The Delhi High Court has held that applications filed for seeking permission to sell a vehicle seized by the bank in cases of default cannot be kept pending for long and should be disposed of within 60 days.
"Considering that a large number of petitions have been filed today, which include suits both at the interim stage and at the final stage wherein the applications under Order XXXIX Rule 6 CPC, for permission to sell the vehicles, are simply being adjourned from time to time, it is deemed appropriate to direct that applications for sale of the vehicle, whenever filed, shall be disposed of within 60 days, except in case of any unusual or exceptional circumstances.," Justice Prathiba M. Singh ordered.
She further directed,
"Such orders for sale of the vehicle deserve to be passed especially in those cases where the Defendant(s) remain ex-parte and does not contest the proceedings. No useful purpose would be served by leaving the vehicle to deteriorate and letting the Bank incur further charges to store and preserve the vehicle."
The directions have been issued in a petition filed by ICICI Bank that was aggrieved because even while the original suit for recovery of money instituted by it was decreed, an application moved by it under Order XXXIX Rule 6 CPC remained pending.
In the backdrop, the bank had sued the Respondent herein for recovering the car loan amount. During the proceedings, the Trial Court had appointed one of the Bank officials as the Receiver and directed the seizure of the vehicle. However, the bank was directed not to sell the vehicle unless it was authorized to do so by the court itself.
Subsequently, the bank moved an application under Order XXXIX Rule 6 CPC to sell the vehicle but the same was simply adjourned, and even in the final decree permission was not given to the Bank to sell the vehicle. Consequently, the bank had been incurring parking charges for keeping the vehicle.
Censuring routine adjournment, the court said,
"there is no doubt that the application under Order XXXIX Rule 6 CPC ought to have been decided by the Trial Court at the time of the final order in the suit itself. To keep the application pending, while the suit itself has been decreed, is completely irrational. The car has a limited life value which deteriorates with each passing day. The Bank ought to be permitted to sell the car to recover whatever amount it can to satisfy the decree."
It further held that ordinarily, the court should be willing to give permission to sell the vehicle when a satisfactory case is made out in the Bank's favour.
"Ideally, when the Trial Court is satisfied that the case for appointment of a Receiver has been made out and the Bank has taken control of the car for repayment, when the Bank approaches the Trial Court for permission to sell the vehicle, the same should be directed to be considered expeditiously," it held. Reliance was placed on M/s ICICI Bank Ltd. v. Naveen Kalkal CM(M) 1821/2019 and ICICI Bank Ltd. v. Kamal Kumar Garewal FAO 49/2015.
Case Details:Case Title: M/S ICICI Bank Limited v. Priya BavejaCase No.: CM (M) 16/2020Quorum: Justice Prathiba M. SinghAppearance: Advocates Punit K. Bhalla and Chetna Bhalla (for Petitioner)
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