16. Hearing on application ex-parte.
(1) Where on the date fixed for hearing the application or on any other date to which hearing is adjourned, the applicant appears and the respondent does not appear when the application is called on for hearing, the Tribunal may, in its discretion, adjourn or hear and decide the application ex-parte.
(2) Where an application has been heard ex-parte against a respondent or respondents, such respondent or respondents may apply to the Tribunal for an order to set it aside and if such respondent or respondents satisfy the Tribunal that the notice was not duly served, or that he or they were prevented by any sufficient cause from appearing when the application was called on for hearing, the Tribunal may make an order setting aside the ex-parte hearing as against him or them upon such terms as it thinks fit, and shall appoint a day for proceeding with the application:
Provided that where the ex-parte hearing of the application is of such nature that it cannot be set aside as against one respondent only, it may be set aside as against all or any of the other respondents also:
Provided further that Tribunal shall not set aside ex-parte hearing of an application merely on the ground that there has been an irregularity in the service of notice, if it is satisfied that the respondent had notice of the date of hearing and had sufficient time to appear and answer the applicant’s claim.