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19.Application to the Tribunal.- (1) Where a bank or a financial institution has to recover any debt from any person, it may make an application to the Tribunal within the local limits of whose jurisdiction-
(a) the defendant, or each of the defendants where there are more than one, at the time of making the application, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain; or
(b) any of the defendants, where there are more than one, at the time of making the application, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain; or
(c) the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.
(2) Where a bank or a financial institution, which has to recover its debt from any person, has filed an application to the Tribunal under sub-section (1) and against the same person another bank or financial institution also has a claim to recover its debt, then, the later bank or financial institution may join the applicant bank or financial institution at any stage of the proceedings, before the final order is passed, by making an application to that Tribunal.
(3) Every application under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be in such form and accompanied by such documents or other evidence and by such fee as may be prescribed:
PROVIDED that the fee may be prescribed having regard to the amount of debt to be recovered:
PROVIDED FURTHER that nothing contained in this sub-section relating to fee shall apply to cases transferred to the Tribunal under sub-section (1) of section 31.
(4) On receipt of the application under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), the Tribunal shall issue summons requiring the defendant to show cause within thirty days of the service of summons as to why the relief prayed for should not be granted.
(5) The Tribunal shall, at or before the first hearing or within such time as the Tribunal may permit, present a written statement of his defence.
(6) Where the defendant claims to set-off against the applicant's demand any ascertained sum of money legally recoverable by him from such applicant, the defendant may, at the first hearing of the application, but not afterwards unless permitted by the Tribunal, present a written statement containing the particulars of the debt sought to be set-off.
(7) The written statement shall have the same effect as a plaint in a cross-suit so as to enable the Tribunal to pass a final order in respect both of the original claim and of the set-off.
(8) A defendant in an application may, in addition to his right of pleading a set-off under sub-section (6), set up, by way of counter-claim against the claim of the applicant, any right or claim in respect of a cause of action accruing to the defendant against the applicant either before or after the filing of the application but before the defendant has delivered his defence or before the time limited for delivering his defence has expired, whether such counter-claim is in the nature of a claim for damages or not.
(9) A counter-claim under sub-section (8) shall have the same effect as a cross-suit so as to enable the Tribunal to pass a final order on the same application, both on the original claim and on the counter-claim.
(10) The applicant shall be at liberty to file a written statement in answer to the counter-claim of the defendant within such period as may be fixed by the Tribunal.
(11) Where the defendant sets up a counter-claim and the applicant contends that the claim thereby raised ought not to be disposed of by way of counter-claim but in an independent action, the applicant may, at any time before issues are settled in relation to the counter-claim, apply to the Tribunal for an order that such counter-claim may be excluded, the Tribunal may, on the hearing of such application make such order as it thinks fit.
(12) The Tribunal may make an interim order (whether by way of injunction or stay or attachment) against the defendant to debar him from transferring, alienating or otherwise dealing with, or disposing of, any property and assets belonging to him without the prior permission of the Tribunal.
(13) (A) Where, at any stage of the proceedings, the Tribunal is satisfied, by affidavit or otherwise, that the defendant, with intent to obstruct or delay or frustrate the execution of any order for the recovery of debt that may be passed against him,
(i) is about to dispose of the whole or any part of his property; or
(ii) is about to remove the whole or any part of his property from the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Tribunal; or
(iii) is likely to cause any damage or mischief to the property or affect its value by misuse or creating third party interest, the Tribunal may direct the defendant, within a time to be fixed by it, either to furnish security, in such sum as may be specified in the order, to produce and place at the disposal of the Tribunal, when required, the said property or the value of the same, or such portion thereof as may be sufficient to satisfy the certificate for the recovery of debt, or to appear and show cause why he should not furnish security.
(B) Where the defendant fails to show cause why he should not furnish security, or fails to furnish the security required, within the time fixed by the Tribunal, the Tribunal may order the attachment of the whole or such portion of the properties claimed by the applicant as the properties secured in his favour or otherwise owned by the defendant as appears sufficient to satisfy any certificate for the recovery of debt.
(14) The applicant shall, unless the Tribunal otherwise directs, specify the property required to be attached and the estimated value thereof.
(15) The Tribunal may also in the order direct the conditional attachment of the whole or any portion of the property specified under sub-section (14).
(16) If an order of attachment is made without complying with the provisions of sub-section (13), such attachment shall be void.
(17) In the case of disobedience of an order made by the Tribunal under sub-sections (12), (13) and (18) or breach of any of the terms on which the order was made, the Tribunal may order the properties of the person guilty of such disobedience or breach to be attached and may also order such person to be detained in the civil prison for a term not exceeding three months, unless in the meantime the Tribunal directs his release.
(18) Where it appears to the Tribunal to be just and convenient, the Tribunal may, by order,-
(a) appoint a receiver of any property, whether before or after grant of certificate for recovery of debt;
(b) remove any person from the possession or custody of the property;
(c) commit the same to the possession, custody or management of the receiver;
(d) confer upon the receiver all such powers, as to bringing and defending suits in the courts or filing and defending applications before the Tribunal and for the realization, management, protection, preservation and improvement of the property, the collection of the rents and profits thereof, the application and disposal of such rents and profits, and the execution of documents as the owner himself has, or such of those powers as the Tribunal thinks fit; and
(e) appoint a Commissioner for preparation of an inventory of the properties of the defendant or for the sale thereof.
(19) Where a certificate of recovery is issued against a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956, the Tribunal may order the sale proceeds of such company to be distributed among its secured creditors in accordance with the provisions of section 529A of the Companies Act, 1956 and to pay the surplus, if any, to the company.
(20) The Tribunal may, after giving the applicant and the defendant an opportunity of being heard, pass such interim or final order, including the order for payment of interest from the date on or before which payment of the amount is found due up to the date of realisation or actual payment, on the application as it thinks fit to meet the ends of justice.
(21) The Tribunal shall send a copy of every order passed by it to the applicant and the defendant.
(22) The Presiding Officer shall issue a certificate under his signature on the basis of the order of the Tribunal to the Recovery Officer for recovery of the amount of debt specified in the certificate.
(23) Where the Tribunal, which has issued a certificate of recovery, is satisfied that the property is situated within the local limits of the jurisdiction of two or more Tribunals, it may send the copies of the certificate of recovery for execution to such other Tribunals where the property is situated:
PROVIDED that in case where the Tribunal to which the certificate of recovery is sent for execution finds that it has no jurisdiction to comply with the certificate of recovery, it shall return the same to the Tribunal which has issued it.
(24) The application made to the Tribunal under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be dealt with by it as expeditiously as possible and endeavour shall be made by it to dispose of the application finally within one hundred and eighty days from the date of receipt of the application.
(25) The Tribunal may make such orders and give such directions as may be necessary or expedient to give effect to its orders or to prevent abuse of its process or to secure the ends of justice.
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