Supreme Court allows parents having visitation rights to maintain contact with children via electronic means

Tanuj Dhawan Vs Court in its own motion

Supreme Court

30/04/2020

WP (C) Diary No. 11058/2020

About/from the judgment:

Keeping in view of the inability of parents having visitation rights to meet their children physically due to the nationwide lockdown, the Supreme Court directed that they may resort to electronic means for the same.

 

Therefore, all the parents having visitation rights can now avail electronic visitations via Video Calls etc. instead of Physical Visitations during this period.

 

The order was passed in a PIL filed by Dr. Tanuj Dhawan, Assistant Professor with University of Delhi, who raised concerns regarding the Mental Health of Children due to impossibility of maintaining contact with their parents having due visitation rights.

 

"Many couples who are either separated or divorced are having Visitation Rights for their children from court but due to movement restrictions they are unable to exercise same which would cause serious concerns over the mental well being of the child concerned," Dr. Dhawan told the court.

 

He had also submitted that "The issue of mental health amid lockdown is amongst the important aspects in this unprecedented situation due to this many NGOs and Mental Health institutions have been acting round the clock, needless to say the Psychological changes which would be observed during and post pandemic period amongst people since this scenario has created lot of anxiety and depression in the society, especially children."

 

Based on his representation, the Supreme Court agreed to convert Physical Visitations into Electronic visitations during these times.

 

A court ordered,

 

"The grievance of the petitioner is that because of lockdown, the children are unable to interact with their parents even though they have visitation rights for the purpose. If they have visitation rights, we suggest that electronic contact instead of physical visits can be substituted in these times. The parties can arrive at a mutually acceptable arrangements in this behalf. If there is an aggrieved party, the same can approach the Family Court."

 

The matter was accordingly disposed of.

Read the Judgment

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