HC al­lows NRI in US to give di­vorce con­sent via Skype

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - | POLITICS POLICY - @times­group.com

Mum­bai: The Bom­bay high court has al­lowed a USbased NRI to give her con­sent for a mu­tual di­vorce from her es­tranged hus­band through Skype or any other tech­nol­ogy.

Jus­tice Bharati Dan­gre over­turned a fam­ily court’s or­der re­fus­ing to reg­is­ter the woman’s pe­ti­tion for di­vorce on the grounds that she was not per­son­ally present to file it. The court al­lowed the fa­ther of the woman as the power of at­tor­ney holder to pur­sue the case in place of his daugh­ter.

“Due to glob­al­iza­tion and since ed­u­cated young per­sons are cross­ing the borders of In­dia, it is not pos­si­ble to re­main present (to file pe­ti­tions),” said the HC. The bench said the fam­ily court judge had merely stated that both the hus­band and wife should re­main present to file the pe­ti­tion with­out re­fer­ring to the law or the judg­ments in the mat­ter.

Jus­tice Dan­gre re­ferred to an­other HC de­ci­sion per­mit­ting on­line mar­riage coun­selling with the help of we­b­cam. “There is no le­gal la­cu­nae in fil­ing of the pe­ti­tion through a reg­is­tered power of at­tor­ney... the fam­ily court will not in­sist on the pres­ence of the par­ties be­fore the court and would ar­range for the con­sent terms to be recorded ei­ther through Skype or adopt­ing any other tech­nol­ogy,” said the judge.

The cou­ple had got mar­ried in Jal­gaon in 2002 and was liv­ing separately since 2016. Last year, the cou­ple ap­proached the HC un­der sec­tion 13B of the Hindu Mar­riage Act, seek­ing di­vorce by mu­tual con­sent. The pro­vi­sion al­lows a cou­ple liv­ing separately for a year to ap­proach the fam­ily court for di­vorce by mu­tual con­sent.

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