Service of Summons is the primordial factor for enabling involvement of the Respondent or any other necessary Party to a Civil Suit. Order V of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 mentions the procedure for “Issue and Service of Summons.” Summons is deemed to be served once it has been duly served to the concerned party in the prescribed form of the Court. Absence from taking part in the proceedings even after receipt of summons leads to exclusion of the concerned party and an “ex-parte” order is issued against such parties. The fundamental principle behind an ‘ex-parte’ order is to continue with the proceedings and to pass any order, maybe interim or final, which is binding on such parties for non-appearance in the matter.
In the matter of Auto Cars v Trimurti Cargo Movers Pvt Ltd & Ors, the Hon’ble Supreme Court elaborated on the interpretation to “Service of Summons” with reference to Order IX Rule 13 i.e. Setting aside decree of ex-parte against defendant. After factoring the arguments and reasoning placed by the Counsel for the Appellant, the bench observed that the paper publication of the summons by the Calcutta High Court lacked the basic essential details of the format prescribed in the Code. The Bench further observed that “Such summons and the service effected pursuant thereto cannot be held to be in conformity with Section 27 read with the statutory format prescribed in Appendix B Process (I and IA) and Order 5 Rule 20(3) of the Code”. Hence the ex-parte order was accordingly dismissed and the appellant was granted relief to file its written statement in the suit filed against it accordingly.
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