Decided on March 12,2014



Ranjit Singh, J. - (1.) PLEADING that notice under section 13(2) of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (for short, the SARFAESI Act) was not served upon the appellant, as it was sent to a wrong address, but still the liability has been fastened on him, the appellant had filed an S.A. before DRT -II, Chandigarh. His plea was rejected and, therefore, the appellant has filed the present appeal to impugn the order passed by the Tribunal below.
(2.) A very short and crisp question which thus arises for consideration in appeal is that whether the appellant was served with notice under section 13(2) of the SARFAESI Act at right address or not. The appellant, who is a guarantor along with another person, namely, Mr. Baldev Singh, had mortgaged his property, Residential House No. 123, measuring 240 sq. yds. situated at Pratap Nagar, District Ludhiana for the loan facilities provided by the bank to Mr. Harjeet Singh, S/o Mr. Manghar Singh. Appellant claims that he was under the impression, as was conveyed by the borrower, that the borrower was regularly paying the due amount to the bank. The appellant, however, saw to his shock the sale notice dated 24.9.2006. The appellant statedly rushed to respondent No. 3 to enquire as to why his shop was being sold. The appellant, states that the Bank did not entertain him. His request for supply of documents was also declined. This forced him to file a Civil Writ Petition (No. 17028/2006) whereas other guarantors filed S.A. on 26.10.2006. The respondent bank could not succeed in auctioning the property and so the auction was postponed.
(3.) THEREAFTER , the appellant claims to have requested the respondent bank to settle the matter through OTS. In the meanwhile, the principal borrower deposited an amount of Rs. 50,000/ - with the bank on 12.1.2006 and another Rs. 1 lac at the time of filing the S.A. The appellant, however, filed the S.A. before the Tribunal on the ground that the bank had not followed due procedure, as notices under sections 13(2) and 13(4) of the SARFAESI Act were never issued to him. Some other pleas were also raised in this S.A. On being put to notice, the respondent bank appeared before the Tribunal below and raised objection regarding the maintainability of the S.A. being hopelessly time -barred. As per the bank, there was gross suppression of facts besides distortion of the facts. As per the bank, it had served a legal notice dated 20.8.2002 when various communications including oral messages to the borrower as well as to the appellant received no response. The respondent bank, thereafter, issued notice under section 13(2) of the Act to the appellant on 13.12.2002 and again on 31.1.2003. As per the bank, the appellant did not acknowledge or respond to the said notices, but still the bank in order to ensure fairness got published notices under section 13(2) in two daily newspapers, i.e., The Times of India dated 13.11.2005 and Punjab Tribune dated 15.11.2005. Notice under section 13(4) was also got published in two newspapers, i.e., The Hindustan Times on 4.8.2006 and in Jagbani on 5.8.2006. Copy of the notice was also affixed on the spot. Accordingly, the bank has justified its action as well as the impugned order and has termed the present approach by the appellant to be a delaying tactics only.;

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