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For an ex-parte decree or order, applicant has to satisfy that the summons weren’t duly served or one was prevented by any sufficient cause: High Court of Delhi

Exercise of power under this article involves a duty on the High Court to keep inferior courts and tribunals within the bounds of their authority and to see that they do the duty expected or required of them in a legal manner. In case of an ex-parte decree or order, the applicant has to satisfy that the summons were not duly served or that one was prevented by any sufficient cause when the case was called for hearing. Interfering with the orders of the courts or tribunals is restricted to cases of serious dereliction of duty and flagrant violation of fundamental principles of law or justice and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by Justice Prateek Jalan in the case of SHRI MUKESH KUMAR vs. SMT KAMLESH DEVI & ANR. [CM(M) 189/2022] on 28.02.2022.

The facts of the case are that the petitioner and the respondent filed eviction proceedings against the respondent under Section 14(1)(h) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 in respect of the suit property. The landlords claimed that the tenant was in possession of the suit property at a rent per month which had not been paid since the year 2005. They also claimed that she had acquired vacant possession of another property.

The eviction proceedings were proceeded ex-parte against the tenant, recording that she failed to appear despite service of summons. After examination of the petitioner, the Trial Court allowed the eviction petition under Section 14(1)(h) of the Act.

The applicant’s counsel submitted that she was not served with the notice of the petition. It was also contended that the proceedings were transferred from one Court to another after issuance of notice, but the transferee court had not issued any notice of hearing.

In view of facts and circumstances, court did not find any ground for interference with the order of the Tribunal in the present case as the view taken by the Tribunal was based upon an assessment of the evidence before it. The conclusions reached by it did not appear to Court to be perverse or manifestly unreasonable.

The Court observed that “exercise of power under this article involves a duty on the High Court to keep inferior courts and tribunals within the bounds of their authority and to see that they do the duty expected or required of them in a legal manner. In case of an ex-parte decree or order, the applicant has to satisfy that the summons were not duly served or that one was prevented by any sufficient cause when the case was called for hearing. Interfering with the orders of the courts or tribunals is restricted to cases of serious dereliction of duty and flagrant violation of fundamental principles of law or justice.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

 

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