Ex-parte decree or order means that the court has adjudicated the matter even though one of the parties to the suit is absent and technically the matter has been decided only on the contentions of one party who is present to the suit. Generally it happens in the absence of the defendants who failed to appear for the hearing.
The court is empowered to pass ex-parte order under O.9 R.6 of CPC. However the court has to satisfy some of the conditions such that the notice of hearing/summons has been served to the defendants and the plaintiff has to prove the service of notice. When the defendants failed to appear for the hearing even though the notice has been duly served, it makes a fit case for ex-parte decree or order. This is not just applicable on the preliminary hearing but such decree/order can be passed at any stage wherein the defendant failed to appear even after repeated requests or on the defendants default the court can pass ex-parte order.
There are remedies available for the aggrieved person due to exparte decree.
• The party can file application under O.9 R.13, to set aside the ex-parte and to claim an opportunity for the defendant to appear for the suit and the court to rehear the matter. However he has to prove either the summons has not duly served or the party has been unable to appear due to some unforeseen or inevitable circumstance. However the burden of proof lies on the claiming party.
• The aggrieved party also can go for appeal under sec.96 and sec.105 of CPC.
• Can go for Revision under sec. 115.
• Can invoke writ jurisdiction under the constitution.
• The party can proceed to set aside under sec.12 as the order has been obtained by fraud.
• At last the party can also file an application as there was no principles of natural justice has been followed “audi alteram partem”.
However, the aggrieved party has to react within 30 days from the passing of decree or 30 days from the knowledge about the order/decree.