International Asset Reconstruction Company of India Ltd. vs The Official Liquidator of Aldrich Pharmaceuticals Ltd

International Asset Reconstruction Company of India Ltd. vs The Official Liquidator of Aldrich Pharmaceuticals Ltd. - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2017 - 

 

On 24th October, 2017, in the case of International Asset Reconstruction Company of India Ltd. v. The Official Liquidator of Aldrich Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Others [Civil Appeal No. 16962 of 2017], the question for consideration was whether Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963, can be invoked to condone the prescribed period of 30 days, under Section 30(1) of the Recovery of Debts and Bankruptcy Act, 1993, for preferring an appeal before the Tribunal, against an order of the Recovery officer.


 A three Judge Bench held that “Section 5 of the Limitation Act provides that the appeal or application, with the exception of Order XXI, CPC may be admitted after the prescribed period, if the applicant satisfies the court that he has sufficient cause for not preferring the application within time. The pre-requisite, therefore, is the pendency of a proceeding before a court.” It was held that the proceedings under the Recovery of Debts and Bankruptcy Act (RDB Act) “being before a statutory Tribunal, it cannot be placed at par with proceedings before a court. The Tribunal shall therefore have no powers to condone delay, unless expressly conferred by the Statute creating it.”


 It was held that “the scheme of the RDB Act manifestly provides that the Legislature has provided for application of the Limitation Act to original proceedings before the Tribunal under Section 19 only. The appellate tribunal has been conferred the power to condone delay beyond 45 days under Section 20(3) of the Act. The proceedings before the Recovery officer are not before a Tribunal. Section 24 is limited in its application to proceedings before the Tribunal originating under Section 19 only. The exclusion of any provision for extension of time by the Tribunal in preferring an appeal under Section 30 of the Act makes it manifest that the legislative intent for exclusion was express. The application of Section 5 of the Limitation Act by resort to Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act, 1963 therefore does not arise. The prescribed period of 30 days under Section 30(1) of the RDB Act for preferring an appeal against the order of the Recovery officer therefore cannot be condoned by application of Section 5 of the Limitation Act.” 

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