SC Emphasizes on use of Video Conferencing Technology for Matrimonial Cases
Case name: Krishna Veni Nagam v. Harish Nagam (Supreme Court)
In the case the Supreme Court took the issue of transfer petitioner instituted by wives in matrimonial cases and the Courts mechanically allowing the same. The Court observed that under such circumstances matrimonial cases that should be decided expeditiously are delayed and litigants also suffer.
The Court noted that problem faced by a husband if proceedings are transferred on account of genuine difficulties faced by the wife could not be ignored. Thus, transfer is not always a solution acceptable to both the parties.
In view of the aforesaid, in the case the Court suggested that video conferencing is used where both the parties have equal difficulty and there is no place which is convenient to both the parties.
Key takeaways from the case:
The Court in this context further stated that wherever such facility is available the same shall be fully utilized and all the High Courts should to issue appropriate administrative instructions to regulate the use of video conferencing for certain category of cases.
That the advancement of technology ought to be utilized also for service on parties or receiving communication from the parties. Every district court must have at least one e-mail ID. Administrative instructions for directions can be issued to permit the litigants to access the court, especially when litigant is located outside the local jurisdiction of the Court. A designated officer/manager of a district court may suitably respond to such e-mail in the manner permitted as per the administrative instructions. Similarly, a manager/ information officer in every district court may be accessible on a notified telephone during notified hours as per the instructions
The Supreme Court in the case issued the following directions:
that in matrimonial or custody matters or in proceedings between parties to a marriage or arising out of disputes between parties to a marriage, wherever the defendants/respondents are located outside the jurisdiction of the court, the court where proceedings are instituted, may examine whether it is in the interest of justice to incorporate any safeguards for ensuring that summoning of defendant/respondent does not result in denial of justice. Order incorporating such safeguards may be sent along with the summons. The safeguards can be:-
- i) Availability of video conferencing facility.
- ii) Availability of legal aid service.