DABAS AGRO INDUSTRIES Vs. JAMMU AND KASHMIR BANK LTD
DEBTS RECOVERY APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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(1.) RESPONDENT-The Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as 'the RESPONDENT-Bank') filed O.A. 43/99 before the Debts Recovery Tribunal, Delhi (hereinafter referred to as 'the DRT") against the appellants (being defendants 1 to 5; and hereinafter referred to as 'the appellants-defendants') for the recovery of Rs. 19,57,068.26 with interest and costs. The learned Presiding Officer of the DRT, by order dated 13.7.2001, accordingly passed the final order. The appellants-defendants then filed an application before the DRT to set aside the said ex parte final order. The learned Presiding Officer of the DRT, while considering this application, observed that the appellant-2nd defendant-Mr. Ariyant Dabas along with the Counsel was present before the DRT on 23.4.99, and it is highly improbable that a lawyer would have appeared before the Court without being instructed by his clients. The learned Presiding Officer of the DRT also observed that the appellants-defendants had not shown that they had informed the Bank about the change of their address or about the closure of the business of the 1st defendant. The learned Presiding Officer also further observed that the contention of the appellants-defendants that the publication was wrongly carried out cannot also be accepted. Therefore the learned Presiding Officer of the DRT, by the impugned order dated 19.9.2002, dismissed the application.
(2.) Aggrieved, the appellants-defendants have filed this appeal. Even when the appeal came up for admission, the appeal in so far as it related to the 2nd appellant (Mr. Ariyant Dabas) was dismissed as withdrawn with liberty to file a fresh appeal, if so advised. The appeal is, therefore, considered in respect of the appellants 1 and 3 to 5 only. The respondent-Bank has filed a suitable reply opposing the appeal.
I have heard the Counsel for both the sides, and perused the records.
(3.) THE learned Counsel for the appellants-defendants contends that on 3.2.99 the DRT directed the issue of summons to the defendants for the hearing on 10.3.99, but on 10.3.99 the DRT directed the service of the notice on defendants by publication in the newspaper 'Statesman', which is not proper or valid. THE learned Counsel for the appellants-defendants points out the copy of the order dated 10.3.99, which shows that the learned Counsel for the respondent-Bank had filed the affidavit regarding service stating that the notices had been sent to the defendants on 18.2.99. But he had stated that neither the acknowledgement card nor the unserved envelope had returned from the defendants, and had prayed for service on the defendants by the mode of substituted service. THE learned Counsel for the appellants-defendants points out that this request of the learned Counsel for the respondent-Bank was accepted by the DRT by ordering substituted service by publication of the notice in the newspaper 'Statesman'. THE learned Counsel for the appellants-defendants contends that when the envelopes containing the summons to the defendants had not even returned unserved, the mere oral request made by the learned Counsel for the respondent-Bank to serve the appellants-defendants by the mode of substituted service ought not to have been accepted.;
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