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Trijugi NaraIn Tewari and ors. Vs. Gorakhpur Kshetriya GramIn Bank and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ Nos. 5588 and 9445 of 1984
Reported inAIR1986All115
ActsUttar Pradesh Agricultural Credit Act, 1973 - Sections 11A; Uttar Pradesh Agricultural Credit (Amendment) Act, 1975; Constitution of India - Article 14
AppellantTrijugi NaraIn Tewari and ors.
RespondentGorakhpur Kshetriya GramIn Bank and anr.
Appellant AdvocateRakesh Dwivedi, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionPetitions dismissed
civil - recovery of loan from agriculturists - section 11a of u.p. agricultural credit act, 1973 - provision for recovery of loans by sending recovery certificate to collector - provides no opportunity to agriculturists to present their view points - object of provision is speedy recovery - held, not ultra vires article 14 of the constitution. - - ' 6. the preamble clearly lays down the object for achieving which the act was passed. the.....k.c. agrawal, j.1. this bunch of writ petitions challenges the validity of section 11a of the u. p. agricultural credit act, 1973 (u. p. act no. 19 of 1973), hereinafter referred to as 'the act' which provides for recovery of loans advanced by a bank to an agriculturist by way of financial assistance. common questions of law are since involved in these cases, we propose to take the writ petitions nos. 9545 of 1984, trijugi narain tewari and ors. v. gorakhpur kshetriya grarain bank and anr., and no. 5588 of 1984, kashmira singh v. state of u. p. and ors., as leading cases. it would suffice to mention the facts of only one of them.2. trijugi narain tewari and others took a loan of rs. 40,000/- from gorakhpur kshetriya gramin bank for purchasing a tractor, on may, 2, 1980. the petitioners.....

K.C. Agrawal, J.

1. This bunch of writ petitions challenges the validity of Section 11A of the U. P. Agricultural Credit Act, 1973 (U. P. Act No. 19 of 1973), hereinafter referred to as 'the Act' which provides for recovery of loans advanced by a Bank to an agriculturist by way of financial assistance. Common questions of law are since involved in these cases, we propose to take the writ petitions Nos. 9545 of 1984, Trijugi Narain Tewari and Ors. v. Gorakhpur Kshetriya Grarain Bank and Anr., and No. 5588 of 1984, Kashmira Singh v. State of U. P. and Ors., as leading cases. It would suffice to mention the facts of only one of them.

2. Trijugi Narain Tewari and others took a loan of Rs. 40,000/- from Gorakhpur Kshetriya Gramin Bank for purchasing a tractor, on May, 2, 1980. The petitioners were required to deposit the entire amount in six monthly instalments. The payment of the last instalment had to be made by December, 1985. Each instalment was of Rs. 4000/-. Out of this, Rs. 13,400/- was paid. Under Rule 27 of U. P. Agricultural Credit Rules, 1975 (hereinafter referred to as the Rules), a recovery certificate was issued for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 50,559.80 paise. This certificate was issued in Form 'F' under Section 11A of the Act. Before issuing the recovery certificate, no other mode of recovery was resorted to.

3. Chapter 4 deals with recovery of dues by Banks. The relevant sections of this Chapter which provide for the same are Sections 10A, 10B, 11 and 11A. The main thrust of the argument of the petitioner was that out of these four sections, the procedure of recovering the loan by sending a recovery certificate to the Collector under Section 11A was more harsh and in the absence of any guide line as to when should the procedure of recovery under Section 11A be resorted to, the same is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

4. Section 10A provides that where a bank has granted any amount of financial assistance to any agriculturist on the charge or mortgage of any land or any interest in such land and later on the bank intends to get the property attached and sold through the civil Court for the recovery of its dues, then any law which provides for any restriction on such attachment and sale shall not be effective and would not prevent the bank from applying for sale of the property mortgaged and utilization of the proceeds towards the satisfaction of the bank dues. Section 10B empowers the bank to apply to the Tahsildar for the distraint and sale of the movables charged in favour of such bank. Section 11 deals with recovery of loan of a bank through an application to a Prescribed Authority. An order which is contemplated to be passed by the Prescribed Authority under Sub-section (1) of Section 11 for sale of the mortgaged property is subject to an appeal under Sub-section (2) of Section 11. Section 11A can be availed by a Bank for recovering the amount of financial assistance without prejudice to the provisions of Sections 10B and 11. What the local principal Officer of the bank is required to do for resorting to Section 11A is to forward to the Collector a certificate of recovery in the manner prescribed, specifying the amount due from the agriculturist, and on receipt of the certificate the Collector shall proceed to recover the amount specified therein together with expenses of recovery, as arrears of land revenue.

5. Section 11A was inserted by U.P. Agricultural Credit (Amendment) Ordinance, 1975, which was promulgated on Jan. 25, 1975. This Ordinance was replaced by U.P. Agricultural Credit (Amendment) Act, 1975 (U.P. Act No. 19 of 1975). If we examine the background which led to the passing of the Act, we find that in September 1969, the Reserve Bank of India appointed an Expert Group under the Chairmanship of Sri R.K. Talwar, Chairman, State Bank of India, for studying the question of lending by commercial banks to agriculturists. The Expert Group suggested certain measures and also drafted Model Bill. The U. P. Agricultural Credit Act, 1973, was passed on the said Model Bill.

The Preamble of this Act recites :

'An Act to make provisions to facilitate adequate flow of credit for the agricultural production and development through banks and other institutional credit agencies, and for matters connected there with or incidental thereto.'

6. The Preamble clearly lays down the object for achieving which the Act was passed. The aim was to help the agriculturists and to keep the money in circulation. For this purpose, the procedure relating to recovery of the loans advanced had also been laid down. The object of advancing loans was not to give to the agriculturists by way of subsidy but way of help. The agriculturists were required to return the amount to the Bank from which loans were taken so that the amounts did not get blocked up. The procedure of recovery had to be made as funds for distribution to agriculturists were limited. The commercial banks were required to render financial assistance to agriculturists to enable them to meet their requirements and thereafter to return the same in instalments. To secure payment of loans, the legislature by this Act amended the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act and made provision for creation of charge on land in favour of a bank by declaration.

7. In 1975, when the working of the Act was reviewed, the U.P. Agricultural Credit (Amendment) Act, 1975, was passed. The Statement of Objects and Reasons appended to the said Act states :

'With a view to securing adequate flow of credit for agricultural production and development through commercial Banks and other institutional credit agencies, the Uttar Pradesh Agricultural Credit Act was passed in the year 1973. But the working of the Act revealed certain legal and practical difficulties. The problem of rural financing is complex as well as varied. The scheduled banks dealing in agricultural credit made a number of suggestions for the improvement in the provisions of the Act. The Government of India also suggested certain amendments. The present Bill for the amendment of the U. P. Agricultural Credit Act, 1973, has accordingly been prepared after consulting the representatives of the banks and after considering other suggestions received by the State Government.'

8. The aforesaid statement gives us an idea about the purpose of the Amending Act 19 of 1975 by which amongst others, Section 11A was inserted.

9. By referring to Sections 10A and 11 of the Act, the petitioners urged that loanees would have an opportunity to put forward their cases in support of their assertions. In the proceedings under Section 10A they could go to the Court and get their grievances examined by a Judicial Officer who would determine the amount due. Section 11 requires the bank to approach the Prescribed Authority for recovering the amount. The Proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 11 requires the Prescribed Authority to apply its mind after giving an opportunity to the petitioner. Here again, there is an independent application of mind aloof from the bias application of mind by the bank. Under Sub-section (2), the order of the Prescribed Authority is subject to appeal, which is provided by Section 12 of the Act. On the basis of these provisions, the petitioners claimed that they will have opportunity to put forward their cases and to dispute the claim of the bank, but no such right has since been given by Section 11A, they would be deprived of putting forward their view points and agitate the question that the amount stated in fhe recovery certificate is not due. Counsel urged that the power conferred by Section 11A is arbitrary in its operation in as much whatever is stated in the recovery certificate to be issued, the Collector will be bound to recover the same, and even if the amounts mentioned are incorrect no one would have a chance or opportunity to show to the Collector about the incorrectness of the same.

10. Counsel urged that the discrimination which is prohibited by Article 14 is treatment in a manner prejudicial as compared with another person similarly situated by the adoption of a law, substantive or procedural, different from the one applicable to another person.

11. We have already analysed Sections 11 and 11A. Under Section 11 proceedings are initiated before the Prescribed Authority in respect of immovable property which is the subject-matter of charge and mortgage alone. An order of sale of the said property alone can be made by the Prescribed Authority, whereas under Section 11A proceedings are commenced before the Collector in respect of any property, whether movable or immovable. While making the recovery, the Collector can adopt one or more of the methods for recovery provided by Section 279 of U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act. Two methods can be simultaneously adopted. For availing Section 11A, certificate of recovery is to be sent in Form 'F' to the Collector. It has to be signed by the Officer-in-charge of the bank.

12. Counsel, as observed above, did not only challenge that the procedure of recovery under Section 11A is more harsh than the one contemplated by Section 11, but also urged that there being wide discretion in the bank authorities, the bank dues by adopting the procedure provided for sale of the mortgaged property under Section 11 in one case while in another harsh procedure of recovery provided for by Section 11A may be undergone.

13. In Director of Industries, U.P. v. Deep Chand, AIR 1980 SC 801, the validity of Section 3 of U. P. Public Moneys (Recovery of Dues) Act, 1965 (Act 25 of 1965) providing speedier remedy for recovery of government dues came up for consideration before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held that the procedure of speedier remedy was not violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. In that case, U. P. Financial Corporation took resort to Section 3 of U. P. Act 25 of 1965 for recovering the advances. The challenge to the adoption of speedier remedy was made on the basis of Article 14 of the Constitution on the ground that the State Government had two remedies available to it in law, one by way of suit for recovery of the mortgaged money and another under the Act which authorised it to recover the amounts due as if they were arrears of land revenue, and that the remedy under the Act was more onerous than a suit.

14. The Supreme Court upheld the validity by holding that the State Government was not like ordinary bankers. It used to advance loans in order to assist the people financially in establishing an industry in the State. The amounts were payable in easy instalments and as the amounts invested had to be made available to the public, the State Government had to get the same recovered expeditiously. In the instant case also, if we were to apply the ratio of the Supreme Court judgment we will find the position to be exactly the same. For conferring help to agriculturists, the present Act was passed. The amounts are advanced on easy terms with a view to diversify credit to the neglected agricultural sector so that they could boost up the rural economy and production. It is based on the principle of maximum happiness of maximum number of people. Agricultural production cannot be stepped up unless more and more people are provided financial aid by commercial banks and other financial institutions. As the experience showed that advances made by the banks were not being returned in time and a number of difficulties were being created, the provision of Section 11A was enacted. As a result of recovery, money will remain in circulation and a larger number of people would be helped, otherwise tendency was to take advances on easy terms and not to return the same, as a result of which the same used to get blocked up. It was with the object of avoiding the usual delay in recovering the amount that the machinery of realization of the amount due under the mortgage deed as it were an arrear of land revenue was provided.

15. Dealing with the question that the power of realization by resorting to recovery as arrears of land revenue was capable of being abused, the Supreme Court held in the above case in para 7 as under :

'It is no doubt true that there is no express provision in the Act containing such guidelines. That, however, in the circumstances of the case is not sufficient to hold that Section 3 of the impugned Act confers arbitrary power on the State Government and makes a hostile discrimination. Under Section 3 of the Act, the Collector can proceed to realize the amount due as arrears of land revenue only on the basis of a certificate issued by an officer as may be authorised in that behalf by the State Government mentioning the sum due from any person referred to therein. Such officer is expected ordinarily to avail himself of the speedier remedy provided under the statute. We are of the view that the Act which is passed with the object of providing a speedier remedy itself provides sufficient guidance to the officer concerned as to when he should resort to the remedy provided by it..... Even normally one cannot imagine an officer having the choice of two procedures, one which enables him to get possession of the property quickly and the other which would be a prolonged one, to resort to the latter. Administrative Officers, no less than the Courts, do not function in a vacuum. It would be extremely unreal to hold that an administrative officer would in taking proceedings for eviction of unauthorized occupants of Government property or Municipal property resort to the procedure prescribed by the two Acts in one case and to the ordinary Civil Court in the other. The provisions of these two Acts cannot be struck down on the fanciful theory that power would be exercised in such an unrealistic fashion. In considering whether the officers would be discriminating between one set of persons and another, one has got to take into account normal human behaviour and not behaviour which is abnormal. It is not every fancied possibility of discrimination but the real risk of discrimination that we must take into account.'

16. In State of U. P. v. Bhupat, AIR 1984 SC 1828, the provisions of Sections 3, 4, 5 and 7 of U. P. Public Land (Eviction and Recovery of Rentand Damages) Act, 1959 were challenged on the ground that the provisions of the Act for recovery of possession and damages by means of summary proceedings were ultra vires Article 14 of the Constitution inasmuch as the said procedure was arbitrary, having not provided any guidelines as to when the same was to be adopted in preference to a civil suit. The Supreme Court repelled the argument by referring to its earlier decisions given in Jai Dutt v. State of U. P., AIR 1979 SC 1303 and Maganlal Chhaganlal (P) Ltd. v. Municipal Board of Greater Bombay, AIR 1974 SC 2009. In fact, the first decision was that of Maganlal Chhaganlal (supra). In this case, what was said by the Supreme Court in para 38 was as under :

'What is necessary to attract the inhibition of Article 14 is that there must be substantial and qualitative differences between the two procedures so that one is substantially and really more drastic and prejudicial than the other and not mere superfine differences which is this imperfect world of fallible human instruments are bound to exist when two procedures are prescribed. We should avoid dogmatic and finical approach when handling life's flexible realities.'

17. In State of U.P. v. Surain Singh, AIR 1985 SC 930, which dealt with the validity of U. P. Public Land (Eviction and Recovery of Rent and Damages) Act, 1959 (Act No. XIII of 1959), the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the High Court which had held the above Act to be invalid and while doing so the Supreme Court observed.

'Besides, it was found that the procedure under the Act under consideration was not so harsh and onerous as to suggest a discrimination under Article 14.'

18. In laying down the law to the above effect, the Supreme Court had emphasised that the preamble lays down the purpose behind them, that is, the problems belonging to the Corporation and the Government should be subjected to speedy procedure in the matter of evicting unauthorised persons occupying them. This was regarded by the Supreme Court as sufficient guidelines for the authorities to take action and indication for the officers to avail themselves of the procedure prescribed by the Act, and not resort to dilatory procedure of the ordinary civil Courts. On that ground, the Supreme Court held that the provision providing for summary remedy could not be struck down on the possibility of discrimination. The Supreme Court observed :

'It could not be..... The Act could not be struck down on the possibility of discrimination between occupiers of the Municipal Board and government properties and if it happened, the Court was not powerless.'

19. We have already referred to the object and purpose of the Amending Act by which Section 11A was added. To recapitulate, the object, was early recovery of moneys given to agriculturists by way of financial assistance. This procedure was provided as experience had shown that despite Section 11, moneys were being held up. Consequently, Section 11A was inserted which provided for various modes of recovery by the Collector as arrears of land revenue. Recovery of dues as arrears of land revenue is a speedier way or method to recover the amount claimable from the persons from whom recoveries are being made. A citizen has a right of equal treatment, but he in the garb of equal treatment cannot be permitted not to pay the government dues or public money. A defaulter has no right to prolong the proceedings of recovery which, in fact, appears to be the purpose of the argument advanced for declaring Section 11A to be void on the ground of Article 14 of the Constitution.

20. In Ram Narain Agrawal v. State of U.P., AIR 1984 SC 1213, the recovery of sales tax dues was started as arrears of land revenue under the provisions of U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act and the Rules framed thereunder. The Supreme Court elaborately has dealt with the provisions of the Rules and found that recovery of money is done only after service of a notice on the defaulter. In that view and taking that fact into account as well as the fact that public moneys have to be recovered expeditiously in public interest, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of Sections 279(1)(b) and Section 281 of U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act and Rules 247, 247A, 247B and 251 of the Rules. It found that these provisions were not violative of Articles 14, 19(1)(d) and 21 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court emphasised that the authority before whom a recovery certificate is submitted for recovering the amount as arrears of land revenue is expected to use his discretion in each case in adopting any one or more of the several processes mentioned in Section 279 of U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act for the purpose of recovering the public dues.

21. From what we have said above, we find that to achieve the object and recover public dues earlier, the procedure provided by Section 11A cannot be held to be ultra vires Article 14 of the Constitution. It may be noted here that the primary rule of interpretation of any enactment is to interpret it according to the 'intent' of the legislature which enacted it. Of course, if the legislature has expressed its intention in clear language, no question as to its supposed intention would be permissible. It is settled that the Objects and Reasons of a Bill, particularly when it is an Amending Bill, can be looked into and considered for finding the intention and the meaning of the words used in the amending provision. Because an amending statute 'gives (comes?) freighted with the meaning imparted to it by the mischief to be remedied.....' (See Duparquet v. Evans, (1935) 80 Law Ed 591 (594)). This is why in interpreting a constitution Amending Act the Statement of Objects and Reasons is admissible to show the mischief which the legislature sought to be remedied by the amendment (See Vajravelu v. Spl. Deputy Collector, AIR 1965 SC 1017). This proposition of law is so well settled that we consider it unnecessary to refer to the decisions on the same. We find that if the object of the Amending Act bringing Section 11A is kept into account, no doubt, would be left about the speedier recovery of loans, which purpose was not to be achieved by Section 11 of the Act. Section 11A was intended to achieve some more what Section 11 could do.

22. Learned counsel for the petitioners urged that in Maganlal Chhaganlal (P) Ltd. v. Municipal Board of Greater Bombay, (AIR 1974 SC 2009) (supra) and Director of Industries, U.P. v. Deep Chand, (AIR 1980 SC 801) (supra) the questions involved were different and, therefore, the said cases are distinguishable. In those cases the validity of an Act providing for eviction from Government premises as well as the validity of an Act providing for recovery of loans as arrears of land revenue was challenged on the ground of Article 14 of the Constitution. The question was that in those cases the authorities have right to proceed under the general remedy of suit as well as the special remedy for summary eviction/recovery of arrears. It was alleged that since there was no guideline prescribed in those cases for the exercise of discretion by the authority under the Act, the provisions were violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. According to the petitioners' counsel it was in this context that the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the Act in those cases. The ratio was that the government premises as well as the state dues, according to the counsel, formed special class. For this special class, counsel argued that special remedy could be provided. Relying on Para 15 of the judgment of Maganlal Chhaganlal (supra), counsel argued that, in fact, the said case supports the petitioners, because in the present case the Act provides for a more drastic proceeding in the shape of Section 11A and at the same time a milder procedure in the shape of Sections 10A, 10B, and 11, without there being any guidelines as to the class of cases in which any of the aforesaid fourfold procedures were to be resorted to. For this submission, counsel relied on The State of Orissa v. Dhirendra Nath Dass, AIR 1961 SC 1715, (para 3), Banarsi Das v. Cane Commr., AIR 1963 SC 1417, (paras 24, 28 to 31), Suraj Mall Mohta v. A. V. Shastri, AIR 1954 SC 545 and Manna Lal v. Collector of Jhalawar, AIR 1961 SC 828.

23. In State of Maharashtra v. Kamal, AIR 1985 SC 119, instances of discriminatory declarations were given. It is true that abuse of power is not to be inferred lightly but experience belies the expectation that discretionary powers are always exercised fairly and objectively. In fact, instances of discriminatory declarations made by the competent authority were cited in the High Court to which, according to the High Court, no satisfactory answer was given in the return filed on behalf of the State Government.

24. In this connection, counsel also referred to a number of cases of the Supreme Court where the power is absolutely irrespective of the fact that the same has been conferred on higher authority. The decisions cited are : State of Maharashtra v. Mrs. Kamal Sukumar Durgule, AIR 1985 SC 119, State of Punjab v. Khan Chand, AIR 1974 SC 543 (paras 4, 8 and 9), Surendra Kumar v. State of Bihar, AIR 1985 SC 87.

25. We have considered the above cases but are unable to find anything in them which may help the petitioners in support of their submission that Section 11A is ultra vires Article 14 of the Constitution. Out of the two Sections 11 and 11A, if Section 11A was provided with a view to lay down a more speedier method of recovery, the same could be resorted to and the provision of providing for speedier remedy is itself a guideline, as was said in the cases already referred to by us. It is needless to mention them again. The submission made by the learned counsel was that since Section 11 also provided for summary remedy, Section 11A in the absence of guidelines would be arbitrarily resorted to. This loses sight of the fact that experience had shown to the legislature that despite Section 11 there were a number of hurdles in recovering the loans and public dues. It was for this purpose that the legislature provided in Section 11A that the dues could be recovered as arrears of land revenue. If Section 11 is as good a remedy as Section 11A, one fails to understand the insistence of persons like the present petitioners to recover the amount by resorting to Section 11 and not by Section 11A. Section 11A provides for different modes of recovery, including as against a guarantor, which methods are not available under Section 11. If public moneys are not paid within the agreed time, the same would get blocked resulting in depriving many others who could be given the financial assistance for achieving the object with which the provision of the U. P. Agricultural Credit Act, 1973, was made. The Act intends to benefit the maximum number and that purpose would be completely defeated if recoveries are made impossible by the defaulter by taking resort to adoption of dilatory tactics. It appears that litigants think that they have a right to prolong litigations and thus recoveries of moneys taken by them on loans. It is this unfortunate aspect of the matter which has prompted the persons like the petitioners to advance argument that Section 11A is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. As to the right of a defaulter, the Supreme Court in Khazan Chand v. State, AIR 1984 SC 762 has said as under :

'A person who does not pay the amount of tax lawfully and admittedly due by him can hardly complain of the measures adopted by the State to compel him to pay such amount. It neither lies in the defaulter's mouth to protest against the rate of interest charged to him nor is it open to him to dictate to the State the methods which it should adopt for recovering the amount of tax due from him.'

26. In Manna Lal v. Collector of Jhalawar, AIR 1961 SC 828 (para 11), need for recovery of public dues expeditiously was emphasised. The Supreme Court held in that case that the amounts could be recovered by the State of Rajasthan after the bank belonging to the princely State of Jhalawar had merged with the State. Its moneys and assets became that of the State of Rajasthan. To the same effect is the view taken in Lachhman Das v. State of Punjab, (1963) 2 SCR 353 : (AIR 1963 SC 222).

27. Section 11A lays down that where any amount of financial assistance is granted by a bank to an agriculturist and the same is not paid together with interest on the due date, then without prejudice to the provisions of Sections 11B and 11, the local principal officer of the bank, by whatever name called, may forward to the Collector a certificate in the manner prescribed specifying the amount d ue from the agriculturist. The right to issue a certificate has been given to a principal officer who obviously is more responsible than others. He would be required to see himself about the correctness of the amount which is being sought to be recovered as arrears of land revenue. The Certificate Officer has to be satisfied firstly that the demand was recoverable and secondly, that it is not barred by time. It is, however, not required by the section that the Certificate Officer must record the reasons or the basis of his satisfaction in the matter.

28. It was urged by the counsel for the petitioners that the discretion conferred on the principal officer is absolute and is capable of being misused. In that connection, counsel emphasised for the need of being given an opportunity of hearing. We find no merit in this submission. The discretion must at last be reposed somewhere. The best, and in many cases, the only security is the wisdom and integrity of public servants. The Government cannot administer without committing powers in trust and confidence. If we consider and take into account the fact that the amount which is sought to be recovered is on the basis of entries in the books of account of the bank which offers financial assistance and evidence of the same is in the shape of a pass book given to every agriculturist, no confusion would arise on this account. The amounts paid from time to time and interest which accrues thereon are entered in the pass books. These pass books are always in possession of the agriculturists. If an agriculturist has any doubt about the correctness of the pass books and the entries made therein, he has only to contact the bank. Pass Book repeats the entries entered in the ledger. That being so, no bank is likely to claim the amount arbitrarily and capriciously. Sometime it may happen that the amount claimed is more than what it is due, in that event such a person can always contact the bank and get his doubt removed. Seeing in this background, one would be left to believe that the point of not being given opportunity of hearing by the bank is devoid of substance. We know of no authority to pronounce a provision of the Act to be void if it is within general scope of the constitutional powers of the Legislature only because in the opinion of the Court it was contrary to the principles of natural justice.

29. Under the Act financial aid is given by nationalised banks or co-operative societies, Co-operative societies while carrying on their activities in various fields do serve a great public purpose of attaining the social and economic welfare of a large section of the people belonging to the general class by encouraging self help and mutual help and by eliminating the middle men do form a distinct group different from other bodies engaged in similar activities on commercial lines. Profit element is maintained at a reasonable level. Similar is the position of the nationalised banks. The Government of India has major interest in them. It gives directions through the Reserve Bank of India from time to time. We, therefore, find that co-operative societies as well as the nationalised banks form distinct and separate group man others. Both of them are engaged in activities other than those by commercial undertakings of other financial institution, over which the Government of India has no control. Consequently, recovery of moneys advanced by them could be lawfully made as arrears of land revenue.

30. Making of provision for recovery of the dues belonging to the aforesaid bodies as arrears of land revenue is within the legislative competence as was held by this Court in Rais Ahmad v. Collector, Allahabad (1984) 10 All LR 303 : (1984 All U 768). This enactment appears to us to be covered by the State List. President's assent was obtained to Act No. 19 of 1973on 17-10-1973. Assent to the Amending Act No. 19of 1975 was also received from the President on 31-3-1975. It was published in the gazette the same day.

31. An Act can be said to be within the competence of the State Legislature by virtue of Entries 30 and 43 of List II and Entry 6 of List III. The definition of the word 'Bank' as given in Section 2(c) is very wide. It includes various Scheduled Banks, the State Bank and other financial institutions, besides co-operative societies and other banks as defined by the Banking Regulations Act, 1949.

32. So far as the loan of banking and other institutions falling in the former class is concerned, it will certainly fall within 'public debt of the State'. It was so held in Manna Lal v. Collector of Jhalawar (AIR 1961 SC 828) (supra) and Lachhman Das v. State of Punjab, (AIR 1963 SC 222) (supra). In Fateh Chand v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1977 SC 1825, this Entry was widely interpreted in para 54of the said judgment. The same view was adopted in Pathumma v. State of Kerala, AIR 1978 SC 771 (paras 57 and 59) in the concurring opinion. The President's assent had to be obtained because of Entry 45 of List I, Entry 45 (Banking) and Entry 46, and also because of Entries 6 and 43 of List III.

33. It was next argued that in the absence of a provision for appeal against the issuance of recovery proceedings under Section 11A by the principal officer of the Bank, the said provision has to be held to be ultra vires Article 14 of the Constitution. In support of his argument, counsel relied on Suraj Mall Mohta & Co. v. A.V. Shastri, (AIR 1954 SC 545) (supra) and State of Orissa v. Dhirendra Das, (AIR 1961 SC 1715) (supra). In the former case the Supreme Court struck down Sub-section (4) of Section 5 of the Taxation on Income (Investigation Commission) Act, 1947, holding it ultra vires inasmuch as it deprived a person with a valuable right of appeal which was available to him under the Income-tax Act, whereas in the latter case the Supreme Court struck down the Tribunal Rules as it did not provide for a right toappeal as prescribed under the service rules.

34. We do not find any substance in this argument we have already held that issuing of recovery certificate in the instant case did not call for any opportunity of hearing to be given to a person as against whom the same is issued. For similar reasons and for the fact that mere absence of a corrective machinery by way of appeal or revision by itself would not make the power unreasonable or arbitrary, much less would render the provision invalid, we find no merit in this submission. In Babu Bhai and Co. v. State of Gujarat, (1985) 2 SCC 732 : (AIR 1985 SC 613), the Supreme Court repelled a similar contention.

35. Section 11A ensures application of mind on the part of the principal officer of the bank before issuing a recovery certificate The defaulter, from whom recovery is to be made, has the evidence of the amount paid by him in his possession. In such a case, there could be no point in providing for an appeal Such is the position in all cases where recovery certificates are issued for recovering the due as arrears of land revenue. In support of his contention, counsel relied upon the decisions which have been referred to by us above Those decisions are distinguishable. Absence of appellate review, in our opinion, in no way militated against the justice and reasonableness of the provisions and, therefore, the argument of arbitrariness on this score was untenable The Supreme Court has laid down the tests which will have to be applied while testing the absence of the provision of appeal on the anvil of Article 14 of the Constitution in Babu Bhai and Co. v. State of Gujarat (supra). Applying the tests in the instant case, we find ourselves unable to hold Section 11A to be ultra vires Article 14 of the Constitution on that ground.

36. In Jagannath Prasad v. State of U. P., AIR 1961 SC 1245 and State of Orissa v. Bidyabhushan, AIR 1963 SC 779, the Supreme Court held that absence of the provision of appeal, where two procedures are provided, will not attract Article 14 of the Constitution. In Jagannath Prasad's case (supra) two alternative procedures for conducting enquiry against a police officer were available, one under Regulation 490 of the Police Regulations and the other under Rules 8 and 9 of the U.P. Disciplinary Proceedings (Administrative Tribunal) Rules, and no appeal was available under the Tribunal Rules, whereas such appeal was provided under the Police Regulations. The Supreme Court held that there was no discrimination. In State of Orissa v. Bidyabhushan (supra) two sets of rules for conducting enquiry against a non-gazetted officer were available, one under the Tribunal Rules and the other under Rule 55 of the C.C.S. (CCA) Rules. The Tribunal Rules defined misconduct more precisely while C.C.A. Rules are somewhat vague. The Tribunal Rules do not set out the punishments as in the case of C.CA. Rules. Provision for appeal was not available under the Tribunal Rules. The Supreme Court held that it was not discriminatory. In State of Madras v. G. Sundaram, AIR 1965 SC 1103, the Supreme Court held that where two alternative procedures against a police Inspector, one under the Tribunal Rulesand the other under the Madras District Police Act were a vailable, absence of a provision for appeal was not discriminatory.

37. Counsel for the petitioners emphasised following the decision in Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, AIR 1978 SC 597, that the procedure is also required to be fair, just and reasonable, and no arbitrary or whimsical. According to the learned counsel these are components of fairness and as in the instant case recovery will be made of money without fairness, the same is invalid. We are unable to accept the submission. We have given various reasons for upholding Section 11A. The proposition of law as advanced by the learned counsel is not disputed. To us, it appears that the procedure is not unreasonable and arbitrary. It is fair just and reasonable. Therefore, Section 11A cannot be struck down on the ground that it does not take care of procedural fairness.

38. The last argument of the learned counsel was about the collection charges which he submitted that the State is not empowered to realise. We are unable to accept this submission. Sub-section (3) of Section 11A provides that the amount due to the Bank shall be paid after deducting the expenses of recovery and satisfying any government dues or other prior charges. Rule 29, which has been made under Section 11A, and Section 25 of the Act, lay down as to how the amount recovered shall be utilised. The first preference is about the meeting of expenses of recovery which would be at the rate of ten per cent on the amount of the claim. Counsel urged that this fixation at ten per cent is arbitrary. We do not find any merit in this submission. The maximum fixed is ten per cent Fixation of the same was within the rule making power of the State Government. Similar adjustment of ten per cent as collection charges is to be found in the U. P. Zamindari Abolition Rules. If a person has defaulted and the government is thrown to the remedy of recovering it as arrears of land revenue, one fails to understand as to why should the collection charges be not realised from such a person.

39. Sri S.N. Verma, learned counsel appearing for the State Bank of India in one of these cases, pointed out to us that repeated notices are issued by the Bank before issuing recovery certificate under Section 11A. If despite these notices, payments of loans are not made and money is spent in collection of the same, no exception to recovery of collection charges can be taken.

40. In a writ petition this Court cannot go into the merits of the controversy as to whether a person taking loan should have been granted further instalments and recovery should not have been made due to personal and individual difficulties of the defaulters. In our opinion, the High Court cannot do so. Judicial review is no method of enquiring into the wisdom, expectancy or reasonableness of administrative acts. It is true that administrative decisions cannot be unreasonable or, at least, not so unreasonable that no reasonable authority could have arrived at that decision. This is one facet of perversity. But, it is unreasonable to think that because the Court disagrees with the view taken by the Administrative Officer in the matter before it, that must necessarily be thought to be unreasonable.

It has been said by Marshall Justice that Judicial Power is never exercised for the purpose of giving effect to the will of the Judge, always for the purpose of giving effect to the will of the legislature, or, in other words, to the will of the law. The legislature under the Act provided for the decision of the Certificate Officer to be final. If a bank has decided to recovery the amount as arrears of land revenue, this Court cannot interfere with the same when nothing illegal is found with the recovery. Whether more instalments should have been given is a question to be decided by the Bank, and not by the Court.

For these reasons, the writ petitions fail and are dismissed with costs. The stay order in both the petitions are discharged.

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