Allow man to see children over video calls during lockdown, court to woman
The order was issued after the man filed a contempt petition, complaining that the woman was refusing him visitation rights of their two children as directed by the magistrate’s court.Updated: Jun 06, 2020 13:59 IST
The Bombay high court has directed a woman to allow visitation access of children to her estranged husband through video conferencing during the lockdown period.
The order was issued after the man filed a contempt petition, complaining that the woman was refusing him visitation rights of their two children as directed by the magistrate’s court.
The man submitted that while previously he was denied visitation on one pretext or the other, after the lockdown he was not allowed to meet his children due to the Covid 19 pandemic. He pleaded that he be allowed to see his children through video conferencing.
A bench of justice SC Gupte, hearing an interim application in a contempt petition filed by the Pune-based man, was informed by advocate Aditi Bhat that the wife had been living with her parents - along with the children, who are 5 and 2 years old - since the couple separated.
Bhat further submitted that as Pune was severely affected by the Covid 19 virus and it was not feasible for the man to meet his children physically, the woman should be directed to allow him to meet his children through video conferencing.
The woman’s advocate, Bhuwan Jayant, however justified her refusal, saying that the man was abusive and hence the meeting was disallowed for the safety of the children.
After hearing the submissions, the bench observed: “Be that as it may, it is a matter of fact that today there is an order of a competent court giving visitation rights to the petitioner. It is also a matter of fact that due to the difficult situation prevailing in the state and particularly in Pune, which is seriously affected by the present Covid-19 pandemic, physical access cannot be had as of now.”
In light of this, the court directed the woman to allow the man to meet the children twice a week through video internet/phone access.
Earlier, a lower court had directed the woman to give visitation rights to the man twice a week for two hours each day and three hours on the day of a festival. However, the petitioner claims that the woman has not allowed the same, hence the contempt petition was filed.