Bombay HC Directs Family Court to Arrange for Divorce Consent via Skype


April 20, 2018

In this technologically advanced world, the Indian Courts are not leaving any stone unturned to utilize cyber age facilities towards simplification of otherwise complicated and lengthy court proceedings. Bombay High Court’s recent order in the case of Harshada Bharat Deshmukh v. Bharat Appasaheb Deshmukh is a testimony to same.

In this case, the Bombay High Court has directed the Family Court to arrange for the consent terms of Divorce to be recorded either through Skype or by adopting any other technology.

The petitioner had filed a petition seeking dissolution of marriage by mutual consent and the said petition was presented before the Family Court was filed by husband of the Petitioner and the Petitioner jointly. In the case, the Petition was signed by the husband and on behalf of the wife it was signed by her father and Power of Attorney holder as the wife was employed in the US.

However, the Family Court in the case did not register the Petitioner seeking divorce on the ground that the wife was not present before the Court.

The Bombay High Court set aside the Family Court’s order and stated as under:

  • That the   Family   Court   is   duty   bound   to   follow   the  Code of   Civil Procedure  and it is deemed to be a Civil Court for the purposes of the provisions of the Act and possesses the powers of a Civil Court.
  • That Order   III   Rule   2   specifically   mentions   about recognized agents of parties by whom such appearances, applications and acts may be made or done which includes person holding Power of Attorney authorizing them to make such appearances, application and acts on behalf of such parties.
  • Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act (Divorce by Mutual Consent) does not contain any provision abrogating the power of power of attorney holder under the Code of   Civil Procedure  and therefore the procedure governing the proceedings filed under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act  would be governed by Order III as well as Order VI of the Code   of   Civil Procedure .
  • That there is no legal lacunae in filing of the petition through a registered Power of Attorney and the said petition needs to be accepted by setting aside the impugned order by the Family Court.
  • Family Court will not insist upon 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 and the proceedings contemplated under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act .

The entire case can be accessed here.