SUDHIR KUMAR KHURANA Vs. PUNJAB AND SIND BANK
DEBTS RECOVERY APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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(1.) FIRST respondent Punjab & Sind Bank (hereinafter referred to as 'the respondent Bank') filed O.A. 180/98 before the Debts Recovery Tribunal, Delhi (hereinafter referred to as 'the DRT) against the appellant herein (3rd defendant in the O.A.; and hereinafter referred to as 'the appellate-defendant') and three others. The learned Presiding Officer of the DRT passed the ex parte final order dated 1.5.2002. The appellant-defendant filed an application dated 21.11.2002 before the DRT to set aside the ex parte final order passed against him. The appellant-defendant also filed an application to condone the delay in filing the above said application. The learned Presiding Officer of the DRT, by the impugned order dated 25.2.2003, dismissed the application for setting aside the ex parte final order.
(2.) Aggrieved, the appellant-defendant has preferred this appeal to set aside the order dated 25.2.2003. The respondent Bank has filed a suitable reply opposing the appeal, to which the appellant has filed a rejoinder.
I have heard the Counsel for both the sides, and perused the records.
(3.) THE learned Counsel for the appellant-defendant points out from the copy of the O.A. that the address of the appellant-defendant has been given as No. 9772, Gali Neem Wali, Nawab Ganj, Pahar Ganj, Delhi 110055, and contends that the same is not correct. He contends that the appellant did not receive any notice/summons from the DRT with regard to the O.A. in view of the wrong address given in the O.A. According to him, the correct address of the appellant was No. 9772, Gali Neem Wali, Nawab Ganj, Delhi and that the word "Pahar Ganj" has been added so that the appellant-defendant may not be served, and is prevented from taking part in the proceedings before the Tribunal. THE learned Counsel for the appellant-defendant also points out from the day-to-day orders passed by the DRT, especially, the order dated 30.3.1999 wherein it has been mentioned that the Counsel for the respondent Bank filed the affidavit regarding service stating that notices were served on the defendants. He also points out that it is clear from that order that neither the acknowledgement cards nor the unserved envelopes had been received back and that the learned Counsel for the respondent Bank had requested for ordering substituted service. He also points out that this request was allowed, and the defendants were ordered to be served by publication. THE learned Counsel for the appellant-defendant points out that from the order dated 30.11.2000 passed by the DRT it is evident that the third defendant has been proceeded ex parte on the ground that he had not appeared in spite of publication of the notice. THE learned Counsel for the appellant-defendant contends that subsequently the ex parte final order was passed on 1.5.2002. THE learned Counsel for the appellant-defendant contends that since the notice had been sent to the wrong address and since unserved notice had not returned, the Counsel for the respondent Bank was not justified in requesting the DRT to order service by the mode of publication, and the DRT was also not right in ordering substituted service, that too, without recording its opinion that the appellant-defendant was either avoiding service deliberately or could not be served by the ordinary mode. THErefore, he contends that the service by the mode of publication cannot be construed to be a valid service. For the same reason he also contends that the finding of the learned Presiding Officer of the DRT in the impugned order dated 25.2.2003 that the appellant should be deemed to have been served inasmuch as the unserved envelope had not returned within 30 days from the date of despatch, is also not correct.;
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