Suits With Basic Relief Of Challenging Decree Passed By DRT Not Maintainable: SC

The Supreme Court has observed that the suits with the basic relief of challenging the decree passed by the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) are not maintainable.

In this case, the suits were filed challenging the decree passed by the DRT. The Bank filed applications to reject the plaints in exercise of powers under Order 7 Rule 11(d) of the Code of Civil Procedure on the ground that considering the provisions of Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993, more particularly Sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Act, the suits are not maintainable. The Trial Court and later the High Court dismissed the applications.

Therefore, the issue considered by the Apex Court bench in the appeal filed by the bank was whether the suits filed by the plaintiffs were liable to be rejected in exercise of powers under Order 7 Rule 11(d) of the CPC or not?

Allowing the appeal, the bench comprising of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice MR Shah noted the judgment in Punjab National Bank v. O.C. Krishnan and others, (2001) 6 SCC 569. Which had held that, without exhaustion of the remedies under the RDDBFI Act, the High Court ought not to have exercised its jurisdiction under Article 227. It observed:

” without exhausting the remedy of appeal provided under the RDDBFI Act, the suits with the basic relief of challenging the decree passed by the DRT were liable to be dismissed, as observed and held by this Court in the case of O.C. Krishnan and others (supra).”
The bench observed that since the plaints are vexatious, frivolous, meritless and nothing but an abuse of process of law and court, it s is a fit case to exercise the powers under Order 7 Rule 11 (d) of the CPC. It added:

“Be that as it may, considering the pleadings/averments in the suits and the allegations of fraud, we are of the opinion that the allegations of fraud are illusory and only with a view to get out of the judgment and decree passed by the DRT. We are of the opinion that therefore the suits are vexatious and are filed with a mala fide intention to get out of the judgment and decree passed by the DRT.”

SC sets up panel to verify figures on child sex ratio

Expressing its misgivings about the authenticity of the figures of the child sex ratio given to it by various state governments, the Supreme Court Tuesday set up a committee to verify the record on the basis of which these figures were arrived at.

The apex court bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said they had “grave doubts” over the correctness of the figures while setting up the panel which will also have two child sex ratio– on it.

Setting up the panel whose meeting will be held under the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee, the court said: “The purpose is to find out whether there is degradation of the sex ratio or a stagnation or any steps have really been taken by the concerned states to improve/enhance the sex ratio or not?”

The court order came in the course of the hearing of a petition by NGO Voluntary Health Association of Punjab seeking to curb sex determination clinics all over the country and the prosecution of those carrying it out illegally. The petitioner has sought the court`s intervention to check and reverse the alarming gulf in the male and girl child ratio.

“In our considered opinion, there should be a verification of the documents that form the basis on which these figures have been arrived at. Let it be clarified that the figures that have been put forth do not show any indication of improvement but we would like to have it verified to satisfy ourselves whether the figure that has been put forth is correct or not,” said Justice Misra expressing apprehensions over the statistics supplied by the various state governments.

The court directed that the meeting of the committee would be attended by an additional secretary, and two other joint secretaries of the health and family welfare ministry and the officers who had filed the affidavits on behalf of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi. The meeting would be held Dec 3 and a report submitted by Dec 10, as it directed the next hearing of the matter on Dec 11.

The states shall, the court said, produce the relevant registers/records before the committee.

“We are sure, the states should be in a position to produce the registers/record in the meeting so that it can be scrutinized. Any discrepancy in this respect shall not be appreciated for the states must have prepared the chart on the basis of the registers/records,” the court said.

The court also sought suggestions from the state governments as to what steps could be taken to improve girl child sex ratio.