BENGALURU: Family courts cannot insist on parties appearing personally when they have authorised legal representatives, the Karnataka High Court said on Friday. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty passed the order on a PIL registered suo motu to address technical issues arising from video conference hearings.
The court said that there was no legal basis for family courts in the state to insist that a petitioner appears before court personally while filing a petition, or that a respondent appears in person when a notice is served, when they they have legal representatives. In case of transactions under the Negotiable Instruments Act too, the personal appearance of the complainant before the magistrate for examination is not required in all cases if the complainant has filed submitted an affidavit, or has an authorised advocate.
The bench said that if required, the magistrate can issue summons after perusing the affidavit. Referring to the payment of maintenance in matrimonial cases, the bench said it would be appropriate if the courts’ monetary transactions are not manually done, and directed the Registrar (Computers) to prepare a note dealing with legal and technical issues concerning Treasury Rules.