STATE BANK OF INDIA Vs. SANTOSH GUPTA AND ANR. ETC.
LAWS(SC)-2016-12-35
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on December 16,2016

STATE BANK OF INDIA Appellant
VERSUS
Santosh Gupta And Anr. Etc. Respondents

JUDGEMENT

R.F.NARIMAN,J. - (1.) Leave granted. The Constitution of India is a mosaic drawn from the experience of nations worldwide. The federal structure of this Constitution is largely reflected in Part XI which is largely drawn from the Government of India Act, 1935. The State of Jammu & Kashmir is a part of this federal structure. Due to historical reasons, it is a State which is accorded special treatment within the framework of the Constitution of India. This case is all about the State of Jammu & Kashmir vis'-a-vis' the Union of India, in so far as legislative relations between the two are concerned.
(2.) The present appeals arise out of a judgment dated 16.7.2015 passed by the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir at Jammu, in which it has been held that various key provisions of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (hereinafter referred to as "SARFAESI") were outside the legislative competence of Parliament, as they would collide with Section 140 of the Transfer of Property Act of Jammu & Kashmir, 1920. The said Act has been held to be inapplicable to banks such as the State Bank of India which are all India banks.
(3.) Before going into the merits of the case, it is important to note that SARFAESI is an enactment which inter alia entitles banks to enforce their security interest outside the court's process by moving under Section 13 thereof to take possession of secured assets of the borrower and sell them outside the court process. Sections 13 (1) and (4) and 17 are key provisions of SARFAESI relevant for the present case and are set out herein as follows: "Section 13. Enforcement of security interest. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 69 or section 69A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (4 of 1882), any security interest created in favour of any secured creditor may be enforced, without the intervention of court or tribunal, by such creditor in accordance with the provisions of this Act. (4) In case the borrower fails to discharge his liability in full within the period specified in sub-section (2), the secured creditor may take recourse to one or more of the following measures to recover his secured debt, namely:-- (a) take possession of the secured assets of the borrower including the right to transfer by way of lease, assignment or sale for realising the secured asset; (b) take over the management of the business of the borrower including the right to transfer by way of lease, assignment or sale for realising the secured asset: PROVIDED that the right to transfer by way of lease, assignment or sale shall be exercised only where the substantial part of the business of the borrower is held as security for the debt: PROVIDED FURTHER that where the management of whole of the business or part of the business is severable, the secured creditor shall take over the management of such business of the borrower which is relatable to the security for the debt. (c) appoint any person (hereafter referred to as the manager), to manage the secured assets the possession of which has been taken over by the secured creditor; (d) require at any time by notice in writing, any person who has acquired any of the secured assets from the borrower and from whom any money is due or may become due to the borrower, to pay the secured creditor, so much of the money as is sufficient to pay the secured debt. xxx Section 17. Right to appeal. (1) Any person (including borrower), aggrieved by any of the measures referred to in sub-section (4) of section 13 taken by the secured creditor or his authorised officer under this Chapter, may make an application along with such fee, as may be prescribed to the Debts Recovery Tribunal having jurisdiction in the matter within forty-five days from the date on which such measure had been taken: PROVIDED that different fees may be prescribed for making the application by the borrower and the person other than the borrower. Explanation: For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the communication of the reasons to the borrower by the secured creditor for not having accepted his representation or objection or the likely action of the secured creditor at the stage of communication of reasons to the borrower shall not entitle the person (including borrower) to make an application to the Debts Recovery Tribunal under this sub-section. (2) The Debts Recovery Tribunal shall consider whether any of the measures referred to in sub-section (4) of section 13 taken by the secured creditor for enforcement of security are in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder. (3) If, the Debts Recovery Tribunal, after examining the facts and circumstances of the case and evidence produced by the parties, comes to the conclusion that any of the measures referred to in sub-section (4) of section 13, taken by the secured creditor are not in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder, and require restoration of the management of the business to the borrower or restoration of possession of the secured assets to the borrower, it may by order, declare the recourse to anyone or more measures referred to in sub-section (4) of section 13 taken by the secured creditors as invalid and restore the possession of the secured assets to the borrower or restore the management of the business to the borrower, as the case may be, and pass such order as it may consider appropriate and necessary in relation to any of the recourse taken by the secured creditor under sub-section (4) of section 13. (4) If, the Debts Recovery Tribunal declares the recourse taken by a secured creditor under sub-section (4) of section 13, is in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder, then, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the secured creditor shall be entitled to take recourse to one or more of the measures specified under sub-section (4) of section 13 to recover his secured debt. (5) Any application made under sub-section (1) shall be dealt with by the Debts Recovery Tribunal as expeditiously as possible and disposed of within sixty days from the date of such application: PROVIDED that the Debts Recovery Tribunal may, from time to time, extend the said period for reasons to be recorded in writing, so, however, that the total period of pendency of the application with the Debts Recovery Tribunal, shall not exceed four months from the date of making of such application made under sub-section (1). (6) If the application is not disposed of by the Debts Recovery Tribunal within the period of four months as specified in sub-section (5), any party to the application may make an application, in such form as may be prescribed, to the Appellate Tribunal for directing the Debts Recovery Tribunal for expeditious disposal of the application pending before the Debts Recovery Tribunal and the Appellate Tribunal may, on such application, make an order for expeditious disposal of the pending application by the Debts Recovery Tribunal. (7) Save as otherwise provided in this Act, the Debts Recovery Tribunal shall, as far as may be, dispose of the application in accordance with the provisions of the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 and the rules made thereunder." ;


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