Service of Summons: Substituted Service in Focus

Service of Summons

Substituted Service of Summons under Order 5 Rule 20 CPC and Relevant Judgment of High Court of Karnataka

Service of Summons: Karnataka High Court Judgment Smt P V Pxxxx vs Sri T K Mxxxxxx Bench: Alok Aradhe, J.M.Khazi

Order 5 Rule 20 of the Civil Procedure Code : Substituted Service of Summons :

A recent judgment from the Karnataka High Court highlighted the significance of legal procedures, particularly in the context of substituted service of summons. The case centered on the utilization of Order 5 Rule 20 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) to guarantee that the court properly informed the respondent about the legal proceedings.

The Challenge:

The court outlined the challenge faced when traditional methods of serving summons failed to reach the respondent. Despite multiple attempts through Court notices and Registered Post with Acknowledgment Due (RPAD), the notices consistently came back as “unserved.”

The Solution for Service of Summons:

Recognizing that the respondent was intentionally evading service, the Family Court wisely ordered substituted service through paper publication in a newspaper distributed throughout Karnataka. This innovative approach ensured that the respondent had an opportunity to participate in the legal proceedings.

Comparing to Order 5 Rule 17:

Order 5 Rule 17 of the CPC allows for the affixing of notices to premises. However, the court made the correct determination that this provision didn’t apply in this case. It was clear that the respondent’s absence was not due to refusal. Nor was it a result of the unlikelihood of finding the address within a reasonable time.

Why Substituted Service Matters:

Substituted service is a crucial legal tool to guarantee that legal proceedings are fair and just, even when individuals attempt to evade them. In this case, the court’s decision emphasized the importance of following due process and ensuring that all parties have a chance to participate.


This judgment serves as a reminder of the meticulous and structured nature of legal proceedings. It highlights the commitment of the court to uphold the principles of justice. Even when faced with challenges in serving notices. Properly executed substituted service can be the key to ensuring that everyone has their day in court.

One response to “Service of Summons: Substituted Service in Focus”

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