JANATA BANK Vs. NATUN PRAGOTI PARIBAHAN SANGSTHA
SUPREME COURT OF BANGLADESH
Natun Pragoti Paribahan Sangstha
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MD.TAFAZZUL ISLAM, J. -
(1.) These appeals, by leave, is directed against the judgment and order dated 30.11.2000 of the High Court Division passed in Writ Petition Nos. 4986 and 4987 of 1996 making absolute the Rule obtained challenging the decision of the Board of Janata Bank, the appellant is not allowing the prayer of the respondent No. 1 for exemption of interest.
(2.) Facts of Civil Appeal No. 103 of 2004 in brief, are that the respondents of the above appeal filed the above Writ Petition No. 4986 of 1996 on the averments that the respondent No. 1 which is a partnership firm, on 20.3.1974, obtained a loan of TK.37,00,000.00 from the appellant hypothecating the two cargo vessels proposed to be purchased with the above loan money and also upon equitable mortgage of the landed properties owned by the respondent No.2 but due to lot of formalities and other various impediments, they could not start their business in time and thereby they having failed to repay the loan, the appellant instituted Money Suit No.835 of 1975 against them to recover TK. 42,82,543.00 which included the principal loan amount and also the interest and on 30.8.1985 the above suit was decreed on contest with a direction that the respondents are to pay monthly installments of TK. 50,000/- with interest at the rate of 13% to adjust the decreetal dues; Bangladesh Bank, by Circular dated 7.10.1991, directed the banking institutions to exempt interest upto 75% of interest on the fulfillment of conditions laid down in the above circular and in the light of the above circular the appellant also, by notice published in the Daily 'Ittefaq' on 14.11.1991, offered exemption of interest on the terms of payment of part of the defaulted loan amount and on an undertaking to pay the balance amount of the loan within a specified time and also invited applications to avail the privileges of exemptions of interest upto 75%; in response, the respondent No.1, on 29.12.91 after complying with the conditions as laid down in the Circular dated 7.10.1991 filed an application for exemption but the appellant did neither grant the desired exemption nor gave any reply to the above application and on the other hand started Money Execution Case No. 151 of 1992, even though the period of filing the same expired, claiming TK.2,99,12,751.90 from the respondents and then attached not only the cargo vessels but also the mortgaged properties of the respondent No.2 situated at Khilgaon, Dhaka; further on the representation of the respondents No.1 for exemption, the appellant requested Ali Ahmed, one of its Directors, to make enquiry on the prayer made by the respondent No.1 for exemption of interest and after enquiry, Ali Ahmed submitted his report to the Board of the appellant recommending 80% exemption of interest but inspite of that the Board of the appellant, without assigning any reason whatsoever, rejected the prayer of the respondents for exemption.
(3.) The appellant opposed the Rule and filed affidavit-in-opposition contending that the writ petition was filed with malafide intention only to drag the payment of the loan; the appellant remitted 50% of the applied interest and 50% of unapplied interest of the respondent No.1 object to payment of arrears of interest within six months but the respondents No.1 failed to avail the above benefit and subsequently, upon the prayer of the respondent No.1, the appellant decided to exempt the entire unapplied interest subject to payment of the balance dues within six months but again the respondent No.1 failed to avail the same; then the respondent No.1, to avail the above benefit, prayed for extension of the time limit upto 30.6.93 which was allowed and accordingly no interest was charged for the period since 17.9.1990 but the respondent No.1 again failed to avail the benefit; the respondent No. 1, in order to liquidate their liabilities, deposited in total TK. 27,12,000.00 in the loan account but did not deposit 15% clown payment as required under the above Circular dated 7.10.1991 and the application dated 29.12.91 for exemption of interest was not sent to concerned authority of the appellant for consideration; while other defaulter borrowers, as shown in Annexure-E, having complied with the terms and conditions laid down in the aforesaid Circular dated 7.10.91 got benefit of exemption, the conduct of the respondent No.1, being found not bonafide, the Board of the appellant, the final authority, found no reasonable ground to consider the prayer of the respondent No. 1 to exemption of interest because of part failures.;
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