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Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993


2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) "Appellate Tribunal" means an Appellate Tribunal established under sub-section (1) of section 8;

(b) "application" means an application made to a Tribunal under section 19;

(c) "appointed day", in relation to a Tribunal or an Appellate Tribunal, means the date on which such Tribunal is established under sub-section (1) of section 3 or, as the case may be, sub-section (1) of section 8;

(d) "bank" means-

(i) a banking company;

(ii) a corresponding new bank;

(iii) State Bank of India;

(iv) a subsidiary bank; or

(v) a Regional Rural Bank;

(e) "banking company" shall have the meaning assigned to it in clause (c) of section 5 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949);

1[(ea) "Chairperson" means a Chairperson of an Appellate Tribunal appointed under section 9;]

(f) "corresponding new bank" shall have the meaning assigned to it in clause (da) of section 5 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949);

2[(g) "debt" means any liability (inclusive of interest) which is claimed as due from any person by a bank or a financial institution or by a consortium of banks or financial institutions during the course of any business activity undertaken by the bank or the financial institution or the consortium under any law for the time being in force, in cash or otherwise, whether secured or unsecured, or assigned, or whether payable under a decree or order of any civil court or any arbitration award or otherwise or under a mortgage and subsisting on, and legally recoverable on, the date of the application.]

(h) "financial institution" means-

(i) a public financial institution within the meaning of section 4A of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956);

(ii) such other institution as the Central Government may, having regard to its business activity and the area of its operation in India, by notification, specify;

(i) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

(j) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

1[ja) "Presiding Officer" means the Presiding Officer of the Debts Recovery Tribunal appointed under sub-section (1) of section 4;]

(k) "Recovery Officer" means a Recovery Officer appointed by the Central Government for each Tribunal under sub-section (1) of section 7;

(l) "Regional Rural Bank" means a Regional Rural Bank established under section 3 of the Regional Rural Banks Act, 1976 (21 of 1976);

(m) "State Bank of India" means the State Bank of India constituted under section 3 of the State Bank of India Act, 1955 (23 of 1955);

(n) "subsidiary bank" shall have the meaning assigned to it in clause (k) of section 2 of the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959 (38 of 1959);

(o) "Tribunal" means the Tribunal established under sub-section (1) of section 3.

Comment: In the case in hand, there cannot be any dispute that the expression 'debt' has to be given the widest amplitude to mean any liability which is alleged as due from any person by a bank during the course of any business activity undertaken by the bank either in cash or otherwise, whether secured or unsecured, whether payable under a decree or order of any Court or otherwise and legally recoverable on the date of the application. In ascertaining the question whether any particular claim of any bank or financial institution would come within the purview of the tribunal created under the Act, it is imperative that the entire averments made by the plaintiff in the plaint have to be looked into and then find out whether notwithstanding the specially created tribunal having been constituted, the averments are such that it is possible to hold that the jurisdiction of such tribunal is ousted. United Bank of India v. Debts Recovery Tribunal AIR 1999 SUPREME COURT 1381.  



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