Yes you can ask for exempt from appearing; but its ll depends on your Lawyer how he present your case and the mercy of Judge. Instead you can ask for longer dates instead every month. Adjusting weekly holidays so you can save your time travelling.
Permenent exempt depends on situation of your case, when other party is regular then chance of getting permanent exempt is bleek.
Best strategy is appointing good lawyer and fight it out. you can call our Calcutta helpline for more advice.