Pat HC | Decision to proceed ex parte held to be right when petitioner purposefully avoided appearing before Court

Patna High Court: Ahsanuddin Amanullah, J. dismissed the application, both on merits as well as on the ground of limitation. 

The application was filed by the petitioner after a delay of 2 years and 169 days. The order granting maintenance of Rs 3,000 each per month in favour of the opposite parties, who are wife and son of the petitioner was challenged 

The petitioner submitted that he being a poor man would not able to pay Rs 6,000 per month. It was further submitted that the petitioner was ready to keep the opposite parties with him but it was his wife, the opposite party, who refused to live with him. It was submitted that the petitioner runs a small “Kirana” shop.

It was brought to the Court’s attention that the allegation against the petitioner was of demand of dowry and ouster from the matrimonial home and, thus, there could not be any liability attached to his wife for not residing with the petitioner. It was further submitted that when the minor son of the petitioner, had undergone a major operation at AIIMS, Delhi, the petitioner neither bothered to visit him nor supported him financially. It was submitted that the conduct of the petitioner, thus, was contrary to the stand which he has taken before the Court that he was ready to keep the opposite parties with him.

The Court after having considered the facts and circumstances of the case and submissions of learned counsel for the parties did not find any ground to interfere with the impugned order and also held that the quantum of maintenance was most reasonable and just. The Court further held that from the impugned order itself, it was clear that the petitioner had on purpose avoided appearing before the Court and, thus, rightly the Court proceeded ex parte. [Ganesh Prasad Sinha v. State of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 1807, decided on 18-10-2019]

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