Based on the ‘digital appearance’ of one of the parties in a matrimonial dispute, the High Court has accepted a couple’s settlement and directed a family court to dissolve the marriage. The woman is in Germany and appeared for mediation on Skype. She was identified by the advocates and family members and her statements were recorded by the Mediation Centre.
Both the man and woman are 31-year-olds. They had filed mutual complaints against each other. One of their cases reached the High Court, which directed them to appear before the Mediation Centre to try and reach a compromise. However, the woman now lives in Germany and there was no chance of her appearing physically for the mediation. Permission was granted for her to make a ‘digital appearance’.
The Mediation Centre recorded the statements of the couple and after discussions, arrived at the conclusion that both wanted the marriage to dissolve. The couple arrived at a compromise to withdraw cases against each other. The husband agreed to pay alimony as a final settlement. The report of the mediation was submitted to the HC by the Registrar (computers) as the recordings were done online. “The respondent, during the course of video-conference has agreed for terms of this settlement,” the report said.
Based on the report, the HC said it was accepting the settlement arrived between the couple. It said, “According to the report of the Registrar (computers), the petitioner has appeared digitally from the place where she is residing at present, Germany, and she had been identified by her counsel and also her father, who is a power of attorney holder when she made digital appearance and accordingly, the report has been submitted. In the light of both parties admitting the execution (of the agreement), there is no impediment for this Court in accepting the Memorandum of settlement.”
The HC said it was satisfied with the settlement and it needs to be presented before the family court (where the case is pending) by the parties. The family court was directed to “receive it and draw the decree in terms of settlement arrived at”.
Man learns life’s no walk in the park
A walk in the park with his wife proved costly for husband, who ended up almost losing his bail and landing up in jail, if not for a High Court ruling in his favour. The couple were going through some disputes and the wife had filed criminal cases against her husband. When the man was out on bail, the woman invited him to a park to discuss the case. However, at the end of the walk, the woman ended up filing a new complaint that the man had threatened her.
Based on this complaint, his bail in the earlier cases was cancelled by the trial court. However, when the man approached the High Court, there was some reprieve for him. In the trial court, to support her claim that her husband had threatened her, the woman produced a complaint she had filed at the Begur police station. She had claimed the two had met in a park in Indiranagar for discussions where he threatened to kill her unless she withdrew the cases against him. The High Court said “the allegations made in the complaint, appear to be highly improbable and unbelievable. No material was produced before the (trial) court to support the allegations.” The police had not taken any action on the complaint and it was evident that the wife herself had called the husband to meet her at the park.
The HC said the complaint by the wife was an attempt to get her husband’s bail cancelled. “The manner in which the allegations are levelled against the petitioner (husband) manifest that it is only with a view to create a ground for seeking cancellation of the bail,” the HC said. The HC pointed to the mistake of the trial court and said, “Having regard to the animosity between the parties, the trial court should not have taken the allegations made in the complaint at its face value.”