1. In this case the Deputy Commissioner of the Garo Hills has pronounced a decree for dissolution of marriage, subject to confirmation by this Court, upon a husband's petition. The petition appears to make the wife the defendant and does not appear to have been framed so as to include the co-respondent as a party. It would appear from the judgment of the Deputy Com-missioner that summonses were issued upon the wife and the co-respondent, but neither the wife nor the co-respondent could be found in the village. Accordingly, without making any order dispensing with the service, the Deputy Commissioner has proceeded ex parte, and has pronounced a decree for divorce. The case made by the petitioner is that the wife left the village with the co-respondent and neither has been seen or heard of since. The summons to the wife was apparently accepted by her father on her behalf, she being absent. In these circumstances, it does not appear to me that the Deputy Commissioner has proceeded with sufficient formality or has taken sufficient steps to ensure that the proceedings should be brought to the notice of the co-respondent.
2. It appears to me that the matter must go back, first, in order that the co-respondent may be added as a party to the petition, and secondly, in order that further steps may be taken as regards service both upon the wife and the co-respondent. The Deputy Commissioner is in a better position than I am to decide as to what steps are practicable. In default of anything else, it would appear to be desirable that an order should be recorded that the matter should be announced in the village by beat of drum and that the proper notice should be put up at the Court house. The case must go back for that purpose. We appreciate that, under Section 50, Divorce Act, the Commissioner has a discretion to dispense with the service in a proper case. He does not appear to have exercised that discretion by recording any proper order in the matter. But apart from that, it does not seem to be right that service should be dispensed with upon the very bare materials laid before the Deputy Commissioner at the time. The case, therefore, will go back for further steps as to service and thereafter, if necessary, for a proper order dispensing with service. The case must be reheard.
C.C. Ghose, J.
3. I agree.
4. I agree.