LAXMI DEVI AND ORS. Vs. GURGAON GRAMIN BANK AND ORS.
DEBTS RECOVERY APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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Ranjit Singh, J. (Chairperson) -
(1.) THE above mentioned two appeals are being disposed of by this common order. Inward Appeal No. 509 of 2012 is filed against the order passed by the Tribunal bellow on 9th October, 2006. Vide this order, right of the appellants to file a written statement was closed.
(2.) IN fact, the case had been fixed for arguments when the Counsel prayed for filing written statement. After perusal of the record, the Tribunal below had noticed that the Counsel for the appellants was permitted to file written statement vide order dated 21st March, 2006 subject to payment of Rs. 2,000/ - as costs. Yet again, another opportunity was granted on 26th February, 2004 subject to payment of Rs. 2,000/ - as costs. The finding by Tribunal below is that the costs had not been paid though written statement had been filed. The Tribunal below then had gone on to notice that several opportunities had been allowed since 4th November, 2004, but the LRs of defendant No. 1 chose not to file written statement. On this date also, they prayed for time to file written statement. The Tribunal below accordingly found that they were misusing the process of law and closed their right to file written statement. The present appeal/Inward No. 509 of 2012 is filed on 4th September, 2012 against the order dated 9th October, 2006. The appeal is, thus, barred by limitation of 2112 days. An application has been filed praying for condonation of this inordinate delay in filing the appeal. The only reason given to explain the delay is that the appellants gained knowledge about passing of the final judgment and decree dated 29th October, 2012 when they received notice dated 10th July, 2012 from the Recovery Officer on 25th July, 2012. The appellants thereafter appeared before the Recovery Officer. As per them, they first time learnt about the order passed in the OA when they appeared before the Recovery Officer. The appellants state that they contacted their Counsel when they learnt to their shock that the Counsel had stopped appearing in the matter long ago and, thus, their right to file written statement had been closed. The appellants would allege that their Counsel failed to inform them about this order dated 9th October, 2006 passed by the Tribunal below. The final judgment thereafter had been passed on 29th February, 2012.
(3.) NOTICE in the application seeking condonation of delay was issued. The respondents have filed reply disclosing that Mr. H.R. Bansal, Advocate was representing the defendants in the OA since 20th July, 2001. Copy of the evidence filed by way of affidavit by the Bank was supplied to the defendants and the defendants had filed rebuttal evidence on 30th October, 2002 after seeking a number of adjournments. Vide order dated 21st March, 2003, Counsel for the defendants in the OA sought time which was allowed subject to payment of costs of Rs. 2,000/ -. The case was fixed for arguments on 26th February, 2004. The Counsel for the appellant -defendants again sought adjournment, which was allowed subject to payment of Rs. 2,000/ - as costs. Arguments were heard on 13th May, 2004. It was found that different causes of action had been joined together in the OA which was not permissible.;
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