Whether the provisions of section 5 of the Limitation Act or its principles are applicable to appeal filed under section 30 of the RDDBFI Act

Any person aggrieved by the order of Recovery Officer made under the Recovery Act may file an appeal to the Debt Recovery Tribunal. It may be noted that so far as the provisions of Second Schedule are concerned no appeal is provided against the order of Tax Recovery Officer whereas in the recovery of Debt Due to Banks And Financial Institutions Act 1993 Section 30 clearly provides for appeal to the Debt Recovery Tribunal against an order made by Recovery officer in exercising of his powers under Section 25 to 28 (both inclusive). Thus by insertion of Section 30 it can be said that sufficient safeguard is provided against orders of the Recovery Officer passed against any person. Section 30 provides adequate safeguard to any aggrieved person against arbitrary and illegal orders of Recovery Officer. The insertion of Section 30 in the RDDBFI Act and absence of such provisions in Income Tax Act 1961 coupled with the fact that even Section 29 also contains rider that provisions of Second Schedule and Third Schedule to Income Tax 1961 are applicable only as far as possible, go to show that under Section 30 there is no bar to maintain appeal unless the attachment/ seizure is actually effected .

The Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act,1993 is a special statute. It overrides the provisions of general law. The Tribunal is competent to pass interim orders as per Section 19(12) of the Act. The Tribunal and the Appellate Tribunal are not tied down by the procedure prescribed under the Civil Procedure Code. The provision of Code of Civil Procedure is not required to be followed either by the Debts Recovery Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal. However, it is expected they shall be guided by the principles of Natural Justice. The Debt Recovery Tribunal and the Appellate Tribunal are empowered to regulate their own procedure of course subject to the provisions of the Act and the Rules.[para 13]

whether an application for condonation of delay in preferring an application under Section 30(1) of the RDDBFI Act beyond the period of 30 days prescribed under the said provision can be allowed by Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT) by exercising power to condone delay as understood under Section 5 of the Limitation Act ?[para 14]
HELD: In our opinion, the question of law posed above must be answered in the negative for the reasons stated and discussed by us.
15. In the result, we must conclude that the Tribunal under RDDBFI Act had no power by the impugned orders to condone delay that occurred in filing Appeal under Section 30 of the RDDBFI Act, 1993 as provision of Section 5 of the Limitation Act or principles thereof can not apply. Impugned orders are therefore set aside. Rule is made absolute accordingly. Parties are left to bear their own costs.
[EXCERPTS FROM THE JUDGEMENT: Madhukar Govindrao Thaware and ors. Vs. Central Bank of India – Court Judgment

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