Remedies are available to the defendant if court passes an exparte decree against him

Mahesh Yadav and Ors Vs Rajeshwar Singh and Ors

Supreme Court


Civil Appeal No. 7316 of 2008; MANU/SC/8463/2008; AIR 2009 SC 1064

About/from the judgment:

12. The proviso appended to Order IX Rule 13 of the Code of Civil Procedure postulates that when an ex parte decree has been passed against some of the defendants and it is necessary to set aside the entire decree, the Court is not powerless to do so. If an application for setting aside the ex parte decree was maintainable at the instance of the appellants, we fail to understand as to why a separate suit was required to be filed. When an ex parte decree is passed, the defendant may have more than one remedies. He may file a suit contending that the decree was obtained fraudulently. He may file an application under Order IX Rule 13 of the Code of Civil Procedure for setting aside the ex parte decree. He may prefer an appeal from the ex parte judgment and decree. In a given case, he may also file a review application.

13. In Bhanu Kumar Jain v. Arcbana Kumar and Anr. MANU/SC/1079/2004 : AIR2005SC626 , this Court held:

26. When an ex parte decree is passed, the defendant (apart from filing a review petition and a suit for setting aside the ex parte decree on the ground of fraud) has two clear options, one, to file an appeal and another to file an application for setting aside the order in terms of Order 9 Rule 13 of the Code. He can take recourse to both the proceedings simultaneously but in the event the appeal is dismissed as a result whereof the ex parte decree passed by the trial court merges with the order passed by the appellate court, having regard to Explanation appended to Order 9 Rule 13 of the Code a petition under Order 9 Rule 13 would not be maintainable. However, Explanation I appended to the said provision does not suggest that the converse is also true.

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