Decided on May 19,2014

Raman Khangura And Ors. Respondents


Ranjit Singh, J. (Chairperson) - (1.) DEBTS Recovery Tribunal -I, Chandigarh, while considering the prayer of the respondent No. 1 for interim relief in S.A. filed, has directed the parties to maintain status quo till the next date of hearing with the further direction that the respondent shall pay the overdue amount within month after supply of proper statement of account by the Bank after giving credit to all amounts paid by the respondent and without compounding of penal interest. Aggrieved against this order, Punjab and Sind Bank has filed the present appeal. When this appeal came up for hearing on 1.4.2013, the Counsel for the appellant Bank made a statement that the deposit of the overdue amount as directed by the Tribunal below would lead to regularization of the loan account, which would be beyond the jurisdiction of the DRT to order as the Tribunal ought to have decided the matter after completion of pleadings and evidence of the parties on the basis of grounds raised in the S.A. The submission further was that the amount has to be deposited towards the debt due on the borrower/mortgagor and not towards overdue amount.
(2.) AFTER having got the notice issued, the Bank apparently did not take the care to attend to the case seriously as its conduct would reflect. None appeared for the Bank on 6.6.2013, which was the next date and case was adjourned to 31.10.2013. On 31.10.2013, the Tribunal did not hold any proceedings. On the next date, i.e. 20.2.2014, the Bank again remained unrepresented. The Counsel for the respondent, however, pointed out that negotiations were in progress and there was a possibility of settlement. This was one -sided submission and no one was present on behalf of the Bank to endorse or to rebut the plea. The case had to be adjourned for arguments to 4.4.2014. On this date, a proxy Counsel appeared on behalf of the Counsel for the appellant. The Counsel for the respondent disclosed despite having approached the Bank repeatedly, the Bank has not disclosed the overdue amount. Since none had appeared on behalf of the Bank, the Manager of the concerned branch was directed to remain present on the next date of hearing. He was also directed to bring details of the overdue amount as well as the statement of account. On 21.4.2014, which was the next date, neither the Counsel nor the Manager of the Bank came present. Seeing the careless and casual approach shown by the Bank, this Tribunal issued direction for the Chairman and Managing Director of the Bank to remain present before this Tribunal on 19.5.2014. This was primarily done as the impression conveyed or appeared was that the Bank was doing this to help the borrower defaulter. Thereafter, one application after another was filed for review of the said order. When prayer for review was declined, an application seeking exemption from personal appearance of the Chairman and Managing Director was filed. Exemption was granted on the assurance of the Counsel for the appellant that the details of overdue amount and the statement of account have been supplied to the Counsel for the respondent as well as to the respondent.
(3.) THE case thus is taken up for hearing today. When the Counsel for the appellant is asked to disclose the overdue amount, she still struggles to find the same and states that the statement of accounts is provided to the respondent. The Counsel for the respondent, however, states that the overdue amount is not disclosed in the statement of accounts. Both, the Counsel then enters into serious dispute in this regard. The Counsel for the Bank has placed before me a communication dated 11.3.2014 addressed to respondent No. 2, as per which the total overdue amount is shown as Rs. 10,22,01,193.63. The Counsel for the respondent has disputed the amount. In this manner and on account of casual manner depicted by the Bank, the respondent has succeeded in not paying even the overdue amount for over a period of one year. It appears that the Bank has shown no concern that it could not even realize the overdue amount due to its careless attitude despite the impugned order dated 1.3.2013. Is it a lethargic attitude of the Bank or a deliberate help to the respondents may need to be examined.;

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