CHL LTD. Vs. UNION OF INDIA
DEBTS RECOVERY APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
UNION OF INDIA
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Ranjit Singh, J. -
(1.) THIS appeal is directed against an order passed by DRT -II, Delhi in the Appeal NO. 2/2009 filed by Union of India.
(2.) THE Recovery Officer of DRT -II, Delhi, vide its order dated 14.2.2008, has held that CHFI and PICUP will have priority over the claims/due of the statutory authorities, who have merely informed their claims without filling proper objections as prescribed under the law. The Recovery Officer has also relieved the auction purchaser from the liability of paying these dues. The sale was also confirmed. Aggrieved against this order, Union of India filed an appeal before the DRT, which has upheld the impugned order to the extent of confirming the auction sale in favour of appellant M/s CHL Ltd. The Tribunal has further upheld that part of the impugned order dated 14.2.2008 whereby the secured creditor was held to have priority over the debt of the Custom Department of Union of India. However, the Tribunal set aside that part of the order dated 14.2.2008 of the Recovery Office whereby respondent No.3 was held not under contractual liability to pay the custom dues. The Custom Department was given liberty to recover its amount as per the law laid down under the Customs Act. The impugned order dated 14.2.2008 passed by the Recovery Officer has been modified in the manner as described. The appellant M/s CHL Ltd. obviously felt aggrieved against this part of the order whereby the liability to pay the Custom dues has been fastened on to it. It has thus filed the present appeal. The brief background of the case is that respondent No.2 Paam Pharmaceuticals (Delhi) Ltd. was leased out Plot No.62, measuring 3937sq.m and Plot No.185. sq.m NSEZ, Noida -Dadri Road, Phase -II, Noida, District Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P. The lease was for 15 years. Accordingly respondent No.2 was not the owner thereof but was merely holding a leasehold right. Respondent No.3 bank advanced various credit facilities to respondent No.2 for which respondent No.2 mortgaged its leasehold rights in the aforesaid plots of land along with superstructure constructed thereon. Respondent No.2 failed to discharge its liability towards the bank and the bank filed an O.A No.48/2005 before the DRT. The Tribunal in its judgment dated 14.11.2006 allowed the O.A and issued an R.C., pursuant to which recovery proceedings were initiated against respondent No.2. The immovable and movable properties of respondent No.2 were put to sale by way of public auction. The reserve price of the property in question was fixed at Rs.2.50 crore based on the valuation certificate dated 6.2.2007. Proclamation of sale was issued on 29.8.2007. The terms and conditions of sale by public auction were also issued. The appellant participated in the auction and gave the highest bid for a sum of Rs.3.15 crores on 11.10.2007. The appellant deposited the entire amount within the stipulated time. No objection against the auction sale was filed within the period of 30 days. On 16.11.2007, a communication dated 6.10.2007 was received by the Recovery Officer from Tehsildar, Dadri, U.P. giving details of the claim, including that of Union of India, Customs Department against respondent No.1 for a sum of RS.1,77,91,061.00. No objection, however, was filed before the Recovery Officer.
(3.) THE entire sale price was deposited by the appellant with the Recovery Officer. Instead of confirming the sale in favour of the appellant auction purchaser the Recovery Officer asked it to respond to the letter dated 6.10.2007. The appellant, instead, filed an application for confirmation of sale and respondent No.3 filed reply that the liability for the, government dues was of the appellant. The appellant, on the other hand, maintained that he was in no way liable to pay the alleged dues against respondent No.2 for which he alone was responsible. lt is in this background that the impugned order came to be passed part of which is now under challenge in the present appeal.;
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