A single judge of Jharkhand High Court held as follows,
From Para 4,
Ms. Ayushri, the learned counsel for the appellant has contended that the ex-parte judgment by the Family Court is liable to be set aside on the ground that there was no material before the Family Court to hold that summons was duly served upon the appellant on 21st May 2018.
From Para 8, 9 and 10,
Khushbu Devi @ Kumari Khushbu Vs Shekhar Kumar Swarnkar on 02 Nov 2022
8. The aforesaid mode of services of summons under Rule 9 shall have different requirements upon fulfillment of which the Court may infer or hold that summons was validly served upon the defendant. A valid service of summons upon the defendant is the most important step during 1st stage of any trial and the reason is obvious. It is a fundamental requirement in law that no one should be condemned unheard and therefore no trial of either nature, civil or criminal, can proceed without notice to the other side. For more than one reason, a tracking record cannot be the conclusive proof of valid service of summons upon the defendant. In the first place, a tracking record is required to be placed by the Registry before the Court and it must form a part of the records of the case. Secondly, a tracking record must be supported by an affidavit of Nazir or any other officer of the Court authorised in this behalf. In certain cases, the plaintiff may also lead evidence regarding service of summons with the help of the tracking record. There are other requirements under Rule 9 which have also to be considered by the Court concerned before service of summons upon the defendant is
9. Sub-rule (5) provides that there should be an acknowledgment or any other receipt signed by the defendant or his agent, or, where the postal article containing the summons has been received back by the Court the same shall contain an endorsement by a postal employee or by any person authorised by the courier service to the effect that the defendant or his agent had refused to take delivery of the postal article or had refused to accept the summons by any other means specified in sub-rule (3) when tendered or transmitted to him. In case where summons has been returned unserved or has been refused by the defendant, under Rule 19 the serving officer shall be examined by the Court.
10. The proviso to sub-rule (5) provides that the Court may declare that summons has been validly served upon the defendant notwithstanding the acknowledgment having been lost or mislaid or for any other reason if the same has not been received by the Court within thirty days from the date of issue of summons, provided the summons was properly addressed, prepaid and duly sent by registered post acknowledgment due. The acknowledgment or postal receipt is required to be brought on record for another reason also. Under Rule 15 service of summons upon any adult member of the defendant’s family is considered valid service upon the defendant. However, explanation to Rule 15 provides that a servant is not a member of the family within the meaning of this Rule and therefore the Court before holding valid service of summons upon the defendant is required to see to whom the summons was served.