Sirangi Shoba v. Sirangi Muralidhar Rao

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Using video conferencing for cross-examination of the husband in a divorce proceeding

Sirangi Shoba v. Sirangi Murlidhar Rao
AIR 2017 Hyd 88 : (2017) 5 ALT 475 : (2018) 2 ALD 557
In the High Court of Hyderabad
Civil Revision Petition 337/2016
Before Justice B. Siva Sankara Rai
Decided on October 19, 2016

Relevancy of the Case: Using video conferencing for cross-examination of the husband in a divorce proceeding

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (Section 65A, 65B)
  • The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 164, 167, 209, 228, 251, 238, 244, 245, 265-267, 273, 309, 313, 317(2))

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • This revision petition arises out of divorce proceedings between the revision petitioner (wife) and the respondent (husband).
  • Earlier, the court had allowed the respondent’s petition for the admissibility of cross-examination using Skype for recording evidence.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

  • The petitioner’s counsel argued that the court should not allow the use of Skype to record evidence. One cannot observe the witness’s demeanour and behaviour without physical presence. Moreover, the other party can give prompts or alerts, defeating the purpose of being physically present.
  • The respondent’s counsel submitted that technological advancements such as examination through Skype allow clear revelation of identity and demeanour.

Opinion of the Bench

  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has created a new path for modernising the Indian judicial system.
  • The focus is also on affordable forms of justice. Two branches, science and law, have come together to ensure a fair process.
  • The bench also discussed recording the proceedings and prosecution’s evidence using video conferencing.

Final Decision

  • The court disposed of the petition, thereby allowing the recording of testimony and cross-examination of the witness via video conferencing, subject to conditions.

Khilansha Mukhija, an undergraduate student at the Institute of Law, Nirma University Ahmedabad, and Yagyanseni Acharya, an undergraduate student at VIT School of Law, Chennai, prepared this case summary during their internship with The Cyber Blog India in January/February 2024.