Court allows man in Jeddah to connect to his son electronically in Pune
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Aaron (11) (name changed) was forced to sever communication with his father after his mother filed a divorce petition in Pune family court in 2008. For four years the father has not been allowed to communicate with his son as the petition is pending. But now Bombay High Court has allowed the father to talk to his son through video conference.
Aaron stays with his mother in Mumbai, while his father stays in the Middle-East and his job makes him travel frequently.
To seek permission to communicate with Aaron, the man filed an application in the Pune family court which was rejected in March this year. He then moved the Bombay High Court with a writ petition seeking permission to communicate with his son, through his lawyers Abhijit Sarawate and Mandar Soman.
"We claimed that the father had not spoken to his son since 2008. The father is entitled to have access to his child, if not physically, at least electronically, since he is residing in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The child can have access to the father initially on video conferencing under the supervision of a court officer," said advocate Sarawate.
He said the father has been paying monthly maintenance of Rs 50,000 to the woman who claims to be a housewife after the divorce petition was filed by her.
Justice Roshan Dalvi allowed to hold one-hour video-conferencing sessions between the man and his son with specific instructions to the mother to leave the conference room during their communication. "The court considered the time difference between India and Jeddah and ordered to establish the communication according to IST for the convenience of the child," Sarawate said.
Justice Dalvi directed the registrar of Pune district family court to make arrangements for video-conferencing on first and third Saturdays of every month between 4 pm and 5 pm on the premises of the Pune district court or National Informatics Centre, Pune, where such facility is available. The court directed the mother to bring Aaron for the video-conferencing facility to talk to his father for one hour. "During this one hour, the mother is directed to leave the room so that the child and the father can talk alone. If there are problems in smooth functioning, the conversation shall be supervised by a court officer."
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