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Secretly recording wife’s conversation privacy invasion: Chhattisgarh High Court

The Chhattisgarh High Court recently ruled that it is an invasion of privacy by a husband to record the conversation of his wife without her knowledge after hearing a petition filed by the woman, challenging a family court’s order, allowing her husband for re-examining her in a maintenance case pending in the family court since 2019.

The 38-year-old petitioner moved the high court last year, challenging an order dated October 21, 2021 of a family court in Mahasamund district allowing her 44-year-old husband, a police constable, to re-examine her on the ground that certain conversation was recorded on the mobile phone and he wants to cross-examine by confronting her with the recorded conversation.

Although the petitioner was unclear about the conversation recorded by her husband, as per a source, the husband was trying to prove before the family court that she was committing adultery, and hence he could deny her maintenance once they are divorced.

Representing the petitioner, advocate Vaibhav Goverdhan argued before the High Court judge, Justice Rakesh Mohan Pandey, that the family court’s order infringes right to privacy of the woman and cited previous rulings of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Madhya Pradesh.

On October 5, Justice Pandey cited four previous judgments of the Supreme Court and High Court of Madhya Pradesh on the issue of recorded conversations used as evidence and ruled in the petitioner’s favour.

“Further, the Right of Privacy is an essential component of the right to life envisaged by Article 21 of the Constitution; therefore, in the opinion of this Court, the Family Court has committed an error of law in allowing the application under Section 311 of the CrPC along with the certificate issued under Section 65 of the Indian Evidence Act. The order passed by the Family Court is set aside.”


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