Supreme Court Grants Virtual Visitation Rights to Parents

The Supreme Court held that parents having visitation rights; may resort to electronic means to meet their children due to the nationwide lockdown. All such parents having visitation rights can now visit electronically through Video Calls etc. instead of visiting physically at this time. The bench consisting of Justice NV Ramana, Justice SK Kaul and Justice BR Gavai passed the order.

The PIL on Virtual Visitation Rights

Dr. Tanuj Dhawan, Assistant Professor with the University of Delhi filed the plea. He questioned the mental health of children regarding difficulties of maintaining contact with their parents having the visiting rights. “Many couples, either separated or divorced are having Visitation Rights for their children from court; but due to movement restrictions they are unable to exercise the same; which can cause serious concerns over the mental wellness of their child,” he expressed before the court. Adding, “The issue of mental health amid lockdown is very important in this unique situation and due to this many NGOs and Mental Health institutions have been acting round the clock; some psychological changes would be observed during and post pandemic period amongst people as this situation has created lot of anxiety and depression in the society, especially children.

The Decision

Taking note of the contentions, the Supreme Court approved of converting physical visitations into electronic visitations during these times.

The Court held, โ€œThe grievance of the petitioner is that because of lockยญdown, 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 mutually acceptable arrangements in this behalf. If there is an aggrieved party, the same can approach the Family Court”. Accordingly, the bench disposed of the petition.

About the Author

Ishan Harlalka
I am a 3rd year law aspirant pursuing BA LLB. I am deeply interested in learning and am always looking forward to gain knowledge about new subjects. In my leisure time, I try to read books of various genres and by different authors. As people from non-law background may find it difficult to understand legal provisions and jargons, I try to write in a way that my articles are easy to comprehend and after reading them, one can discuss them with others.

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