Can non service of summons be a good ground of ignorance of ex parte decree of divorce ?

In the case of Parimal vs Veena Bharti an ex parte decree was passed where the husband obtained divorce against the wife who had refused the service of notice. There was notice sent by process server which was also refused. A public notice was also served in the newspaper. After all the above, the Court proceeded to continue ex parte and a decree of divorce was passed.

Later, the husband got married and there were two sons born out the wedlock. The wife being aggrieved moved an application after 4 years for setting aside the judgement. The contention raised by the wife was that the notice was not summoned well to her and she was not even informed of the ex parte decree of divorce. At the service of the notice, she was residing with her brother, who was a witness to this. She was also not made aware of the fact of divorce while claiming for maintenance under section 125 Code of Criminal Procedure.

The Supreme Court held awarded a sum of Rs. 10 lakhs to the wife would meet the ends of justice as a lump sum amount of maintenance for the future.

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