Judicial Updates -
SUPREME COURT - NOTICE RETURNED AS UNCLAIMED SHALL BE DEEMED AS PROPER SERVICE OF NOTICE.
In the case of Priyanka Kumari v. Shailendra Kumar [Transfer Petition(s)(Civil) No(s). 2090/2019] the Supreme Court has clarified the status of a notice being unclaimed as being equivalent to a refusal to accept the notice. The Supreme Court has relied on other judgements to reiterate its position on an unclaimed notice namely, K.Bhaskaran v. Sankaran Vaidhyan Balan and Another, [(1999) 7 SCC 510], wherein the Supreme Court stated that if a notice is returned as unclaimed it shall be deemed to have been duly served upon the addressee and that it is a proper service of notice.
Another case that the Supreme Court cited while giving its decision is Ajeet Seeds Limited v. K. Gopala Krishnaiah [(2014)12 SCC 685], wherein the Supreme Court held as follows:
“Section 114 of the Evidence Act, 1872 enables the court to presume that in the common course of natural events, the communication sent by post would have been delivered at the address of the addressee. Further, Section 27 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 gives rise to a presumption that service of notice has been effected when it is sent to the correct address by registered post. It is not necessary to aver in the complaint that in spite of the return of the notice unserved, it is deemed to have been served or that the addressee is deemed to have knowledge of the notice. Unless and until the contrary is proved by the addressee, service of notice is deemed to have been effected at the time at which the letter would have been delivered in the ordinary course of business.”
Thus, in the above case, the Supreme Court held that even if a notice has been returned as unclaimed it shall be deemed to have been served upon the addressee. The term “unclaimed” shall be deemed to be a “refusal” to accept the notice sent to the addressee and therefore, in this situation the Supreme Court held that there was proper service of notice to the Respondent where the Respondent failed to appear before the Court.