A single bench of Justice Rekha Palli of Delhi High Court while dismissing the husband’s plea, held that for proving an adultery, seeking call records of husband and demanding details of hotel stay does not violate the right to privacy.
“I may observe that it is not as if the respondent is seeking information about any stranger staying in the hotel, her plea is only for records pertaining to her legally wedded husband, who she has a reason to believe is indulging in adultery with a particular lady in a particular room”.
The wife filed a petition seeking divorce under Section 13(1)(i) of the Hindu Marriage Act on the ground of adultery and cruelty on the part of the husband. It was the wife’s specific case that, the husband between 29.04.2022 to 01.05.2022 was staying with a lady along with her daughter in the same room at Hotel Fairmont, Jaipur.
After considering the submissions of the parties, the learned Family Court, passed the impugned order directing Hotel to preserve the documents relating to the reservation details, payment details and ID proofs of room no.219 for the period between 29.04.2022 to 01.05.2022 and send the same to the Court in a sealed cover.
The learned Family Court opined that the documents being sought by the wife were necessary to prove the charges of adultery and cruelty levelled against the petitioner by her.
Thus, being aggrieved by the learned family’s court order, husband approached the high court.
The advocate for the husband submitted that “The directions issued by the learned Family Court amount to infringement of the right to privacy, not only of the petitioner but also of his friend and her daughter, who are not at all connected with the lis between the parties. If the prayer of the respondent were to be allowed by this Court, the same would cast grave aspersions not only on the repute and character of the woman whom the petitioner coincidentally met at the hotel but would also put a question mark on the legitimacy and paternity of the minor child, which she contends should not be permitted in any manner”.
The bench noted that “The payment and reservations details along with the ID proofs of the occupants of the room will surely throw light on this crucial issue as to whether the petitioner was indeed staying with a lady other than his wife in the same room. Similarly, the call details will surely be indicative of the fact as to whether the conversations of the petitioner with the lady were of such duration and frequency as is not expected between colleagues”.While upholding the family’s court order justice said “This would be in consonance with Section 14 of the Family Courts Act which gives a leeway to the Court to consider evidence which may be not admissible or relevant under the Indian Evidence Act”.