Supreme Court Halts Calcutta High Court’s Mandate for Personal Appearance Amid Health Concerns

The Supreme Court has intervened to stay an order from the Calcutta High Court that demanded the personal appearance of two individuals involved in a marital dispute case. The apex court expressed perplexity over the high court’s decision not to permit virtual attendance, especially given the availability of modern communication technologies and one party’s serious health issues.

Justices Dipankar Datta and Satish Chandra Sharma of the vacation bench highlighted that the parties, one of whom recently underwent an organ transplant and is facing other severe health challenges, were being unnecessarily compelled to travel from Mumbai to Kolkata. This requirement came despite the fact that one petitioner had already adhered to a previous order to appear in person and without any clear justification for such stringent demands by the high court.

The Supreme Court, in its ruling on May 20, questioned the rationale behind the lower court’s insistence on physical presence, especially when virtual options are available and feasible. The apex court’s order emphasized the importance of judicial discretion and restraint to avoid unnecessarily harsh outcomes for the parties involved.

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By staying the Calcutta High Court’s order, which was initially issued on May 14, the Supreme Court has allowed the petitioners to appear virtually for their scheduled appearance on May 22, 2024.

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