SYLVANIA LAXMAN LTD Vs. PUNJAB NATIONAL BANK
DEBTS RECOVERY APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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(1.) RESPONDENTS 1 to 5 in this appeal, namely, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, State Bank of Patiala, Standard Chartered Bank, ICICI Bank (formely Bank of Madura Ltd.) (hereinafter referred to as 'the respondent-Bank') filed O.A. 218/97 against the appellants herein (who are defendants 1 to 4 in the O.A., and hereinafter referred to as 'the appellant-defendants'). The 6th respondent herein-IFCI was the 5th defendant in the O.A. before the Debts Recovery Tribunal, Delhi (hereinafter referred to as 'the DRT'). The claim in the O.A. is for the recovery of Rs. 10,06,82,207.69 with interest and costs. The learned Presiding Officer of the DRT, by the impugned order dated 28.9.2001 declined the request of the appellants-defendants to allow them to file the written statement, and also directed that the written statement, which has been filed without the permission and after the closing of the right of the appellants-defendants to file the written statement, be taken off the record. Aggrieved by this order, the appellants-defendants have come forward with this appeal. The respondent-Banks in the appeal have not filed any reply to the appeal, but the learned Counsel for the respondent-Banks stated that arguments would be addressed opposing the appeal.
(2.) I have heard the Counsel for both the sides, and perused the records.
The learned Counsel for the appellants-defendants contends that on 9.7.97 the DRT directed the respondent-Banks to furnish the documents and the complete Statement of Accounts to the appellants-defendants, but since the same was not complied with by the respondent-Banks, the appellants-defendants had filed an application to dismiss the O.A. itself. The learned Counsel for the appellants-defendants points out the copy of the order dated 9.3.98 passed by the DRT, wherein reference has been made to this application filed by the appellants-defendants, and it has been ordered that the question of interpretation of Rule 9 of the Debts Recovery Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1993 (under which the documents relied upon and referred to by the Banks/financial institutions in the O.A. have to be supplied to the defendants) and also the consequence of non-compliance of the provisions of the said Rule came up for consideration in various cases, and therefore, it was directed to fix all such cases for hearing, and this O.A. was adjourned to 15.4.98. The learned Counsel for the appellants-defendants points out the copies of the orders passed on various dates from 15.4.98 to 16.4.99 in this behalf. He also points out the order dated 21.4.99 where orders were passed by the DRT holding that it is mandatory for the Bank to comply with the provisions of Rule 9 of the above said Rules, though, non-compliance would not lead to dismissal of the O.A. automatically. The DRT also directed the Banks/financial institutions to move an appropriate application to show cause as to why Rule 9 of the above said Rules has not been complied with, and observed that appropriate orders shall be passed on such application. The learned Counsel for the applicants-defendants contends that no such application was filed by the respondents herein, and that no reply had also been filed by the respondents to the application filed by the appellants-defendants. The learned Counsel for the appellants-defendants also points out that the case was adjourned to 18,5.99 and from 18.5.99 to 25.5.99.
(3.) THE learned Counsel for the appellants-defendants points out from the order dated 25.5.99 that the Counsel for the appellants-defendants stated that the Statement of Accounts and documents relied upon by the respondent-Banks had not been supplied, on which the DRT directed the respondent-Banks to supply the documents relied upon by it within a week, with a further direction to the appellants-defendants to file the written statement in 30 days. He also points out that the case was adjourned to 30.6.99.;
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