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Summons can be served via e-mail, lower court told Matrimonial Dispute: Estranged Husband In US Avoiding Order

May 16, 2019 06:43 AM


Summons can be served via e-mail, lower court told
Matrimonial Dispute: Estranged Husband In US Avoiding Order


The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Panchkula family court to serve summons to a man based in the US on e-mail in a case of matrimonial dispute. The high court passed the order after being informed that the man was avoiding receiving the summons even after his wife had specially engaged a lawyer in the US for the task.

Justice Raj Mohan Singh allowed a petition filed by a Panchkula resident, who had moved the high court after the Panchkula family court on April 4 dismissed her plea seeking permission to serve summons to her US-based estranged husband using e-mail, WhatsApp, or other similar mechanism. The family court, however, had allowed the man to be summoned through the Indian embassy in the US and fixed the next hearing for July

7. The petitioner had sought immediate service and had provided the respondent’s two legitimate e-mail addresses for the summons to be served.

Her main argument was that the respondent is living in the US but could not be served summons through all the recognized means. She submitted that she had tried to serve summons in the US through counsel, but her estranged husband avoided the same. A copy of the summons was also sent through a courier service, but no report was received. The petitioner said she had already initiated steps to serve the respondent summons through the Indian embassy, but it could take more time and moreover would be prejudicial to her.

She had also attempted to serve the summons through an advocate in the US, who personally made four attempts on different dates — on October 14, 15, 16 and 17, 2018. The respondent was confirmed to be living at the address which the lawyer visited but was said to be out of house. On subsequent visits, the house was not found locked but nobody responded to the lawyer, who had also confirmed that the petitioner’s estranged husband was living at the address with his girlfriend.

The petitioner’s counsel referred to order 5 Rule 25 of Civil Procedure Code coupled with HC rules submitting that orders would make the petitioner entitled to serve the respondent through electronic mail service. Justice Raj Mohan Singh observed, “I deem it appropriate to accept the prayer

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