The Gujarat High Court issued a notice to the Ministry of Law and Justice in a petition filed by bedridden woman aggreived with a Family Court's rejection of her request to appear through video conferencing in a maintenance case.

The family court denied a bedridden and physically immobilised woman's request to handle her case filed under Section 125 of the CrPC via video conference, due to her suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and varicose veins in her legs and feet. However, the court mandated that the petitioner be physically present at the time of the hearing.

A Single Bench of Justice Hasmukh D. Suthar issued notice to the Ministry, ordering the Husband to “be served through concerned police station” while the “APP waives service of notice for and on behalf of the respondent State

Advocate Shruti Umesh Babu represented the applicant.

Despite her severe health conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and varicose veins, the family court in Ahmedabad insisted on her physical presence for the hearing in maintenance cases initiated by her.

The woman had a complicated pregnancy, which required high doses of antibiotics, leading to long-term maternal complications. Later on, she developed severe health issues, including rheumatoid arthritis and varicose veins, due to the side effects of steroid treatment. Her condition worsened during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, leaving her barely able to stand or walk. Around this time, her husband resigned from his job, relocated to Kerala, and failed to meet his financial responsibilities, exacerbating the family's financial strain.

The woman filed for maintenance in the Family Court but faced issues due to her inability to be physically present. Her counsel requested the court to allow her to appear via video conference. The preliminary hearing was postponed, but the court refused to consider her latest medical reports.

Ultimately, the Family Court stated that the woman must be physically present at least once during the hearing, rejecting her plea to appear via video conference.

Consequently, the woman filed an application before the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution after being aggrieved by the family court’s decision.

Accordingly, the High Court issued notice to the parties.

Cause Title: ABC v. State of Gujarat & Ors.


Applicant: Shruti Umesh Babu and Shrijit G Pillai

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