Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has held that a divorced father is entitled to have access to his child, if not physically, at least through e-mail, chatting, telephone or through any other electronic media. Justice Roshan Dalvi of the High Court also set aside an order of March 27 this year passed by a Pune Family Court rejecting plea of Gary Sewell, father, to have access to his child in the modes applied for in his petition.
Sewell said he was staying in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and that he has not even spoken to his child, who resides along with his mother in Mumbai. The child has been in custody of mother since separation of parents in 2008. Sewell further said he had regularly paid maintenance to wife and child. "The father is certainly entitled to have access to his child, if not physically, at least electronically, since he is residing in Jeddah and the child in Mumbai", observed Justice Dalvi.
The court also ruled that the child can first have access to his father through video conferencing under the supervision of a court officer and when a good rapport is established through this, they can communicate through e-mail, chatting, telephone or any such electronic media. Holding that the father is entitled to know about the progress of his child in school, the judge directed the mother to provide all the reports and school certificates to the father within a week.
Copies of such reports shall be filed in the Court with a copy given to the child's father. Also, the originals of such reports shall be offered for inspection to him, the court ruled.