Court Dismisses Appeal Due to Nine-Year Delay: Analysis of Sudheer vs. Sithara Case

Court Dismisses Appeal Due to Nine-Year Delay

Court Dismisses Appeal in Sudheer vs. Sithara Case Due to Nine-Year Delay

In a recent judgment by the High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam, a matrimonial appeal filed by Sudheer @ Badar Sudheesh against Sithara, his former spouse, was dismissed due to an extensive delay of nine years. Let’s delve into the details of this case and understand the key aspects:


Sudheer @ Badar Sudheesh, aged 44, and Sithara, aged 33, were embroiled in a legal battle over the return of 42 sovereigns of gold ornaments or their market value. Sithara had initially filed a case against Sudheer in the Family Court, Malappuram, seeking the return of the gold ornaments. However, Sudheer failed to appear in court, resulting in an ex parte decree in favor of Sithara dated 13th May 2014.

The Appeal and Delay:

Sudheer filed an appeal against the ex parte decree on 3rd July 2023, a staggering nine years after the original decree. Along with the appeal, he submitted an application seeking condonation of the delay, citing his absence abroad as the reason for not contesting the case earlier. The delay was calculated to be 2586 days, excluding the COVID-19 period.

Legal Proceedings:

During the court proceedings, Sudheer’s counsel argued that his client’s absence from India and subsequent inability to contest the case led to the delay in filing the appeal. However, the court noted that Sudheer had previously filed similar appeals and applications to set aside the ex parte decree, all of which were dismissed. Despite being allowed to challenge the decree in accordance with the law in previous judgments, Sudheer failed to provide valid grounds for the extensive delay.

Court’s Decision:

The court emphasized that Sudheer’s failure to provide a plausible explanation for the nine-year delay was unacceptable. Citing precedents and legal principles, the court highlighted that inordinate delays cannot be condoned without valid reasons. As Sudheer had not shown sufficient cause for the delay, the court dismissed both the condonation application and the matrimonial appeal.


In summary, the High Court’s decision in the Sudheer vs. Sithara case underscores the importance of timely legal action and the need for valid grounds when seeking condonation of delay. The case serves as a reminder of the legal principles governing matrimonial disputes and the consequences of prolonged delays in legal proceedings.

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