Decided on January 24,2003



K.S.Kumaran, - (1.)APPELLANTS herein are defendants in O.A. 86/ 2001 before the Debts Recovery Tribunal, Delhi-II (hereinafter referred to as 'the DRT'). On 2.1.2002, the learned Presiding Officer of the DRT passed the final order against the defendants/appellants. The appellants filed an application to set aside that final order on the ground that they did not receive the show cause notice in respect of the O.A. that on receipt of the final order, they found that the show cause notices sent to them had been received back with the report as "refused", whereas they did not receive or refuse the show cause notices. But the learned Presiding Officer of the DRT held that refusal is deemed to be valid service in law, that there was no reason to disbelieve the report made on the envelope, and that there was no merit in the application. He, therefore, dismissed the application in limine by his order dated 30.1.2002.
(2.)Aggrieved, the appellants have preferred this appeal. The respondent/plaintiff Bank has filed a suitable reply opposing this appeal.
I have heard the learned Counsels for both the sides, and perused the records.

(3.)THE learned Counsel for the appellants contends that the appellants did not at all refuse the notices. He also points out that the copy of the final order dated 2.1.2002 was sent to the appellants, and the appellants had received the same on 18.1.2002, and, therefore, it will be clear that there was no reason for the appellants to refuse the notice at all. He further contends that after the envelope was received back in the DRT with the endorsement as "refused", the learned Presiding Officer of the DRT did not even order for service on the defendants by the mode of substituted service, but had proceeded to pass the final order. But, the learned Counsel for the respondent Bank, on the other hand, contends that the appellants are not only habitual defaulters in the payment of loans borrowed from various Financial Institutions, but also their modus operandi is to avoid/delay the payments by adopting these methods. Though the learned Counsel for the respondent Bank took more than a month's time for placing on record the documents to show that the appellants are in the habit of avoiding summons, he had not been able to do so. Even otherwise, the fact that the appellants had avoided summons in one case, even if true, will not mean that they have purposely avoided summons in this case also by refusing notices. THErefore, this contention of the respondent cannot be accepted.

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