PUNJAB NATIONAL BANK Vs. ATMANAND SINGH
LAWS(SC)-2020-5-10
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PATNA)
Decided on May 06,2020

PUNJAB NATIONAL BANK Appellant
VERSUS
Atmanand Singh Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

MASTER ADVAIT SHARMA VS. STATE OF U P [LAWS(ALL)-2021-2-68] [REFERRED TO]
MADAMMA VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA [LAWS(KAR)-2021-3-71] [REFERRED TO]
ARJUNAPPA VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA [LAWS(KAR)-2022-7-929] [REFERRED TO]
RANJU KUMARI VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-2021-5-19] [REFERRED TO]
MANJU SINHA VS. MUZAFFARPUR MUNICIPAL CORPORATION [LAWS(PAT)-2022-8-65] [REFERRED TO]
AFJAL ALI SHA VS. STATE OF WEST BENGAL [LAWS(CAL)-2022-8-43] [REFERRED TO]
GOPAL PRASAD MOHANTY VS. STATE OF JHARKHAND [LAWS(JHAR)-2021-8-18] [REFERRED TO]
OM PARAKASH YADAV VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2021-7-119] [REFERRED TO]
JAGDISHBHAI DHANJIBHAI PATEL VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2022-6-504] [REFERRED TO]
NCUBATE LOGISTIC & WAREHOUSING PVT LTD VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2021-2-47] [REFERRED TO]
DATA TECH, RANCHI VS. STATE OF JHARKHAND [LAWS(JHAR)-2021-8-25] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

A.M.KHANWILKAR, J. - (1.)Leave granted.
(2.)This appeal takes exception to the judgment and order dated 23.2.2017 passed by the Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Patna[1] in Letters Patent Appeal (LPA) No. 310/2009, whereby, the LPA filed by the appellants came to be dismissed while affirming the decision of the learned single Judge, dated 10.2.2009 in allowing the Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case (CWJC) No. 867/1999.
[1] For short, "the High Court"

(3.)The Division Bench took note of the relevant background facts necessitating filing of writ petition by the respondent No. 1 for a direction to the appellant-Bank to pay his lawful admitted claims in terms of agreement dated 27.5.1990 (Annexure 5(b) appended to the writ petition) and also to deposit the income-tax papers with immediate effect. The Division Bench has noted as follows: -
"4. The facts of the case is that the writ petitioner had taken a term loan of Rs. 10,000/- from the Bank by way of financial assistance to run a business in the name of "Sanjeev Readymade Store" from Haveli Kharagpur Branch of Punjab National Bank in the district of Munger. The writ petitioner was paid the said sum of Rs. 10,000/- in two instalments of Rs.4,000/- on 21.07.1984 and Rs.6,000/- on 01.10.1984. The writ petitioner had yet another savings account in the same branch of the respondents-bank. However, on 14.02.1990, the term loan with interest had mounted upto a figure of Rs. 13,386/-. In 1989, the writ petitioner, who is Respondent no. 2 in the appeal, was granted two cheques of Rs.5,000/- each by the Circle Officer, Haveli Kharagpur under the Earthquake Relief Fund. The said two cheques were deposited with the Bank for encashment in the other savings account, but instead, were transferred to the loan account. This was done without any authorization of the writ petitioner and without direction of any competent authority. Some time thereafter, the writ petitioner's son was afflicted by cancer, which required immediate treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. In order to meet the expenses of the treatment, writ petitioner sold 406 bhars of gold jewellery of his wife's "stridhan" and received Rs. 14,93,268/-. He approached the branch of the respondents-bank with a sum of Rs. 14,93,000/- on 04.08.1989 for issuance of two bank drafts, one in his name and the another in the name of his wife. The then Accountant, Mr. T.K. Palit showed his inability to prepare the drafts on the ground of shortage of staff on that day and requested the writ petitioner to deposit the amount in the savings account No. 1020 in the said branch. The Accountant, after receipt of the money, transferred total amount of Rs. 15,03,000/- to the loan account, whereas in the loan account upto 14.02.1990 outstanding dues of principal and interest was only Rs. 13,386/-. The writ petition made grievance before the Branch Manager of the said branch and also filed representations before the Bank authorities. Thereafter, the writ petitioner approached the District Magistrate, Sri Nanhe Prasad, who ordered the then Circle Officer, Haveli Kharagpur, District Munger, Sri Binod Kumar Singh to make a detailed enquiry into the matter and report. Accordingly, a Misc. Case No. 4 (DW 1) PNB/1989-90 was initiated and in those proceedings, various officials of the Punjab National Bank, including the then Branch Manager, District Coordination Officer of the Punjab National Bank and the Accountant of the Bank were examined from time to time and reports were submitted to the District Magistrate, Munger. Several witnesses were examined even by the District Magistrate, Munger. There were officers from the Regional Office of the Punjab National Bank, one of them being Sri Tej Narain Singh, the Regional Manager of the Punjab National Bank, Regional Office, Patna-B also deposed making reference of what had transpired to the Zonal Office of the Bank. On the basis of these statements, which were recorded by the Circle Officer and / or by the then District Magistrate-cum-Collector, Munger, Sri Gorelal Prasad Yadav, the matter proceeded. The basic assertion of the writ petitioner having been found correct and the liability having been accepted by the respondents-bank, it was reduced to an agreement dated 27.05.1990, which is Annexure-5B to the writ application between the parties. The agreement was signed by one and all in presence of the Circle Officer and the overall supervision of the District Magistrate. It was duly recorded in writing that the bank had received the deposit amounting to Rs. 15,03,000/- as per deposits made on 02.08.1989, 04.08.1989 and 04.10.1989. It was also recorded that the total term loan and the liability of the writ petitioner up to 14.02.1990 came to Rs. 13,386/- only and the amount of Rs. 14,89,614/- of the writ petitioner would be kept in the Fixed Deposit of the bank and shall be paid with interest by September, 1997. The writ application was filed, when the bank refused to honour this agreement. In support of the writ application, certified copies of the entire proceedings, depositions as had been obtained by the writ petitioner in the year 1990 were annexed."

The appellant-Bank contested the said writ petition and raised objections regarding the maintainability of the writ petition and disputed the money claim set up by the respondent No. 1 on the basis of alleged contractual agreement dated 27.5.1990. The appellant-Bank denied the allegation of transfer of proceeds of two cheques of Rs.5,000/- (Rupees five thousand only) each, allegedly received by the respondent No. 1 from the district authorities, to the loan account. The Bank also denied the allegation of deposit of Rs. 14,93,000/- (Rupees fourteen lakhs ninety-three thousand only) by the respondent No. 1 in his Savings Fund Account No. 1020 or transfer of the said amount in his loan account. Further, on receipt of complaint from the respondent No. 1, the Regional Manager of the appellant-Bank instituted an internal enquiry conducted by Mr. N.K. Singh, Manager, Inspection and Complaints, E.M.O., Patna, who in his report dated 23.11.1998 noted that the respondent No. 1 had been paid the proceeds of two cheques of Rs.5,000/- (Rupees five thousand only) each in cash and there is no record about the deposit of Rs. 14,93,000/- (Rupees fourteen lakhs ninety three thousand only) in his account with the concerned Branch. The appellant-Bank explicitly denied the genuineness and existence of the documents annexed to the writ petition and asserted that the same are forged, fabricated and manufactured documents. The Bank also placed on record that the respondent No. 1 had filed similar writ petition against another bank, namely, the Munger Jamui Central Cooperative Bank Limited being CWJC No. 4353/1993, which was eventually dismissed on 7/3.7.1995, as the claim set up by the respondent No. 1 herein in the said writ petition was stoutly disputed by the concerned Bank.

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