Court Grants Second Chance in Ex-Parte Decree Case

Court Grants Second Chance in Ex-Parte Decree Case

Court Grants Second Chance in Ex-Parte Decree Case

In a significant ruling by the Kerala High Court, a second chance has been granted to contest an ex-parte decree in a family court matter. The judgment, delivered by Honourable Justices Anu Sivaraman and C. Pratheep Kumar, concerns Matrimonial Appeal No. 244 of 2021.

Background of the Case

The appellant, Casmel Fernandez, contested an ex-parte decree issued by the Family Court, Chavara, related to a petition filed by his wife, Senotra. The decree allowed Senotra to recover 44 sovereigns of gold ornaments or a sum of Rs. 11,00,000, along with patrimony of Rs. 11,50,000, with interest.

Contentions and Decision

Fernandez, along with other respondents, filed applications seeking to set aside the ex-parte decree. However, the Family Court dismissed the applications due to a delay of 960 days in filing. The appellant then appealed to the Kerala High Court.

Court’s Ruling

After hearing both sides, the court observed that the appellant was aware of the proceedings but failed to actively participate, leading to the ex-parte decree. However, considering the principle of equity, the court granted the appellant another opportunity to contest the case.

Imposition of Costs

To ensure fairness and deter such delays in the future, the court imposed a cost of Rs. 50,000 on the appellant. This cost must be paid to the respondent within 15 days, failing which the appeal would be dismissed.


The judgment underscores the importance of timely and active participation in legal proceedings. While offering a second chance, the court emphasizes the need for accountability, ensuring the efficient administration of justice.

This summary encapsulates the essence of the court’s decision to grant a second chance in an ex-parte decree case, emphasizing the provisions of the Family Court Act and the importance of active participation in legal proceedings.

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