VEE ESS JEWELLERS PVT. LTD. Vs. STATE BANK OF INDIA AND ORS.
DEBTS RECOVERY APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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Ranjit Singh, J. (Chairperson) -
(1.) AGGRIEVED against the order passed by the DRT -II, Delhi on 9.10.2012, the appellant has filed the present appeal. The appellant had filed SA No. 40 of 2010 against the action initiated by the respondent Bank to proceed against the mortgaged property. Thereafter the Bank had taken step to put the following properties on sale:
"(i) Shop Nos. 303, 303 -A, 304, 304 -A on the third floor of property Nos. 2127 -2128 Karol Bagh (976 sq. ft.) and a portion of 4th floor (657 sq. ft.) in the name of Komal Jain and Sanjeev Verma.
(ii) Shop Nos. 301, 302 -A on 3rd floor of Property Nos. 2127 -2128, Karol Bagh, in the name of Ajit Singh and Kirti Jain."
Claim made in the Miscellaneous Application was that the properties are worth Rs. 300 lacs and the applicant had proposed buyer who was ready to deposit Rs. 75 lacs i.e. 25% of the total amount. The grievance raised was that the Bank had published the sale notice with much less reserve price with intention to sell the property at a throw away price. The sale was fixed on 17.5.2012 and accordingly a prayer was made for staying the sale.
(2.) ANOTHER Miscellaneous Application was filed pleading that the applicant along with perspective buyer had reached the place of sale with drafts of 10% of the reserve price on 17.5.2012 at or about 1.45 p.m. and was ready to offer Rs. 101 lacs and Rs. 201 lacs respectively against reserve price of Rs. 73 lacs and Rs. 142 lacs for properties. As per the appellant, they were not allowed to participate in the auction and the bid of the person taken by the appellant was not accepted. It alleged that this was done with a mala fide intention to sell the property for a song. Claim was made in the application that the buyer was ready for an inter se bid. It was alleged that the property was sold at a very low price and the auction was eyewash. Prayer accordingly was made to cancel the said auction. The Tribunal below, however, dismissed both the MAs. Incidentally, it may need notice here that the property mentioned at Serial No. 1 was sold for a sum of Rs. 145 lacs, whereas the property mentioned at Serial No. 2 was sold for Rs. 74 lacs. Aggrieved by this order passed by the Tribunal, the appellant has filed the present appeal.
(3.) GRIEVANCE of the appellant, before this Tribunal of course remains the same that both the properties have been put to sale at a throw away price. During the course of hearing an incidental controversy arose as to whether the appellant or his buyer had reached the place of auction or not. Directions were issued by this Tribunal to produce the entry register as it was claimed that entry had been made in the register showing their visit to the Bank. The Bank was directed to produce the register and it complied with the directions. The register contains an entry in the register showing name of one Sudershan, who had just recorded his name without disclosing his address and other particulars. The time of entry is shown 2.00 p.m. In my view, this issue now may not be much relevant. The opportunity which as per the appellant was denied to him has been made available by this Tribunal. The appellant was given time to produce any better buyer in case he had one. Counsel for the appellant prayed for and was given time on more than one occasion to bring better buyer. Despite repeated opportunities, the appellant has not been able to bring any buyer, who is ready to offer any amount for the said properties sold in auction. Today, Counsel for the appellant has stated before me that despite best efforts, the appellant has not been able to arrange buyer for any of the properties in question. Challenge to the auction by the appellant is only on limited ground that the properties were sold at a low price and no proper bidding was permitted or done in this case. So far as the property mentioned at Serial No. 2 is concerned, it has been sold for Rs. 74 lacs and there were in all five bidders who gave their bids and in this manner the property was sold to the person who gave their bids and in this manner the property was sold to the person who had given the highest bidder. For property mentioned at Serial No. 1, however, only one bidder came forward and made an offer of Rs. 1.45 lacs against reserve price of Rs. 142 lacs. In order to satisfy myself, I had given enough time and opportunities to the appellants, but it has failed to bring any buyer. Even then the parties were asked to show if it would be appropriate and proper to dispose of he properties by way of auction where there is single person coming forward to make a bid. The Counsel for the Bank has placed before me a judgment of Orissa High Court in case Uttam Prasad Gupta v. Orissa State Financial Corporation & Ors., : AIR 2010 Ori. 3, where this issue appears to have been dealt with. As is noticed by the High Court, object of sale price is to procure highest price while giving equal opportunity to all intending bidders to compete. It is observed that when a single bidder came forward, vendor could negotiate with him to fetch a beer price with cogent treason and hence there was nothing wrong in negotiating with a single bidder and the petition challenging the bid on this ground was dismissed. The facts in this case appears to be slightly different, but it can be seen that a bid by a single person coming forward to make a bid for the property, it is not to disapprove. Not only this, in order to assume that there is under hand dealing, the appellants were given reasonable opportunities to bring any buyer of any of these properties. If really the properties in question had been auctioned at a throw away price as pleaded then he appellants could have definitely succeeded in bringing a person to make a bid for this property. The Counsel for the Bank is also justified in pleading that he auction notice was published in the newspaper "Hindustan Times", which has wide circulation and in fact this a one of the leading newspaper in Delhi. Similarly, newspaper "Nav Bharat Times" is also having wide circulation in Delhi. If intention of the Bank was to put this auction in some unfair manner, obviously, they could not be expected to give wide circulation in those newspapers which concededly are almost leading newspapers in the territory of Delhi. All these facts would further give sufficient assurance that this auction was done in a legal and proper manner. In any case, the appellant has not been able to bring any perspective buyer who can offer better price than what is fetched from the auction in this case. The appeal, in my considered view, is without merit and is, therefore, dismissed.;
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