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Court fees in karnataka to file a damages suit

(Querist) 17 June 2020 This query is : Resolved 
I Intend to file a Damages Suit against the Bank for wrongfully giving Paper Publication and projecting me as a defaulter. I am a retired bank employee inflicted with Compulsory Retirement during Sept 2016 . The bank caused inordinate delay in settlement of my retirement dues. The staff housing loan availed by me became NPA and the bank proceeded with SARFAESI Act. They gave a paper publication(despite my requests) about the Possession notice in Times of India newspaper during October 2019.I obtained stay order from DRT Bengaluru and the recovery action was stopped. Now, the bank has settled all my retirement dues including Arrears of Pension and Commutation. The housing loan is closed out of these funds. I have not approached any court for settlement of Pension. Some intelligent and well informed people have advised me to claim damages from the bank for wrongful paper publication. I would like to know what is the court fees and other charges payable in Karnataka to file a damages suit against the bank for Rs 20 lakhs. Please inform Sir.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 17 June 2020
You took housing loan from the Bank and defaulted the installment. There was no condition of the loan that you can default EMI if your terminal benefits are not paid.
You defaulted, as per RBI guidelines, the loan turned NPA. In such case, Bank was justified in proceeding under SARFAESI Act.
The loan has been adjusted; matter is over. Do not find there is enough ground to proceed for damages in the given situation.
However, stamp charges are state matter, discuss with local lawyer.
P. Venu (Expert) 17 June 2020
The facts posted suggest no ground for seeking damages on account of the paper publication.
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 17 June 2020
I am also of the similar view that there are no convincing facts to move ahead as you desire so subsequent question of the procedure do not arise.
Dr J C Vashista (Expert) 18 June 2020
Well analysed and advised by experts, I concur and appreciate.
No case is made out to claim damages.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 18 June 2020
Author has termed it as wrongful publication, how it was wrongful has not mentioned?

Proposed damages is 20 lacks, What was amount of loan?

Why the terminal benefits were held / delayed / not paid in time by the Bank?

Why compulsory retirement was given, whether it was result of some disciplinary proceeding conclusion?

If so what type of charges were there?

Whether author requested in writing to permit him to continue with the housing loan after retirement, if so what was the decision of the management?

Has he submitted to bank his source of future income to repay such loan after retirement?

As a retired Banker, whether author can refer any provision under which Bank can suppress / hide an account for not declaring it as NPA.

It is fact no Bank can take such risk by overlooking RBI guidelines.
Kasturi S (Querist) 18 June 2020
The loan availed was Rs 20 lakhs at Staff Concession Rate.
Compulsory Retirement was given as a result of a disciplinary action during September 2016. Later the Bank in which i was working was merged with State Bank of India on 01-04-2017. For Compulsory Retired employees the bank does not permit to continue the staff loans after retirement.
The bank has not assigned any reason for the delay in settlement of retirement benefits.
Had the bank settled my retirement benefits on time, the housing loan would not have become NPA. While availing the loan the bank had marked lien on the terminal benefits to ensure closure of the loan account in case of Retirement/cessation of service. The authorized officer who issued Possession notice and paper publication was very well aware that my retirement benefits are not yet settled. I believe that the bank has acted recklessly and the paper publication has harmed my reputation. Please enlighten Sir.
Asgher Mahdi (Expert) 18 June 2020
A futile excercise , wrong advise given to claim nothing can be done.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 18 June 2020
Probably after decision of compulsory retirement Bank was waiting whether any appeal is filed or not from you before releasing retirement benefit.

You should have approached Bank in writing to postpone recovery till retirement benefits are released.

There seems very limited chances of success of getting damages if case filed.
Kasturi S (Querist) 18 June 2020
Thank you Sri Rajendra Goyal Sir.
P. Venu (Expert) 18 June 2020
Certainly, possibility or probability of appeal could not reason for non-release of retirement benefits. There could be other reasons which, the author alone is in a position to disclose.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 18 June 2020
You are welcome, may revert in case of further question on the query.
venkatesh Rao (Expert) 18 June 2020
It is a double edged weapon to file suit for damages. Existing fact suggest that suit , if filed, must fail. Then, the bank may sue for damages.
Kasturi S (Querist) 19 June 2020
The monthly salary was the only source of Repayment for the Housing Loan. After the punishment of Compulsory Retirement, salary stopped and therefore I could not pay the loan as I do not have any other income source. Retirement benefits were not settled on time. The Bank has a right to adjust the loans from the retirement benefits. By delaying the settlement, the bank has allowed the housing loan to deteriorate and then proceeded with recovery action and Paper publication. Now the loan is closed by releasing Pension Arrears and Commutation. Is it not unwanted action by the Bank . Can the bank act arbitrarily ? Please advise Sir.
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 19 June 2020
No wrong action has been initiated on the part of the bank. There was no such term that the repayment shall only be made out of the retirement benefits while granting you loan even though the arrears of retirement benefits were on lien to the bank. Bank has adopted a procedural approach in your case. Belatedly issuance of the retirement benefits gives you a separate cause of action to proceed against the bank but not in the manner you think.
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 19 June 2020
You have wrongly been advised by some persons to initiate action as you posted here.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 19 June 2020
Why the retirement benefits were delayed, whether some other matter was pending for decision?
Retirement benefits are released by other centralized department in SBI which generally take 1-2 months after receipt of full documents. Papers for normal retirement are called aprox. 5-6 months before due date of retirement. It seems you were suspended during departmental inquiry; you did not care to pay EMI from subsistence allowance and the loan turned NPA. After clearance from Disciplinary action cell 2-3 months’ time is normal for release of benefits. Till than the default was considerable.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 19 June 2020
It seems baseless that delay was intentional, you being an employee know the procedure and time taken in process.
Bank had the right to recover from Primary security (House) primarily. It proceeded accordingly under SARFAECI Act.
There is certain restriction for recovery from terminal benefits, after your consent, it seems, it was recovered.
There seem to be less chances of success if proceed against the Bank.
P. Venu (Expert) 19 June 2020
The question is, whether there were any reason for the inordinate delay in release of retirement benefits? You are yet to post information on this aspect.

If not, there is cause of action on that ground. Recoveries at the time of retirement could be effected from gratuity. In fact, gratuity is released only only on receipt of no due certificate from the concerned authority.
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 19 June 2020
Pendancy of disciplinary proceedings against the author is a strong valid reason before the banker for non-releasing of the compulsory retirement benefits. Whatever it may be, the regular payment of the loan amount is the responsibility of the borrower whatever his status may be, There is no immunity to follow this general law under the garb of the non-release of the retirement benefits in time.
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 19 June 2020
Separate remedy lies before the author to initiate his action against the banker if he is satisfied that it took considerable and unncessary time in releasing the said benefits. Both the issues cannot be clubbed and even if clubbed for the sake of argument, even then there is no case of defamation.
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 19 June 2020
Suit for damages also is not admissible in the given facts. Even if you initiate, it shall become a futile exercise and loss of money and energy. You may try for that.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 20 June 2020
The loan installment are payable in accordance to the loan agreement. Staff is having benefit in rate of interest and have no benefit in regard to timely payment of installment. Such delay can be permitted by competent authority in writing on receipt of such request subject to guidelines.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 20 June 2020
When decision of compulsory retirement was conveyed and when applied for payment of retirement benefits.

For how much period the EMI was not paid in time?

How much time was taken by the Bank in releasing retirement benefits after applying?

When the notice under SARFACEI was served?

Whether applied in writing to defer the recovery till retirement benefits paid, if yes, what was the reply?

Whether getting any pension after compulsory retirement?

If yes, whether applied to continue the part of loan after retirement as per Bank guidelines.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 20 June 2020
Bank has simply followed RBI guidelines in a lawful manner for recovery of its loan amount. They are not responsible for own fault of author default in repayment of loan.
Still if want to proceed, may search the court fee online or ask from some local lawyer.
Kasturi S (Querist) 20 June 2020
I was placed under Suspension during November 2014. After completion of the enquiry, Compulsory Retirement punishment was given on September 2016. I appealed against the punishment which was also rejected by the Appellate authority during May 2017. Meanwhile, my bank was merged with State Bank of India on 01-04-2017. The bank has paid subsistence allowance during the suspension period and the housing loan installment was also recovered from this. All the staff loans availed by me were regular up to Sept 2016. I have written a few letters to the bank and requested for settlement of retirement dues . I was orally informed that since my service file and leave records were misplaced , there is delay. There was no credits in the loan account from Oct 2016 to March 2018 and the accounts was NPA . The bank has not taken any action in this period. Gratuity and PF was released during April 2018 ( after a delay of 18 months from CRS ) which was fully adjusted to Car loan, Demand loan, Overdraft and the balance amount was credited to the housing loan, thereby regularizing it . The bank classified the housing loan account as NPA during August 2018, issued demand notice under SARFAESI Act but did not proceed further. The bank once again issued a SARFAESI demand notice during August 2019 and immediately after the expiry of 60 days issued Possession Notice and Paper Publication. I obtained stay order from DRT, Bengaluru and stalled the recovery action. The bank released PL Encashment during December 2019 which is fully credited to the housing loan and now I have received Pension Arrears from Oct 2016 and commutation. The housing loan is closed now. Now, I am getting a monthly pension of Rs 15000/- The bank has not given any reasons for the delay in settlement of retirement benefits, but I believe the bank has made a mistake in giving paper publication and has unnecessarily shamed me. How can a bank give this type of treatment to a former employee. I have suffered and I don’t want to leave the bank unscathed. What can be done now. Please advise Sir.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 20 June 2020
From your information it seems for merger with SBI or after merger, proceedings were started for recovery.
You are advised not to proceed further and forget the matter.
Kasturi S (Querist) 20 June 2020
Thank you Sri Goyal Sir and all other experts for the valuable guidance.
P. Venu (Expert) 20 June 2020
Have you been granted interest for the delayed payment of retirement dues? What were the grounds on which the DRT has stayed SARFAESI proceedings? What was its final decision?
Kasturi S (Querist) 21 June 2020
The Pension payment has commenced from last month only. Our Retired Employees Association had advised me not to initiate any action and wait patiently until you receive the pension. I have been informed that since I belong to some other bank (and not SBI) there will be some unfair treatment . I have sent the letter claiming overdue interest only about 10 days back.

The bank gave Possession Notice Paper publication on 14th October 2019 and I have obtained stay order from DRT Bengaluru on 23rd October 2019. The DRT granted an ex parte ad interim order wherein it is stated that recovery of public money being of paramount importance, it is necessary to put the petitioner/appellant on terms so as to ensure balance of convenience to both the parties, pending disposal of the appeal . I was instructed to remit Rs 2 Lakhs before 22-11-2019 ( 10 percent of the loan amount) and stay order was granted. It was stated in the order that if I fail to remit the amount before the said date, the stay order would stand automatically vacated and the respondent bank is at liberty to proceed further in accordance with law. The court call this case on 25-11-2019 for reporting proper compliance of the above conditions/proof of service of notice. I borrowed money from other sources and remitted Rs 2 lakhs into the housing loan account on 21-11-2019. The court granted stay up to 04-02-2020 and again the stay has further extended up to 03-04-2020. My advocate has informed that the stay is still continuing due to lockdown . I have not yet informed the DRT Court that the loan account is closed.

For kind information of Sri Venu Sir.
Kasturi S (Querist) 21 June 2020
The bank has released Retirement benefits according to its own wish ( PF and Gratuity in April 2018, Leave En cashment in December 2019, Pension and Commutation in June 2020) No reasons have been assigned by the bank for the inordinate delay. How the bank can be very particular about the recovery of a staff housing loan , after being very well aware that the retirement benefits are not yet settled.
P. Venu (Expert) 21 June 2020
In the light of the facts posted, there is cause of action for proceeding against the Bank. However, the emphasis ought to be on the unreasonable and delayed disbursement of retirement benefits; the paper publication has only been incidental.

However, please note that the law as to tort is still at its embryonic stage in our country and hence there cannot be any certainty as to the procedure in the court and its verdict. Moreover, filing the suit involves substantial court fees. The pros cons needs to be weighed carefully.

Kasturi S (Querist) 21 June 2020
Thank you Sri Venu sir.
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 21 June 2020
Author has nowhere disclosed that the competent authority had given him in writing that he can delay in re-payment of the loan as he is an employee of the bank. Rebate in the interest might have been availed by the author but no immunity would have been provided in the time to re-pay the borrowings.
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 21 June 2020
You are entitle for the grant of the interest and compensation on the delayed payment of your retirement. The delay is definitely on the part of the bank. You are not responsible for the safety and security of your service record lying with the employer and merger proceedings also do not give a right to the bank to delay in releasing the service benefits which otherwise are deferred part of the remuneration. You should file a civil suit or a writ petition against the bank for this cause of action.
Kasturi S (Querist) 22 June 2020
I have already sent a letter claiming Overdue interest on the delay in settlement of Retirement benefits . I will wait for another two months and then, if there is no response from the bank, will proceed legally.

Thank you Sri Raj Kumar Makkad Sir.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 22 June 2020
There was delay in release of retirement benefits, please write to Bank for not charging any interest on staff housing loan from the date of retirement till date of payment of retirement benefits. Request the Bank to refund the same if already charged.
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 22 June 2020
You are always welcome Mr. author and revert back as and when you require further legal advice.

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