Decided on August 01,2007



M.C.Jain, - (1.) THE defendants of O.A. 132/2001 pending before the DRT-I, Delhi have preferred this appeal against the order dated 26.4.2006, whereby their application for cross-examination of the witnesses of the respondent-Bank has been rejected.
(2.) TheJacts necessary to be stated for the disposal of the appeal are these; The O.A. in question has been filed by the respondent-Bank against the main borrower-defendant No. 1 (sole proprietorship firm of Manoj Kumar Soni, son of defendants 2 and 3/appellants) and the present appellants who are defendants 2 and 3. Appellants were guarantors for the repayment of the loan of Rs. 29 lakh and odd and had allegedly mortgaged certain property. The appellants herein (defendants 2 and 3) filed joint written statement in the Tribunal stating that they had signed the documents. But, their case was that their son (defendant No. 1) went to Dubai (UAE) for his business purposes and the documents were signed by them after having telephonic conversation with him. They contended that around the month of September 2000 the officials of the Bank, namely, Mr. Meherwal and Mr. H.R. Sharda started contacting and visiting them on the pretext of making verification for the purpose of completion of their records in the shape of formalities supposedly required under the procedure laid by the Bank in relation to the business dealings of the Bank with the firm of Mr. Manoj Kumar. They cooperated with the officials of the Bank. The said officials again visited them in the month of November 2000 and required certain papers including plain papers, stamp papers, unfilled printed forms and typed documents to be signed by them for the purpose of completion of certain formalities till the return of their son Manoj Kumar. On obtaining confirmation of correctness of such representation of the said officials of applicant Bank, from their son Manoj Kumar at Dubai (UAE) over telephone, in the presence of the above named officials, they affixed their signatures on the above stated papers without any hesitation and under the bona fide belief of the representation made to them by their son Manoj Kumar and the said officials of the Bank. After filing their written statement and evidence by way of affidavit, they made I.A. 621/2005 for cross-examination of Bank's witnesses contending that there were certain anomalies in the original application and the replication, and that in such circumstances cross-examination of the witnesses of the Bank was a "must" for the Tribunal to come to a right conclusion. It was also alleged that there were various omissions/commissions and negligent conduct on the part of the Bank.
(3.) SINCE the application was opposed by the Bank, alter hearing the Counsel for the parties, the Tribunal below rejected the application of the appellants/defendants. It was held that they could not present any genuine or cogent reason to allow their prayer for cross-examination of the witnesses of the Bank. As stated above, aggrieved, the defendants have preferred this appeal.;

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