Rangharajan Venkatesan vs Anjali Srikanth on 27 January, 2021


The case of Rangharajan Venkatesan vs. Anjali Srikanth, adjudicated on January 27, 2021, by the High Court of Judicature at Madras, involves a petition seeking the expedited disposal of a matrimonial dispute. The petitioner requested a directive for the Sub-Judge, Tambaram, to promptly conclude the pending case. The hearing was presided over by Justice V. Bhavani Subbaroyan.


Rangharajan Venkatesan, the petitioner, married Anjali Srikanth on December 4, 2016, as per Hindu rites and customs. Due to irreconcilable differences, Rangharajan filed a petition (HMOP No. 944 of 2018) before the Sub-Judge, Tambaram, seeking dissolution of the marriage on the grounds of cruelty. However, the proceedings faced significant delays, primarily due to issues in serving notice to the respondent, Anjali Srikanth, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Arguments

Petitioner’s Arguments

The petitioner, represented by Mr. S.P. Arthi, argued that despite multiple attempts, the notices served to the respondent were returned unserved due to various reasons, including the respondent’s evasion. The petitioner highlighted that the case had been pending since 2018, causing undue delay and hardship. Additionally, the petitioner pointed out that the lack of a presiding officer for a considerable period contributed to the delay, and even after the appointment of a new presiding officer, the case had not progressed.

Respondent’s Arguments

There was no appearance from the respondent, Anjali Srikanth, in the proceedings. The absence of the respondent further complicated the timely resolution of the case.

Court’s Observations

Justice V. Bhavani Subbaroyan acknowledged the prolonged delay in the case, noting the repeated failures in serving notice to the respondent. The court recognized the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had significantly slowed down judicial proceedings. The court also observed that the petitioner had made substantial efforts to serve notice, including requests for substituted service, which were not considered by the trial court.

Court’s Decision

The High Court directed the petitioner to file an application for substituted service before the trial court. The court ordered that after effecting substituted service through publication, the trial court must dispose of the case within one year from the date of receiving the order. This directive aimed to expedite the proceedings and ensure a timely resolution of the matrimonial dispute.


The decision in Rangharajan Venkatesan vs. Anjali Srikanth highlights the judiciary’s commitment to ensuring timely justice, especially in matrimonial disputes. By directing the trial court to expedite the case and considering substituted service, the High Court addressed the procedural delays that had hindered the resolution of the case. This ruling underscores the importance of procedural efficiency and the need for courts to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, to deliver justice effectively.

Ref: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/137637422/

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