HC upholds man’s right to see children in lockdown, asks wife to arrange for video conferencingUpdated: Apr 28, 2020 18:29 IST
The Bombay high court has directed a woman to make video conferencing arrangements for her two children aged 15 and 9 years, so that they may meet their father through video calls during the lockdown. The court held that the lockdown should not be a hindrance for the father to meet his children.
While hearing a plea in a matrimonial dispute filed by a woman, justice S J Kathawalla was informed that family court had granted custody of the children to her and had directed timely access to the father too. However, the order was stayed after the woman filed a contempt petition citing breach of order. The man then approached the HC and got a stay on the family court order and asked the couple to resolve the issue and appointed a mediator in December. The mediator was to also help the couple decide on the issue of custody and access of the children.
On April 24, the estranged husband told the court that due to the lockdown he was unable to meet the children in person and hence some alternate arrangement should be made for him. While directing the woman to make arrangements for her estranged husband to see their two minor children thrice a week on Monday, Thursday and Sunday through video conference between 5 and 6 pm and this arrangement would continue till the lockdown was lifted in Mumbai.
The court further said, “If the children have any difficulty to come on-line at the time specified, the parties may mutually fix the time when the father can have access to the children,” implying that the father had a right to see the children and could not be denied the same regardless of the circumstances.