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Karnataka HC Permits Husband In US To Appear Via Skype To Record Compromise For Divorce Petition In Family Court [Read Order]

Manu Sebastian
9 Feb 2018 5:54 AM GMT
Karnataka HC Permits Husband In US To Appear Via Skype To Record Compromise For Divorce Petition In Family Court [Read Order]
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The High Court of Karnataka has permitted a husband to participate in compromise proceedings in family court via online video calling facility Skype. The husband is residing in the United States of America.  For considering the joint petition for divorce filed by the husband and wife, his personal presence was required. When the family court refused to grant him permission to appear...

The High Court of Karnataka has permitted a husband to participate in compromise proceedings in family court via online video calling facility Skype. The husband is residing in the United States of America.  For considering the joint petition for divorce filed by the husband and wife, his personal presence was required. When the family court refused to grant him permission to appear through video conferencing, he approached the high court. The wife had objections to resorting to video conferencing.

The high court observed that appearance through video conference is sufficient when the appearance is intended for satisfying the family court regarding the compromise.

During May 2017, the family court of Pune permitted Skype conferencing in compromise petition. The Allahabad High Court also had approved the use of Skype facility in matrimonial proceedings in 2016.

The discretionary power of the family courts to allow video conferencing in joint application proceedings with the consent of parties was recognized by the Supreme Court in Santhini v Vijaya Venkatesh in October 2017. The decision also held that family court can allow video–conferencing during trial as well, after failure of settlement. However, the court disapproved the use of video-conferencing during settlement proceedings. The majority decision of CJI Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Khanwilkar observed that video-conferencing may create a dent in the settlement proceedings and overruled the decision in Krishna Veni Nagam v Harish Nagam, which had held that whenever one of parties make a request for video conferencing it can be allowed by the Family Court. Justice Chandrachud dissented from the majority decision, observing that family courts have the flexibility to decide its own procedure, and video- conferencing ought to be encouraged even in settlement proceedings.

Read the Order Here

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