Vs. K. Saraswathi Ammal  INSC 1225 (27 September 1996)
Jeevan Reddy, K.S. Paripoornan
O R D
the respondent is served, no one appears for the respondent.
appellant is the wife, against whom her husband had obtained an ex-parte decree
of divorce. After obtaining the decree, the husband died. The wife on coming to
know of the ex-parte decree, applied for setting aside the decree of divorce
under Order IX Rule 13 of the Code af Civil Procedure. The Trial Court
dismissed the said application observing that since the divorce is a personal
remedy, it cannot be pursued after the death of the husband. On appeal, the
Trial Court's view was reversed. But the Appellate Court's view has in turn
been reversed by the High Court.
of the opinion that the wife should be and is competent to maintain the
application under Order IX Rule
Even though the husband is dead, yet the decree obtained by him is effective in
law and determines the status of the appellant. If the appellant says that it
is an ex-parte decree and ought to be set aside, her application has to be
heard on merits. The decree of divorce determines her status as a wife apart
from determining her rights in the properties of her deceased husband. This
gives her sufficient locus standi and right to contest the divorce proceedings
even after the death of her husband.
the appeal is allowed and the matter is remitted to the Trial Court to dispose
of the application filed by the appellant under Order IX Rule 13 on merits in
accordance with law. No costs.
Gupta says that the appellant has been provided a job in the Electricity Board
on compassionate grounds on the basis that she is the wife of the deceased
disposal of the divorce proceedings finally, it is directed that she will not
be disturbed from the said post.