmawar Chauhan v. Navin Chauhan, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 38, decided on 22-01-2021]

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