Decided on November 18,2004



Pratibha Upasani, - (1.) MR. P. Thiagarajan, Advocate for the appellants is present. MR. Srinath Sridevan, Advocate for the 1st respondent Bank is present.
(2.) Heard both sides. This appeal is filed by the appellants/Original Judgment debtors being aggrieved by the order dated 9.3.2004 passed by the learned Presiding Officer of DRT-I, Chennai, in MA-23/2002 in OA-357/2001. By the impugned Order, the learned Presiding Officer rejected the application made by the appellants/defendants herein, for setting aside the Order passed in the OA by the Presiding Officer under Section 31 -A of the RDDB&FI Act, 1993. The contention of the appellants is that even though the Tribunal has issued the Recovery Certificate in pursuance of the decree passed by the Pondicherry Sub-Court, way back on 29.2.1996, they were entitled to hearing before the Recovery Certificate was issued under Section 31-A of the RDDB&FI Act. Mr. Srinath Sridevan, the respondent Bank's Advocate, on the contrary, has supported the order. He has also relied upon the Judgment of this Appellate Tribunal reported in III (2003) Banking Cases 112 (S. Ravi and Anr. v. Indian Bank) wherein the previous Chairperson late Justice Mrs. A. Subbulakshmy, has categorically held that no notice is required to be given under Section 31-A, if the amount exceeds Rs. 10 lakhs. In the present case, the amount exceeded Rs. 10 lakhs and the Recovery Certificate was issued pursuant to the decree dated 29.2.1996 passed by the Pondicherry Sub-Court and it is perfectly in accordance with law to grant/issue Recovery Certificate for the subsisting decree against the judgment debtor. Even the amendment to Rule 9 of DRT (Procedure) Rules for application under Section 31-A is dated 21.1.2003, which now requires that an application under Section 19 or Section 31-A have to be accompanied by a paper book containing- (i) a statement showing details of the debt due from a defendant and circumstances under which such debt has become due; and shall also disclose details of the case and decision in that case which is sought to be reviewed; (ii) ..... (iii) ..... Therefore, the order dated 13.6.2001 does not come within purview of the amendment and the section is to guided by the position of law as it existed at that point of time.
(3.) AS such, what are the grievances of the appellants? The appellants' Advocate says that he is to be heard on this point whether the particular property was available or not. This point can be certainly agitated before the Recovery Officer and not before the Presiding Officer. He further states that his client is willing for settlement. Now this proposal can be submitted by approaching the Bank directly. So, the appellants want nothing but to protract the litigation. This is the only legitimate inference that can be drawn. I find no merit in this appeal. Accordingly, following order is passed. ORDER;

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