Divorce in 15 min through video conference

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Chennai, Sep 21: Divorce was given within 15 minutes by a Family Court here through video-conferencing based on an e-mailed divorce order to a consenting couple, husband living in US and wife living in Australia.

Advocates and court officials said here today that till now during similar proceedings before the Family Courts, at least one party in the litigation was physically present before the court.

The couple, both software professionals and in their twenties, preferred divorce owing to incompatibility and differences of opinion. However, during the mandatory six-month legal separation period, the husband shifted to the United States and the wife got a job in Australia.

Both could not be present in court yesterday, when the case was scheduled to be taken up for orders. They had informed the court in advance.

Principal Judge for Family Courts R Devadoss presided over proceedings, spread across three continents, connected only by the worldwide web.

Sources said in order to ascertain the identity of persons taking part in the proceedings, blood relatives of the couple were asked to be present in court.

The parties made a sworn statement ahead of their depositions and the relatives confirmed their identities.

The proceedings were recorded in both audio and video format, and the presiding officer signed at the end of the deposition, affirming ''recorded before me,'' sources added.

It was then counter-signed by the relatives and counsel.

The total cost for the whole proceedings was just Rs 300, the sources said adding that an orthodox method would have cost not less than Rs 2 lakhs for the parties, besides the hours spent on travel.

Though all the mandatory legal requirements were complied with, the entire process was over within 15 minutes.


UNI

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