Punjab Nat.Iona. L Bank, Dasuya Vs. Chajju
Ram & Ors  INSC 397 (1 August 2000)
A.P.Misra, Ruma Pal
.appellant, on 26th
August, 1988 filed a
suit for recovery of Rs. 6,19,250/- in the Civil Court. By judgment. dated 16th February, 1994, the trial court, decreed the suit.
for the aforesaid amount with interest.
the rate of 16/1/2 per cent. per annum from the date
of filing of the suit t.ill the recovery of money. On 21st. December,
1994, an execution application .was filed by the appellant, before the Court,
of Civil Judge, Dasuya.According
to the appellant, an amount, of Rs.l2,91,398/- being the principal amount, of
Rs.6,19,250/- plus interest, thereon as per the decree, had become due &
payable and it was in respect, of this amount, that. execution was sought.. In the
meanwhile on 25th June, ,1993, the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial
Institutions Act, 1993 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act") had
come into force.
30th August; 1994, a Tribunal was set. up in Jaipur and it was given
jurisdiction to decide claims even with regard to those arising in the State of
Punjab, On 18th February, 1997, the. appellant moved an application before the Civil Court, Dasuya. for transfer of the
execution proceedings to the Debts Recovery Tribunal, Jaipur. This application
was allowed and the trial court ordered the transfer of the execution
proceedings to the Debts Recovery Tribunal, Jaipur.
respondents thereupon filed a revision petition in the High Court. By judgment
dated 1st April, 1999) the High Court came to the
conclusion, while reversing the decision of the trial court, that the execution
proceedings could not. be transferred and it. is only the Civil Court., which
had passed the decree, which could execute the same.
this appeal by special leave.
point in issue is no longer resintegra After analysing the provisions of the
Act, this Court, in Allahabad Bank vs. Canara Bank & Another. JT 2000 (4)
SC 411 held that the word ^proceeding* in Section 31 of the Act. would include
an execution proceeding pending before a Civil Court before the commencement of the Act. It was further held
that, the suits and proceedings so pending would stand transferred to the
Tribunal. This conclusion emanated from the fact that the definition of the
word 'debt* contained in Section 2(g) of the Act, inter all.a, meant any
liability which was due to a bank and was payable under a decree or order of a Civil Court. The decretal amount, being a debt.
as envisaged by Section 2(g) would clearly attract, t.he provisions of Sections
17 and 18 of the Act. which give exclusive jurisdiction to the Tribunals
constituted thereunder to decide the questions regarding recovery of debts due
to the banks a.nd financial institutions. Section 31 which deals with transfer
of cases reads as under :
Transfer of pending cases. - (1) Every suit or other proceeding pending before
any court . immediately before the date of establishment of a Tribunal under
this Act, being a suit or proceeding the cause of action whereon it is based is
such that it would have been, if it had arisen after such establishment, within
the jurisdiction of such Tribunal, shall stand tra.nsf erred on that, date to
that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to any appeal pending as aforesaid
before any court.
Where any suit, or other proceeding stands transferred from any court to a
Tribunal under sub-section (1), - (a) the court shall, as soon as may' be-
after such transfer, forward the records of such suit or other proceeding to
the Tribunal; and (b) the Tribunal may, on receipt cof such records) proceed to
deal with such suit of other proceeding, so far as may be, in the same manner'
as in the case of an application made under Section 19 from the stage which
was" reached before such transfer or from any earlier stage or de novo as
the Tribunal may deem fit," A bare reading of the aforesaid Section shows
that execution application being a proceeding pending in a Civil Court when the
Act came into force was liable to be transferred to the Tribunal because the
amount for which the execution application had been filed as per the decree
which had been passed, was over Rs. 10 lakhs.
counsel for the respondents submitted that the use of the words 'cause of
action* in Section 31 indicated that it is only penning suits which could be
unable to agree with this submission. The words 'cause of action' are preceded
by the words 'being a suit or proceeding''. Section .31 contemplates not only
the transfer of a suit but also transfer of a proceeding which may be other
than a suit, like an execution application.
in this context, the words 'being a suit or proceeding the cause of action
whereon it is based ...,...* would mean that in the case of an execution
application if the decree is for more than Rs, . 10 lakhs, then that is the
cause of action or the reason for an application for execution being filed
before the Tribunal.
matters beyond doubt, the Act has been amended by the Recovery of Debts Due to
Banks and Financial Institutions (Amendment) Act, 2000 and Section 31A has been
inserted which reads as follows :
Power of Tribunal to issue certificate of recovery in case of decree or order,
- (1) Where a decree or order was passed by any court before the commencement
of the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions (Amendment)
Act, 2000 and' has not yet been executed, then, the decree-holder may apply to
the Tribunal to pass an order for recovery of the amount, (2) On receipt of an
application under sub-section (1), the Tribunal may issue a certificate for
recovery to a Recovery Officer.
( 3 )
On receipt of a certificate under sub-section (2) ) the Recovery Officer shall
proceed to recover t.he amount as if it was a certificate in respect- of a debt
recoverable under this Act." The aforesaid Section 31A is clearly
applicable in the present case. The decree was passed by court before the
commencement of the Amendment Act and the same has not yet.
executed. At least after the amendment, it is only the Tribunal which would
have the jurisdiction of entertaining the application for execution of the
decree inasmuch as the amount due for which the decree was sought to be
executed is over Rs.lO lakhs. We are also unable to agree with the High Court
that because t.he original decree which was passed was for principal sum of
Rs.6,19,250/- the Tribunal would get no jurisdiction. It is to be seen that
decree was for a sum of Rs.6,19,250/- plus interest at the rate of 18-1/2 per
cent per annum from the date of filing of the suit till the recovery of money.
As and when the amount due to the bank under the decree became more than Rs. 10
lakhs and an application for execution was filed, it could only be.
by the Tribunal and not by the Civil Court.
It is clear that in view of the provisions of Section 34 of the Act, the
provisions of Order 21 Rule 10 C.P.C. would have no application.
the aforesaid reasons, the appeal is allowed and the judgment of the High Court
is set aside, with costs throughout.