By LE Desk

Chandigarh, April 14: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that the courts cannot interfere once a bank has initiated proceedings under the SARFAESI Act to recover money from a defaulter. The firm, at best, has an alternative efficacious remedy to approach the Debt Recovery Tribunal.

The ruling by Justice Jaswant Singh and Justice Jasgurpreet Singh Puri came on a petition filed by an Amritsar-based firm against City Union Bank Limited and another respondent. It was seeking the quashing of demand notice dated July 3, 2019, issued under the SARFAESI Act. Directions were also sought for quashing possession notice dated September 18, 2019, on the ground that it was ready to settle the dispute by way of one-time settlement as a prospective buyer had given consent to purchase the property.

The Bench asserted it was of the opinion that the present petition was liable to be dismissed. Admittedly, the petitioner-firm was a defaulter and Rs 7,12,90,740 was outstanding towards it as against a total loan of 7.05 crore taken at various points of time, The Tribune reported.

It was further not in dispute that the petitioner-firm was declared as a non-performing asset on September 30, 2018. Not even a single penny was paid thereafter. Consequently, the respondent-bank initiated proceedings to recover the money, which was the only way with it to secure the lent amount. “Once that it so, we do not see how the present petition is maintainable, as the petitioner-firm expects us to interfere in the due process of law adopted by the bank at this stage when the possession has been taken way back on September 18, 2019,” the Bench asserted.

Referring to a Supreme Court judgment, the Bench observed it was held that SARFAESI Act was a complete code in itself and the HC ought not to have entertained a writ petition in view of the alternative remedies.

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