D VENKATARAMANA REDDY Vs. STATE BANK OF INDIA
DEBTS RECOVERY APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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(1.) THIS Miscellaneous appeal had its own chequered career.
(2.) The 1st respondent Bank filed OA-16/1996 for the recovery of amount and the same was allowed and a recovery certificate dated 27.3.2002 came to be issued in favour of the Bank. During the course of the recovery proceedings, appellant viz. D. Venkataramana Reddy, who is the son-in-law of the 2nd Respondent K. Subbamma alias K. Yimalamma, filed a Claim Petition before the Recovery Officer (R.O.) claiming that he had entered into an agreement of sale with the 2nd respondent on 30.3.1985 to purchase the subject property and as she did not execute the Sale Deed, he filed a Suit in OS-68/1996 before the Senior Civil Judge, Nellore, and the said suit was decreed on 25.1.1999, and based upon the decree he claimed title to the attached property. The Recovery Officer dismissed the Claim Petition by his Order dated 30.1.2004, and the appellant herein preferred an Appeal in RA-4/ 2004 before the DRT, Hyderabad, and the same was allowed by the DRT by its Order dated 23.3.2004. As against the same, the State Bank of India preferred an appeal in MA-69/2004 before this Tribunal and the said appeal was allowed by Order dated 18.11.2004. As against the same, the appellant preferred Writ Petition WP No. 1458/2005 before the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and the said Writ Petition was allowed and the DRT was directed to hear and decide the matter afresh in accordance with law. Thus the matter came up for hearing before the DRT, Hyderabad once again and the said appeal of the appellant was dismissed on 29.4.2005. As against the same, the present appeal has been filed.
I have heard the learned Advocates for the appellant and the respondent and also perused the appeal papers.,
Several grounds have been raised in the memorandum of appeal, but the learned Advocate for the appellant has restricted his argument to the order passed by the Civil Court contending it is final and binding and the Recovery Officer cannot traverse beyond the judgment of the Civil Court and cannot adjudicate the rights of the parties and, therefore, the order passed by the Recovery Officer and the confirmation of the same by the learned PO of DRT, are not proper.
(3.) MR. R. Shankaranarayanan, the learned Advocate for the appellant has submitted that pursuant to the Sale Agreement executed by the 2nd respondent in favour of the appellant, he had filed a suit before the Senior Civil Judge, Nellore, and the said suit was decreed in his favour and as such the said decree cannot be nullified as the Recovery Officer holding that the claim of the appellant is not proper and valid. In support of his submission, the appellant relied upon the case of Sancheti Leasing Company Ltd. and Anr. v. Income-Tax Officer and Anr. (Vol. 246) 2000 Income Tax Reports 814, wherein it was observed that, "Though Section 281(1) of the Income-tax Act declares certain transactions as void, that section, however, does not vest the authority in the Income-tax Officer (Recovery Officer as far as DRTs are concerned) to make such a declaration.
Before a transaction involving immovable property can he declared as void, all the requirements of law must necessarily be satisfied. The fact that a statute provides for such a declaration being made, if the conditions mentioned in the statute are satisfied, does not imply that an officer exercising powers under the provisions of the statute can assume to himself the power and jurisdiction to declare what is otherwise a legally valid transaction as void. Adjudication is the function of the Courts. Any declaration of a transaction being void must be sought in the Civil Court" thereby pointing out that the Recovery Officer has no authority to adjudicate upon the dispute of the parties and declare that a particular transaction is a void transaction that too in the teeth of a valid decree having been passed in favour of the appellant herein in respect of the property in question.;
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