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Uma Kishore v. S.N. Pathak & Another - CONTEMPT APPLICATION (CIVIL) No. 173 of 2006 [2006] RD-AH 6913 (29 March 2006)


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             COURT NO. 6


Uma Kishore    Vs.      Dr. S.N.Pathak and another


Hon'ble Tarun Agarwala, J.

The Opposite Party no.2 is present in Court today.

It transpires that a loan was taken by a borrower. He could not repay the loan and, accordingly at the instance of the bank, the tractor was put to auction by the District Administration. The applicant, being an auction purchaser, gave a bid which was accepted by the District Administration.  On the fall of the hammer, the applicant deposited a sum of Rs.15,000 and, subsequently deposited another sum of Rs. 45,000/. Inspite of depositing the entire amount, the tractor was not released in his favour.

It further transpires that the borrower filed Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.12497 of 1999 before this Court, which was finally disposed of by a judgment dated 31.3.1999 directing that the tractor would be released in favour of the borrower subject to the condition that the borrower deposits  the first instalment. From a perusal of the record of the writ petition and the special appeal, it transpires, that the borrower paid the balance  amount of Rs.43,500 directly in the bank. Since, the tractor was not released, he filed a Contempt Petition  during the contempt proceedings, the District Administration released the tractor in favour of the borrower.

The applicant being an auction purchaser filed a special appeal No.339 of 1999 and, eventuality got it dismissed by an order dated 2.5.2000,  when he could not obtain an order from the Court. The applicant also filed Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.7693 of 2001 which was dismissed as withdrawn by an order dated 22.3.2004. From the record of this writ petition, it transpires that the applicant made a request to the District Administration to refund the amount. Since, the same was not refunded, the applicant approached this Court and when no order was passed, he got it dismissed as withdrawn and filed an


appeal before the Commissioner. Eventually, the applicant filed Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.60866 of 2005 in which the Court by an order dated 14.9.2005 directed the Collector to pass an order for the refund of the amount along with interest.

The District Magistrate passed an order holding that he is unable to refund the amount on account of the fact that the bank was not refunding the amount, as upon the deposit of the amount by the applicant, the District Administration after deducting the recovery charges, had remitted a sum of Rs. 54,500/- to the bank.

From the record, it transpires, that the District Magistrate, Sub Divisional Magistrate and the Tehsildar had written several letters to the bank to refund the amount to the Administration so that the Administration could repay the amount to the auction purchaser. Inspite of the receipt of these letters, the amount was not refunded. The record further reveals that the Tehsildar as well as the Sub Divisional Officer also visited the office of the Branch Manager personally, and requested him to refund the amount inspite of which no action was taken by the bank.

The opposite party no.2 in his counter affidavit does not deny the receipt of these letters. Consequently, there was no justification on the part of the bank to retain this amount of Rs.54,500/- especially when the original borrower also paid an amount of Rs.43,500/- pursuant to the order of the writ Court dated 31.3.1999. The action on the part of the bank in returning the amount is deplorable.

This Court by an order dated 9.3.2006 had directed the bank to deposit a sum of Rs.54,500/- and another sum of Rs.42,609/- towards interest [ as calculated by the opposite party no.2] before the District Magistrate. It transpires that the aforesaid amount was deposited by the bank and in turn, the District Magistrate has placed two cheques before this Court, being Cheque No.393143 dated 18.3.2006 amounting to Rs.42,609/- and  Cheque No.393142 dated 16.3.2006 amounting to Rs.60,000/- in favour of the applicant. This Court by an order dated 9.3.2006 had directed that the matter would be heard on the question as to whether the amount of interest should be paid to the


applicant or not.                                                                  

Upon a perusal of the record, I find that inspite of the various letters written by the District Administration for the refund of the amount, the bank did not act on it and retained the amount. Further, it transpires that the original borrower had also deposited a sum of Rs.43,500/- on 16.4.1999 and consequently, there was no justification for the bank to retain the amount which was deposited by the auction purchaser. Consequently, the bank is liable to pay interest of Rs.42,609/- for wrongly  retention of the amount.

The learned counsel for the respondent no.2 has clearly stated that the opposite party no.2 is at the mercy of the Court and whatever order that are passed would be acceptable to him.

In view of the aforesaid, and in view of the fact that no argument on the imposition of interest has been placed by the lerned counsel for the opposite party no.2, I direct the Registry to hand over the two cheques,  being Cheque No.393143 dated 18.3.2006 for Rs.42,609/- and  Cheque No.393142 dated 16.3.2006  for Rs.60,000/- to the learned counsel for the applicant, who shall make an endorsement of the receipt on the order sheet. The said cheques would be handed over to the applicant. Since, public money is involved and a sum of Rs.42,609/- is being paid towards interest by the bank, it would be open to the Regional Manager of the State Bank of India to initiate an enquiry and fix liability on the erring official.

In view of what has been stated above, the contempt proceedings are dropped, notices issued to the opposite parties are discharged and the Contempt Application is consigned to the records.




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