Decided on May 18,2004



K.S.Kumaran, - (1.) RESPONDENT-UCO Bank (hereinafter referred to as "the respondent-Bank") filed O.A. 418/1997 before the Debts Recovery Tribunal-II, Delhi (hereinafter referred to as "the DRT") against the appellants herein (hereinafter referred to as "the appellants-defendants") for the recovery of Rs. 3,56,93,045.03 with interest and costs. The learned Presiding Officer of the DRT by his order dated 27.8.1998, passed the exparte final order for the above said amount with interest and costs.
(2.) The appellants-defendants filed an application dated 20.10.1998 for setting aside the above said ex parte final order. They urged, among other things, that in the last week of September, 1998 the appellants-defendants, through 2nd appellant-defendant, came to know from the office of the respondent-Bank about these proceedings, on which they applied for the certified copy of the order which was delivered to them on 13.10.1998. They have also stated that on or about 28.9.1998, the appellants-defendants came to know through the respondent-Bank that on 18.2.1998 they (appellants-defendants) were proceeded exparte and on 27.8.1998 the order granting Recovery Certificate was passed against them. The appellants-defendants also urged that they were not served in these proceedings and that it is clear from the records that no notice or summon or any process was issued to the appellants-defendants 2 and 3 at their residential address i.e. 40/72, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi-110026. They have also stated that even the copy of the publication was not sent to them. The appellants-defendants, therefore, urged that there exists a good cause for their non-appearance.
(3.) THE respondent-Bank filed a reply opposing the said application. Among other things, the respondent-Bank urged that the appellants-defendants were served by publication of the notice in "THE Statesman" requiring them to appear on 27.1.1998,, but they failed to appear and even on 18.2.1998 also, when they were proceeded exparte. THE respondent-Bank has also urged that after several dates of hearing, the ex parte final order was passed on 27.8,1998, since the appellants-defendants did not appear before that date. THE respondent-Bank has also urged that prior to the order for substituted service, notices were issued to the appellants-defendants by Registered Speed Post with acknowledgement due, at their respective addresses, but the same were received back un-delivered. THE respondent-Bank has also stated that the appellants-defendants were aware of the O.A. since the Local Commissioner appointed by the DRT had visited the premises of the 1st defendant-company, but still the appellants-defendants wilfully kept themselves away to avoid service.;

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