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M/s. Mercury Exporters & Manufacturing P. Ltd. & Another v/s Punjab National Bank & Another

    GA No. 1600 of 2014, APO No. 177 of 2014 & WP No. 353 of 2014
    Decided On, 20 May 2014
    At, Telangana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Hyderabad
    For the Petitioners: Debnath Ghosh, C.K. Dutta, Provat Sil, Advocates. For the Respondents: Siddhartha Banerjee, Victor Datta, Advocates.

Judgment Text
The Court:

The appeal is directed against an order of May 6, 2014 by which the writ petition has been dismissed on the ground that the petitioners' remedy under Section 17 of Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 would be available at the appropriate stage.

The writ petition was directed against a notice dated February 22, 2010 issued by the bank in exercise of its authority under Section 13(4) of the said Act. The bank did not take possession of the secured assets, but by the said notice conveyed its decision of taking possession of the secured assets if the petitioners failed to pay off the dues prior to May 12, 2010.

The Single Bench has noticed the judgments reported at AIR 2010 SC 3413 (United Bank of India vs Satyawati Tandon) and (2013) 9 SCC 620 (Standard Chartered Bank vs. V. Noble Kumar) for the width of the authority of the Debts Recovery Tribunal under Section 17 of the said Act. The order has not precluded the petitioners from approaching the tribunal at the appropriate stage to raise all points before it.

Two grounds are urged in the petition: that some of the secured assets are agricultural land and, as such, not amenable to the provisions of the said Act; and, that a sale notice has been published indicating imminent sale of the assets without possession of the secured assets being taken over by the bank.

Even if a secured creditor wants to proceed against the assets which are not covered by the Act, the Tribunal under the said Act would have the authority to undo any wrong that may have been committed by the bank. As is apparent in this case, the bank had issued notice under Section 13(2) of the Act, waited for the petitioners' reply thereto and thereafter issued notice indicating that the bank would take possession of the secured assets if the money due to the bank was not tendered by a certain date. It is not the petitioners' case that the money has been paid. In such circumstances, in view of the decision in V. Noble Kumar, the debtor has to await the measures under Section 13(4) of the Act being taken by the secured creditor before approaching the appropriate Tribunal.

There does not appear to be any error in the order impugned warranting interference. The appeal, APO No.177 of 2014, and

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the stay petition, GA No.1600 of 2014, are dismissed without any order as to costs. Nothing in this order should prejudice the writ petitioners in the event an appropriate petition is carried to the Tribunal under Section 17 of the said Act of 2002.