Decided on October 07,2003



K.S. Kumaran, Chairperson - (1.)FIRST respondent-State Bank of India (hereinafter referred to as 'the respondent-Bank) filed O.A. 121/98 before the Debts Recovery Tribunal, Jaipur against the appellant/1st defendant-company (hereinafter referred to as 'the Appellant/defendant') and the respondents 2 to 12 herein. This O.A. was subsequently transferred to Debts Recovery Tribunal, Chandigarh (hereinafter referred to as 'the DRT') and taken on its file as O.A. 915/2001.
(2.)The appellant/defendant filed a written statement dated 21.12.98 to the said O.A. The appellant defendant urged, among other things, that the respondent-Bank had assured to enhance the limit of the facilities granted to the appellant/defendant to Rs. 19 crores since the appellant/defendant had entered into various MoUs and agreements, but did not allow the appellant/defendant to enjoy the enhanced limit and, therefore, the appellant/defendant had suffered loss. The appellant/defendant pleaded in the written statement that it is reserving its right to file a separate suit for damages against the respondent-Bank.
The appellant/defendant, thereafter, filed an application dated 6.1.2003 for amendment of the written statement for including a prayer to allow set off of Rs. 18, 62, 94, 202.42 with interest thereon against the claim made in the O.A., and also a counter-claim for Rs. 99, 86, 83, 797.58. In this application, the appellant/defendant apart from referring to the loss mentioned, also urged that the respondent-Bank arbitrarily put security guards at the factory premises of the appellant/defendant in November 1996, and that on account of the illegal acts of the respondent-Bank the business of the appellant/defendant had to be closed, consequently the entire machinery, plant and premises of the factory remained idle. It has also been urged by the appellant/defendant that the value of the stock, machinery and plant was reduced to scrap and iron dust. The appellant/defendant has further alleged that the respondent-Bank moved an application before the DRT for a direction that the appellant/defendant should not use the premises or lease out the same, which application was dismissed by order dated 20.9.2002. The appellant/defendant also urged that despite this order, the respondent-Bank created hurdles in the way of appellant/defendant, on which the defendant-company moved an application for direction to the respondent-Bank not to do so. According to the appellant/defendant, from November 1996 to October 2002 it was illegally debarred from using the premises on account of which the appellant/defendant had suffered a loss of more than 2000 lakhs.

(3.)IT is on these, among other, allegations that the appellant/defendant wanted to amend the written statement to take the plea of set-off and the counter-claim. The respondent-Bank filed a reply opposing the application, and urged that the claim for set-off/counter-claim could be made only along with written statement, whereas, the averments have been made with regard to happenings after the filing of the written statement and, therefore, cannot be allowed.

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