Decided on October 14,2004



Pratibha Upasani, - (1.) MR. T.R. Rajagopalan, Advocate holding for M/s. Aiyar & Dolia for the appellant Indian Bank and MR. Krishnamurthy, Advocate holding for M/s. G. Govindarajan for the respondents 1 and 2 are present.
(2.) This Miscellaneous Appeal is filed by the appellant/Original applicant Indian Bank aggrieved by the Order dated 16.4.2004 passed by the learned PO of DRT-II, Chennai, in IA-187/2003 in TA-533/2001. By the impugned Order the learned PO allowed the application made by the defendants/respondents herein wherein they had prayed/for giving direction to the applicant Bank to treat the cut-off date as 31.3.1992 with respect to Medium Term Loan (MTL) Account and Temporary Overdraft Account of the respondents and cutoff date as 22.9.1995 with respect to Clean Loan Accounts I, II & III. Further direction was given to the applicant Bank that on the basis of these cut-off dates, calculation with respect to OTS amount payable by the defendants including the legal expenses and other charges be made, and the same be informed to the defendants within 15 days from the date of the Order. Defendants were directed to pay the amount quantified by the applicant Bank in terms of the above Order within three weeks from the date of communication by the applicant Bank failing which the applicant Bank was held to be entitled for the whole claim in the TA with future interest etc. The Bank is aggrieved by this Order because direction with respect to treating cut-off date with respect to the accounts of the defendants as given by the learned PO was not acceptable to the Bank. Moreover, contention of the Bank was that the One Time Settlement (OTS) guidelines given by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) were only for directions and not for governance and therefore, they are not binding upon them. The appeal has been filed by the Bank mainly on these two grounds. I have heard Mr. T.R Rajagopalan, Advocate appearing for the appellant Indian Bank and Mr. Krishnamurthy, Advocate appearing for the respondents. I have also gone through the proceedings including the impugned Order, the revised RBI guidelines for compromise settlement of chronic Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of public sector banks and other relevant material and in my view the learned PO was not correct in passing the impugned Order.
(3.) IT is revealed from the proceedings that the suit was filed by the Bank way back in the year 1995 in the High Court of Judicature at Madras. The suit dragging on from that year onwards and was transferred to DRT after the establishment of Tribunals under the RDDB&FI Act, 1993. The offer for OTS was made by the Bank in the year 2003 by their letter dated 27.2.2003 and the defendants showed interest in the said OTS Scheme. IT appears that the account of the respondent No. 1 Company was classified as NPA since 31.10.1992. IT was re-classified as Standard Asset as on 31.3.1993 and 31.3.1994 because the defendants made payment of Rs. 1,98,07,678/- in the year 1993. Their account was classified as Sub-standard asset as on 31.3.1995 and was classified as doubtful asset on 31.3.1996 by the statutory auditors of the Bank. The Bank filed suit on 22.9.1995 including the liabilities in the name of the Original defendant No. 2 (2nd respondent herein) and the outstandings were transferred to the Protested Bills Account.;

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