Decided on March 21,2014

Neelima Sheetal Kitchloo Appellant
BANK OF INDIA Respondents


Ranjit Singh, J. (Chairperson) - (1.) BANK of India filed an application for issuance of Recovery Certificate (R.C.) for a sum of Rs. 3,66,38,122.54 along with future interest. As per the applicant bank, it had granted Overdraft limit and Foreign Bill Purchase (FBP) limit to M/s Great Fortune Trading Ltd. on 29.10.2005 at its Hong Kong branch. M/s Great Fortune Trading Ltd. was wound up on 27.12.2006 and one of its Director Mr. Ravinder Koul Kitchloo was declared insolvent on 23.5.2007. The bank, thereafter, filed claim before Official Receiver and prayed for recovery of banks' dues against appellant -defendant Smt. Neelima Sheetal Kitchloo. A decree/judgment dated 15.5.2008 was passed by the Hon'ble High Court of Hong Kong against the appellant in the sum equivalent of Rs. 3,27,13,678.34 plus interest @6% p.a. w.e.f. 28.2.2008. This decree is sought to be executed now through the Tribunal below.
(2.) WHEN this application was filed, the appellant herein raised an objection before the Tribunal below about the maintainability of the same pleading that it was liable to be dismissed on the ground that it is ex parte foreign decree passed by the High Court of Hong Kong and the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 (for short, the RDDBFI Act) does not contain any provision qua the foreign Court for execution of the decree 'passed by foreign Courts. The Tribunal, after hearing the counsel and relying upon the provisions of section 31A of the RDDBFI Act, allowed the execution application and directed the appellant to pay to the applicant bank within 30 days a sum of Rs. 3,27,13,678.34 along with cost, expenses and interest @6% p.a. w.e.f. 28.2.2008 till the date of realization. If the appellant fails to pay the aforesaid amount, the same was ordered to be recovered from the mortgaged property, i.e., (i) freehold residential apartment No. 155 W2C, (15th floor) Wellinghton Estate, DLF City -V, Gurgaon, Haryana along with parking space No. 2CO -38 in the said building, (2) freehold property bearing Plot No. T -60 (area 1 Kanal & 16 Marlas) in Killa No. 67/22/6, in the revenue estate of Village Chauma, Tehsil & District Gurgaon, Haryana and (3) freehold residential House No. 101/52, Silver Oak Apartments, DLF City, Phase -I, Gurgaon, Haryana. Against this order, the appellant has preferred the present appeal. The first hurdle which the appellant has to confront is the requirement of pre -deposit. The learned counsel for the appellant relied upon the judgment in the case of Almania Foods & Ors, vs. Catholic Syrian Bank (M.A. No. 292/2002 in Misc. Appeal No. 256/2001, decided on 26.6.2002 to urge that the requirement of pre -deposit would not arise in the present appeal in view of the law laid down in this case. His plea is that the impugned order is challenged only on the ground of jurisdiction. Notice in the appeal was issued subject to the final outcome of these contentions raised in regard to the requirement of pre -deposit.
(3.) THE respondent stands served. Counsel appearing for the respondent submits that the appeal cannot be entertained without the pre -deposit and since no prayer or application has been moved seeking waiver of the pre -deposit, the appeal is liable to be dismissed on this short ground. Before proceeding further, this issue whether there would be a requirement of pre -deposit in terms of the provisions in the relevant statute would have to be considered first.;

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