The Supreme Court has referred to a larger Bench its decision rendered in March, wherein it had advocated for the use of video conferencing in resolution of matrimonial disputes.
A Bench comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R. Banumathi has requested the Chief Justice of India to expeditiously constitute a Bench for reconsideration of the decision in the case of Krishna Veni Nagam v. Harish Nagam.
The Court primarily noted the difficulties in maintaining confidentiality while video conferencing the proceedings, and observed, “To what extent the confidence and confidentiality will be safeguarded and protected in video conferencing, particularly when efforts are taken by the counselors, welfare experts, and for that matter, the court itself for reconciliation, restitution of conjugal rights or dissolution of marriage, ascertainment of the wishes of the child in custody matters, etc., is a serious issue to be considered. It is certainly difficult in video conferencing, if not impossible, to maintain confidentiality”
The Court was further informed that several Courts across the country had begun passing orders in light of the judgment, relegating the parties to video conferencing even where such facilities are not available.
“Having due regard to the nature of family disputes sought to be addressed by the Parliament, we are afraid, the Court in Krishna Veni Nagam (supra) has not been furnished with the required information, before passing the order,” it thereby observed, noting that the Court in Krishna Veni Nagam’s case had not been apprised of certain mandatory procedures that have been laid down for in-camera proceedings.