ANANTHALAKSHMI Vs. STATE BANK OF INDIA
DEBTS RECOVERY APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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(1.) THESE two Miscellaneous Appeals have been preferred as against the Common Order dated 9.8.2006, passed by the DRT-II at Chennai, in Unnumbered Appeal (SR No. 1445/2006) in DRC No. 124/2004 in OA-1286 /2001 and Unnumbered Appeal SR. No. 1447/2006 in DRC No. 123/2004 in OA-1285/2001.
(2.) The appellants are the daughters of one R. Kaliappan, who died intestate on 5.8.1991 leaving behind him, his wife Sarojini Devi and three daughters and two sons viz. (1) Ananthalakshmi, (2) K. Namitha Bhuvaneswari, (3) Renuka Devi, (4) K. Raghavaram and (5) K. Sivaram Selvakumar. It appears that the two sons of R. Kaliappan viz. Sivaram and Raghavaram have formed a Company viz. M/s. Kalsar Petro Products (P) Ltd. and borrowed amount from the respondent Bank by producing a Legal Heir Certificate dated 11.3.1997, issued by the Egmore-Nungambakkam Taluk Tahsildar, showing only Sarojini Devi, wife of the deceased and the two sons viz. Sivaram Selvakumar and Raghavaram as legal heirs and the appellants were not shown as the legal heirs in the said certificate. Subsequently, the appellants herein came to know about the proceedings and filed the Claim Petitions before the Recovery Officer of DRT, by producing the Legal Heir Certificate issued by the Tahsildar, Saidapet, in MM No. 12203/9/C4, showing not only the wife of the deceased and their sons, but also showing the three daughters as legal heirs. It is the case of the appellants that they are neither borrowers nor guarantors to the loan granted by the Bank and hence they are not liable to discharge the loan and filed claim petitions before the Recovery Officer, and the same came to be dismissed by Order dated 17.3.2006. As against the same, the appellants have preferred the appeal before the learned PO of DRT-II, Chennai, where the payment of Court fee arose for consideration of the Tribunal and the Tribunal had taken a view that the appellant are liable to pay the Court Fee as stated in Sl. No. 5 of Rule 7(2) of the DRT (Procedure) Rules, 1993. The same is challenged in these appeals.
I have heard the learned Advocate for the appellants and the respondent.
Mr. N. Nagu Sah, the learned Advocate for the appellants would contend that the appellants are neither borrowers nor guarantors and hence they were not parties to the OA proceedings. No Recovery Certificate was issued against them and they are not liable to pay any amount under the Recovery Certificate. The claim petition filed by the appellants before the Recovery Officer is an Interlocutory Application, which is incapable of valuation. As against the said Order, they have preferred appeals before the learned PO and the said appeals also are incapable of valuation. Sl. No. 5 of Rule 7(2) of the Debt Recovery Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1993, specifies the fees only in respect of the appeals against the orders of the Recovery Officer and such fees are prescribed on the value of the appeal. If the amount appealed against is less than Rs. 10 lakh, fee payable is Rs. 12,000/-, if the amount appealed against is more than Rs. 10 lakh but less than Rs. 30 lakh, fee payable is Rs. 20,000/-, and if the amount appealed against is Rs. 30 lakh or more the fee payable is Rs. 30,000/-. But whereas, the appeals filed by the appellants before the DRT cannot be quantified in terms of money as the appeal is only for determination of the right of the appellants in the property. It is, therefore, submitted that the appeals filed by him must be treated in the nature of petition and the payment of Court fee of Rs. 250/- is sufficient.
(3.) ON the contrary, the learned Advocate for the respondent Bank would contend that the present claimants were not shown as the legal heirs of Kaliappan in the Legal Heir Certificate produced by the widow and sons of the deceased Kaliappan and hence they have bona fide believed the said Legal Heir Certificate and granted loan and now it turns out to be that the appellants among others are shown as legal heirs. Appellants are also liable to discharge the loan as the legal heirs of the deceased Kaliappan, if it is established against them. With regard to the payment of Court fee, it is left to the orders of the Court.;
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