One can seek a virtual hearing on divorce plea
My wife and I had initiated divorce proceedings in 2019 by mutual consent. At the start of 2020, I moved to Dubai for a job and am not in a position to come back now. As I cannot attend the court hearings, the process is getting delayed. Is there some way by which I can attend the proceedings via video-conference or send a representative? I know my wife is also eager to get a divorce at the earliest.
— KK via email— Krishna Kumar via email
You can seek a hearing through video-conference since most of the courts are functioning only by virtual hearing. Very recently, the Supreme Court through Justice V Ramasubramanian, heard a case through video-conference (Madhuri Jajoo Vs. Manoj Jajoo) on December 6, last year and granted a divorce on agreed terms reached before a mediation centre.
Court case sans rental agreement may not help
I had taken on rent a furnished portion of a house at Choolaimedu in September 2019 for Rs 10,000 a month. The landlord took six months’ deposit from me. I had moved to my hometown in June 2020 after the pandemic struck. In November 2020, as I was unsure of returning to Chennai, I gave three-month notice to the landlord and also told him to look for another tenant. When I returned in January to vacate the house, I found extensive rain damage with my belongings including the electricals and furnishings spoiled due to seepage. The landlord is saying that he will withhold half my deposit as the house was secured by me. But I find this unjustified. Rs 30,000 is a big amount for me. The seepage is due to poor construction. Am I liable to pay?
— Vikraman, Tirunelveli
Since you do not have a rental agreement and the terms are only oral, to get back your three months’ advance from your house owner and settle the dispute (if any) regarding damaged electrical gadgets and furnishing owing to seepage during monsoon will be a matter of evidence. If you go to court, even to recover that Rs 30,000/- balance you may have to spend an equal amount. Therefore it is better you come to some reasonable terms with your house owner and salvage whatever amount is offered by your house owner. It is better to be prudent rather than stand on legal points.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are of Justice K Chandru, who is providing guidance and direction based on his rich experience and knowledge of the law. This is not a substitute for legal recourse which must be taken as a follow-up if so recommended in these columns.