Virtual family court passes “interim” order on child’s educationUpdated: Apr 29, 2020 22:05 IST
Pune Amid the Covid-19 lockdown, a family court in the city has passed an online “interim” order on April 15, in a divorce case involving the education of the couple’s 10-year-old child.
Initially, during the lockdown period, there was no facility for online hearing, but on April 11, the court began setting up virtual hearing as per the directions of the high court.
According to advocate Supriya Kothari, her client, a 37-year old woman who works in the IT sector is seeking a divorce from a 43-year-old from Mumbai due to non-compatibility issues escalating since 2016, amid case coming up in the Pune family court in 2019.
They have a 10-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son, both of whom were studying in a Mumbai school till 2019. As it was becoming difficult for the woman to commute to Mumbai daily from Pune she had petitioned in the court to admit the children here in Pune.
The order delivered on April 15 stated, “The petitioner is permitted to obtain leaving certificate of the daughter with or without consent of the respondent, to transfer the children at Pune.”
According to Kothari, “Initially when we began the proceedings, it was mid-session for education for the ten-year-old who was studying in a Mumbai school, while both the children were with her in Pune. When the woman had left the house, the child had six months of school left, hence to made sure that her child completes her school term, the woman asked for permission to the family court for the child to be transferred from Mumbai school to a Pune school, but the family court in Pune did not give the permission and has told to complete the six months of education in Mumbai.”
As stipulated by the court, the mother and child made several trips from Pune to Mumbai during the school year completing her year though it was difficult for the mother, who later filed an application to the high court challenging the family court order.
The high court, since she had completed a year, informed her that she has to conduct the school procedures before 15 April 2020 in the family court and it has to decide upon the application of schooling.
On April 3 this year, the lockdown was further extended and the date was postponed to June 19 which was making things difficult for the mother and daughter. The mother then approached the family court via her lawyer for the application.
The family court issued an online notice to the husband, and the family court asked both parties to contact for online counsellors as a last attempt, where there was no settlement. Thus on April 15, an online hearing was held of both the parties and as per order argued the case. All of the parties were online in their respective places, whereupon after the hearing, the order was finally passed in the favour of the woman whereupon her child could now study in Pune, with the father allowed access to his children.
“The interim order stated that the Mumbai school has to give school leaving certificate for the child to join in Pune, in what according to the advocate is the first online hearing and order during the Covid-19 lockdown,” said Kothari.