Avneesh Chandan Gadgil v. Oriental Bank of Commerce

Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993Whether Section 5 of the Limitation Act shall be applicable to the appeal against the order of Recovery Officer under Section 30 of the Act, 1993 ? Held, Section 5 of the Limitation Act shall not be applicable to the appeal against the order of Recovery Officer as provided under Section 30 of the Act, 1993.

There was a delay of 31 days in the appeal preferred by the respondent No.1 – Bank preferred against the order of Recovery Officer. The Debts Recovery Tribunal condoned the delay by applying Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963. The DRAT set aside the order passed by the Debts Recovery Tribunal condoning the delay applying Section 5 of the Limitation Act observing that Section 5 of the Limitation Act shall not be applicable to the appeal under Section 30 of the Act, 1993 against the order passed by the Recovery Officer. By the impugned judgment and order, the High Court has set aside the order passed by the DRAT relying upon the decision of this Court in the case of A.R. Venugopal Alias R. Venugopal Vs. Jotheeswaran and Ors., (2016) 16 SCC 588.

The issue involved in the present appeal is now not res integra in view of the direct decision of this Court in the case of International Asset Reconstruction Company of India Limited Vs. Official Liquidator of Aldrich Pharmaceuticals Limited and Ors., (2017) 16 SCC 137. Dealing with the appeal under Section 30 of the Act, 1993 after 2000 amendment, it is held that Section 5 of the limitation Act is specifically excluded so far as appeal under Section 30 of the Act, 1993 is concerned.

The decision of this Court in the case of A.R. Venugopal Alias R. Venugopal (supra), which has been relied upon by the High Court while passing the impugned judgment and order has been expressly overruled by this Court in the decision in the case of International Asset Reconstruction Company of India Limited (supra).

The High Court has committed a grave error in quashing and setting aside the order passed by the DRAT and in restoring the order passed by the Debts Recovery Tribunal condoning the delay in preferring the appeal under Section 30 by applying Section 5 of the Limitation Act. The impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court and the order passed by the Debts Recovery Tribunal condoning the delay in preferring the appeal under Section 30 of the Act, 1993, preferred against the order passed by the Recovery Officer are unsustainable and deserve to be quashed and set aside and are accordingly quashed and set aside. The order passed by the DRAT setting aside the order passed by the Debts Recovery Tribunal is restored. Appeal is allowed accordingly.

Case Law Reference

  1. International Asset Reconstruction Company of India Ltd. v. Official Liquidator of Aldrich Pharmaceuticals Ltd., (2017) 16 SCC 137
  2. A.R. Venugopal @ R. Venugopal v. Jotheeswaran, (2016) 16 SCC 588