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Considering the lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, a Delhi Court has allowed a father to video-call his child every day in furtherance of his visitation rights.
The order was passed by Additional District Judge, Vikas Dhull after the matter was heard through video conferencing.
The Applicant/father was granted visitation rights with regard to his child aged about 3 years in July 2019.
The child was in custody of the mother and as per the visitation order, the father could meet the child every first and third Saturday of every month from 11 am to 3 pm.
The Court was informed that since the order, the mother and the father had been complying with the visitation order. However, after mid February, the mother failed to comply with the order and the father could not meet his child in the past 40 days.
Given the ongoing lockdown situation, the father stated that he was not pressing for a physical meeting with his child. He, accordingly, prayed that he be allowed to make a video call to his child every day for 10 mins in order to know about the child’s well being.
The mother submitted that she had no intention to violate the visitation order and the same could not be complied with due to the lockdown.
After hearing the parties, the Court observed that due to the pandemic, the visitation order could not be complied with as it would put the health of the parties at risk.
However, being conscious of the father’s right to know about the well being of his child, the Court modified the visitation order to the extent to provide for visitation rights through video call.
“..the respondent (mother) will co-operate with the applicant and will allow applicant (father) to have a video call with the child every day from 24.4.2020 .. from 12 noon to 12.10 pm and will not block the whatsapp number of the applicant during the aforementioned period.”
Pursuant to apprehensions raised by the mother, the Court nonetheless directed the father to not record the video call.
If any such recording is done, the same shall not be admissible in any court of law, it ordered.
Father was represented by Advocate Rohit Sharma.
Mother was represented by Advocate Naveen Kumar.
Read the Order: