Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Parties may seek Exemption from personal appearance @ family court. Karnataka HC

USEFUL CASE for NRI and outstation husbands !!

Parties may seek Exemption from personal appearance @ family court. IF one side is already represented by counsel other side also to be allowed.Karnataka HC

In this case The husband sought leave of the Family Court to be represented through a Counsel. Court permitted husband to be represented by Counsel from inception of case. Wife who was at Mumbai gets a job and goes to USA. So she seeks both permission to be represented by counsel and exemption from personal appearance. Family court disallows both. Karnataka HC appreciates the facts and decrees that she can appear thru counsel

"10. There is nothing in Act or rules which prohibits a petition being filed by an authorised agent, or requires a petition should be presented by the petitioner in person. Therefore, there is no bar to a petition being presented to the Court by an agent (attorney holder). Even a Legal Practitioner who holds a power of attorney to present the petition, may 'present' a petition, but may not be able to 'represent' the petitioner in the proceedings unless permitted by the Family Court. Similarly, there is nothing in the Act or rules requiring the Family Court to refuse to recognise or accept the appearance of a respondent, through an authorised agent on the date fixed for appearance. A respondent can enter appearance through an authorised agent (who can also be a Legal Practitioner) with an application seeking permission to be represented by a Legal Practitioner…" and

"...11. A party may choose to appear through and be represented by an authorised agent other than a Legal Practitioner, in which event permis-sion under Section 13 is not necessary. A Family Court, having regard to the facts and circumstances, may of course make a specific order for the personal appearance of a party. Only if such an order is made, the party has to make an application for exemption from personal appearance if he/she is not in a position to appear in the matter. Even if the Family Court refuses permission to the parties to be represented by a Legal Practitioner, the parties may be represented by authorised agents other than a Legal Practitioner. But, if one side has been permitted to be represented by a Legal Practitioner, the Family Court should not refuse permission to the other side to be represented by a Legal Practitioner. To do so would be in violation of principles of natural justice…."

Since this procedure is gender neutral, Husbands should be able to use this to their benefit !!

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