Wife Can Seek CCTV Footage of Hotel to Prove Adultery by Husband- No Violation of Right to Privacy of Husband: Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court has ruled that a wife’s right to seek redressal under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act should prevail over her husband’s right to privacy when it comes to allegations of adultery.
The court held that a woman has the right to seek evidence or documents to prove adultery in a divorce petition against her husband.
The court also noted that the right to privacy, although a constitutionally protected right, is not an absolute right.
In this case, the husband challenged two orders passed by a family court in relation to his alleged adultery. The wife had filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery and cruelty, citing evidence of her husband’s presence in a hotel where he was allegedly engaging in an adulterous relationship. The family court had allowed her application for the preservation of CCTV footage from the hotel in question and the summoning of the hotel room’s records.
The husband moved to the High Court to challenge these orders. His counsel argued against the allegations of adultery and cruelty, claiming that his client was merely visiting a friend who was also staying at the hotel with her daughter. Moreover, he protested that the family court was carrying out a fishing and roving inquiry, and that the divulgence of private information sought by the wife would violate his right to privacy and that of the other individuals involved.
However, the court held that a wife’s plea for records pertaining to her legally wedded husband, who she was alleging was indulging in adultery, must be given priority over the husband’s right to privacy in a subsisting marital relationship.
The court also noted that there was no question of a violation of the right to privacy of the other lady, with whom the husband was allegedly living in adultery, and her minor child, as the family court had only sought records pertaining to the husband.