NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has directed family courts not to use the real names of couples involved in divorce cases so that their and their children’s identities can be protected.
The High Court said that in a marital dispute or divorce case, if the parties want to rely on documents whose disclosure they think will cause embarrassment, they have to first seek the court’s permission to presenting them in in a sealed cover. “Having now come across a number of cases of matrimonial and custody disputes, in the civil and criminal jurisdictions, the court notes with concern that there is a growing trend among parties and their lawyers to readily disclose in the petitions the most private and personal details of their clients and the opposite parties, without a thought for the privacy implications, or even embarrassment potential that it has,” the court said.
“Lawyers are expected to act with professional responsibility in cases that involve the disclosure of private and personal information.
“Prior permission is needed to produce any document that may include any writing, private letters, notings, photographsand documents in electronic form, including video clips, text messages, chat details, emails, printed copies thereof, CCTV footage etc,” the court said.
The High Court’s directions have been sent to all family courts, lawyers and bar associations.
“The family courts will also bind by specific directions the parties and their respective lawyers and the court staff regarding the making of copies, use, preservation and dissemination of such documents with a view to maintaining their confidentiality,” the court added. The directions came while deciding an appeal relating to visitation rights and custody over children under the Family Courts Act.