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Punjab National Bank v/s Joy Hotel & Resort Pvt. Ltd. & Others

    Appeal No. 507 of 2017

    Decided On, 10 October 2018

    At, Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunal at Delhi

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.K. BHASIN
    By, CHAIRPERSON

    For the Appellant: Ajay Shankar, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1, R6, Rajesh Sharma, R9, TFCI, Usha Singh, Advocates.



Judgment Text

P.K. Bhasin, Chairperson:

Counsel for the respondents wanted an adjournment on the ground that a fresh settlement proposal has been submitted to the Bank for revival of the earlier OTS arrived at between the parties in the year 2017. Counsel for the respondents submitted that the only indulgence which is being sought from the Bank is for clearance of the OTS amount by May, 2022 which as per earlier understanding was to be cleared by 31st January, 2019. Learned Counsel for the Bank submits that though this request of the respondent has been received yesterday with a payment of Rs. 40 lacs but Bank has not taken any decision on the said request of the borrowers so far. He also submitted that under the earlier approved OTS the respondents were to deliver post-dated cheques of Rs. 40 lacs each till the clearance of the OTS amount. However, five cheques got dishonoured.

In the facts and circumstances, I was not inclined to adjourn the matter to enable the defaulting borrowers to arrive at some fresh understanding with the Bank.

Accordingly, I have heard arguments in the appeal, as Counsel were ready.

ORDER (ORAL)

The appellant Bank IS aggrieved by the following order passed by the learned DRT on 23.10.2017:

“I.A. 1213 of 2017:

This is an application for allowing the OTS settlement entered into between the parties and as per the amount admitted by the defendants in the OA.

It has been stated at the Bar that the defendants have settled the account in question for a sum of Rs. 26.00 crores which is to be paid by January, 2019.

It is surprising that the applicant is shying away from taking the decision in the cases where they have entered into the One Time Settlement (OTS).

It appears that the applicant despite entering into the OTS as per their convenience left it on the Courts to adjudicate upon the matter.

However, since this account has been settled under the OTS and the defendants in the OA are being given time till January, 2019 to make the payment, I see no reason to continue with this matter for to allow this application.

As such, IA 1213 of 2017 is dismissed.

O.A. 279 of 2017:

As a consequence, since, the parties have already entered into an OTS settlement among themselves; this OA is also disposed of as having become infructuous.

Counsel for the applicant states that in case of any default in making payments by the defendants, the applicant may be permitted to revive this application.

As such, in case of any default in making payment by the defendants, the applicant is at liberty to approach this Tribunal.

Copy of the order be supplied to the parties as per rule and after due compliance the record be consigned to the record room.”

2. Counsel of the appellant Bank said that even though on 23.10.2017 the Bank had aggrieved for the OTS terms as provided in the letter dated 13.2.2017 in (Annexure-A2) and respondents the letter dated 14.2.2017 (Annexure A-3). Learned DRT instead of passing a decree in terms of the settlement disposed of the O.A. as having become infructuous. It is submitted by the learned Counsel for the appellant Bank that manner in which the Bank's O.A. came to be disposed of as infructuous has put the Bank in such a situation where despite the respondents having committed breach of the OTS terms, it cannot take steps for recovery of public money as has been claimed in the O.A. because there is no Recovery Certificate issued by the DRT. It has also been submitted that the Bank would be satisfied if even at this stage this Tribunal passes an order for disposal of the O.A. in terms of the settlement and issuance of a Recovery Certificate for the settled amount so that at least the Bank can proceed ahead to recover the settled amount through the office of the Recovery Officer attached to the DRT.

3. Reading of the impugned order shows that the learned DRT had mentioned that if there is any default in making payment by the defendants the Bank will be at liberty to approach the Tribunal.

4. In view of the said observation of the learned DRT in its final order disposing of the O.A. as infructuous this Tribunal feels that the appropriate order to be passed is to direct the appellant

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Bank to approach the DRT for issuance of a Recovery Certificate. In case the appellant moves any such application, the learned DRT shall dispose it of within two weeks without going into any controversy as to whether respondents have committed breach of the OTS or not. It is needless to say that whatever payments respondents have made will be given due credit by the executing authority. This appeal stands disposed of accordingly. Appeal disposed of.
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