In an unprecedented incident, a Pune Court recently permitted a woman to appear before the Court through online calling facility, Skype, during divorce proceedings.
The case before the Court concerned an application for divorce by mutual consent under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The application had been filed by the couple before Judge V.S. Malkanpatte-Reddy, Civil Judge Senior Division, on August 12, 2016. Both, the husband and the wife were represented by Advocate Suchit Mundada.
According to reports, the couple had studied in the same college, and had fallen in love. Their wedding was solemnized as per Hindu traditions in May, 2015. Soon after, while the husband flew to Singapore for a job opportunity, the wife stayed back despite having secured a job in London. She had thereafter claimed in the Petition that the “marriage was hindering her career”.
The application for a Skype call had now been made because of the wife’s inability to travel from London due to work commitments. During the proceedings, the wife called from London, while the husband was present in Court.
A similar request was permitted by the High Court of Allahabad in February last year. Allowing the wife’s application to appear through Skype, Justice Suneet Kumar had then observed, “Therefore, the Family Courts are justified in seeking the assistance of any practicing lawyer to provide the necessary Skype facility in any particular case. For that purpose, the parties can be permitted to be represented by a legal practitioner, who can bring a mobile device. By using the Skype technology, parties who are staying abroad can not only be identified by the Family Court, but also enquired about the free will and consent of such party. This will enable the litigation costs to be reduced greatly and will also save precious time of the Court. Further, the other party available in the Court can also help the Court in not only identifying the other party, but would be able to ascertain the required information.”