Bombay High Court in the matter titled as Purnendu Shekhar Mal Jain Vs. ACG Associated Capsules Private Limited in Appeal (L) no. 98 of 2016 decided on 1st Feb, 2017 held that the words “special circumstances” in Order XXXVII Rule 4 CPC for setting aside ex-parte decree is different from expression “sufficent cause” an application under Order 9 Rule 13 of CPC. The expression “special circumstances” is not defined in the Civil Procedure Code nor is it capable of any precise definition by the court because problems of human beings are so varied and complex. In its ordinary dictionary meaning it connotes something exceptional in character, extraordinary, significant, uncommon. It is an antonym of common, ordinary and general. It is neither practicable nor advisable to enumerate such circumstances.
In an application under Order 37 Rule 4, the court has to determine the question, on the facts of each case, as to whether circumstances pleaded are so unusual or extraordinary as to justify putting the clock back by setting aside the decree; to grant further relief in regard to post-decree matters, namely, staying or setting aside the execution and also in regard to pre-decree matters viz. to give leave to the defendant to appear to the summons and to defend the suit.