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Yesterday in Supreme Court: G. Ratna Raj (dead) By Lrs. v. Sri Muthukumarasamy Permanent Fund Ltd (Judgment 30 Sec Worth Read)

Title of the case - Decree Passed On Plaintiff's Evidence Without Defendant's Appearance At Trial Is Ex-Parte Decree

Name of the case - G. Ratna Raj (dead) By Lrs. v. Sri Muthukumarasamy Permanent Fund Ltd. : C.A. No. 2582 - 2583 of 2011 01-02-2019

Date of Judgment – 01 Feb, 2019

Judges: Hon'ble Mr. Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari

Subject and sections involved –  The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 - Order 9 Rule 6 (1)(a), Order 9 Rule 13, Order 17 Rules 2 and 3

Issue :

  1. Whether procedure followed without presence of defendant is valid?


Ratio of the case - Since the defendants were proceeded ex parte and were found not to have led any evidence in the suit, the Court could only proceed under Order 17 Rule 3 (b) read with Order 17 Rule 2 of the Code for disposal of the suit by taking recourse to one of the modes directed in that behalf by Order 9 of the Code or could have made any other order as it thinks fit.

Justice Sapre, authored the judgment, observed that "The Trial Court did proceed to hear the suit ex parte by taking recourse to the Order 9 Rule 6 (a) in terms of Order 17 Rule 2 of the Code because on that day, the plaintiff was present when the suit was called on for hearing whereas the defendants were absent despite service of summons and accordingly the Trial Court passed the preliminary decree. Such decree, in our opinion, was an "ex parte decree" within the meaning of Order 9 Rule 6 (a) read with Order 9 Rule 13 of the Code and, therefore, could be set aside under Order 9 Rule 13 on making out a sufficient ground by the defendants".