On Friday, Bombay High Court has allowed an estranged father to meet his children via video conferencing. The father filed a contempt petition against his wife who was denying him access to his children of age 5 and 2 years and violating the orders issued by the magistrate’s court. The man alleged that first the woman denied his visitation rights for one or another reason. Later during lockdown, she denied his rights because of ongoing pandemic. Hence he requested the high court to issue directions so that he could meet his children via video conferencing.
The directions to the woman was issued by a bench comprising Justice SC Gupte who said that “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 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.”
The petition was moved through Aditi Bhat who submitted that the woman with her children, one daughter and one son, has been living with her parents since her separation with her husband. The judicial magistrate first class in the Pune Cantonment ordered the woman to let her husband meet their children twice a week for two hours and three hours during any festival. The woman violated the orders and denied man’s visitation rights, after which he filed an application of contempt petition.
It was also submitted that, as meeting children physically could be dangerous for them so a meeting through video conferencing should be allowed.
Advocate Bhuwan Jayant, appearing for the woman, submitted that the man was very abusive and to keep her children safe, she did not allow him to meet them.