GA NO.2128 OF 2013
CS NO.240 OF 2013
IN THE HIGH COURT AT CALCUTTA
Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction
ALLAHABAD BANK & ORS.
The Hon'ble JUSTICE PATHERYA
Date : 23rd July, 2013.
MR.R.DEB, SR.ADVOCATE,MR.RAVI KAPOOR,
MR.KIRIT ZAVERI, MRS.S.MUKHERJEE,
MRS.K.BANERJEE, ADVOACTES APPEAR
The Court : In a suit for money decree on account of defamation this application has been filed for interim relief. The case of the petitioner is that borrowings have been made from various banks and due to default in payment proceedings were initiated under the Securitization and Re-construction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002. A public notice has been issued informing the public by the respondent no.1 of the recovery proceedings initiated by it against the petitioner and in doing so photographs have been printed on the said public notice. 2
Imprint of the photographs is not a requirement of the SARFAESI Act. In fact, a similar issue arose for consideration in W.P.No.10315(W) of 2013 and it was held that photographs were nothing but an extra legal means to recover the dues. Therefore, the secured creditors, namely, the banks were restrained from resorting to such publication. Hence, this application has been filed and orders sought. No notice of this application has been served on the respondents as the petitioner apprehends steps prejudicial to his interest will be taken.
Having considered the facts of the case it is quite possible that the petitioner may have taken a loan from the defendants and defaulted in payment of such dues. Proceedings have been initiated and while intimating the public at large by means of a public notice photographs of the guarantors of the borrowers have been imprinted in the notice. Such imprint of photographs is not a requirement of the 2002 Act. The only reason that can be attributed to imprint of such photographs is to deter other banks from lending money to the persons whose photographs have been imprinted or may be an extra legal means to realise sums. In fact, the said issue came up for consideration in W.P. NO.10315(W) of 2013 and after considering the letter of the Deputy General Manager of the Reserve Bank of India so also the 2002 Act, the 3
secured creditors, namely, the banks were restrained by a prohibitory order from taking recourse to publishing photographs. The said order was passed on 3rd May, 2013 while the public notice is dated 23rd June, 2013. Therefore, the judgment and order dated 3rd May, 2013 was well within the knowledge of the respondent no.1 and the photographs could not have been imprinted by it. As there is a threat in the letter of the respondent no.4 to publish photographs of the borrowers as a defaulter in newspaper as will appear form the letter dated 1st July, 2013, let no steps be taken by the respondent no.4 to publish the photographs of the defaulter, the petitioner in any newspaper. The respondent nos.2,3,5,6,7 and 8 are also restrained from publishing photographs of the defaulter petitioner, in the event, the proceedings under the 2002 Act is contemplated. Matter to appear in the list on 29th July, 2013. All parties concerned are to act on a signed photocopy of this order on the usual undertakings.
( PATHERYA, J.)