Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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  • The sum of a Public Provident Fund account shall not be subject to any attachment in respect of any debt or duty incurred by the account holder, as the Gujarat High Court has reaffirmed. 
  • The case of a petitioner who invested funds from Hindu Undivided Families under the Public Provident Fund Scheme of the Centre with the Respondent-Bank of Baroda was being heard by a bench that included Justice AS Supehia.
  • The Petitioner was also a partner of Gujarat Steel and Pipes partnership firm and the said firm held a cash credit account with the Respondent-Bank. The Petitioner claimed that the Respondent opened the PPF Account with the Central Government on his or her behalf, but that account was unrelated to the cash credit account.
  • According to the petitioner, the Government of India stated in a notification issued under Section 15 of the Public Provident Fund Act that any funds held in a PPF account are exempt from attachment for any debts committed by the account holder. The PPF account was thus shielded from any sort of recovery. 
  • The petitioner requested to withdraw the money from the PPF Account because of the economic circumstances present during the epidemic. But the Respondent Bank debited Rs. 85,380 from the Petitioner's PPF account to the cash credit account of his partnership firm "illegally and without the Petitioner's permission.
  • The argument that debiting the money from the PPF Account was outside of the legal process was supported by Section 60(1) of the CPC, which allows for the properties that could be attached to oppose the action. In Dineshchandra Bhailalbhai Gandhi Vs. Tax Recovery Officer, it was determined that the PPF programme was introduced to offer social security and a fund to rely on after retirement.
  • In turn, clause (ka) of Section 60 (1) of the Code of Civil Procedure states that all deposits and other sums in or derived from any fund to which the Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 applies shall not be liable for attachment or sale under the Code insofar as they are declared by the said Act not to be liable to attachment.
  • In contrast, the Respondent Bank argued that because it signed the General Form of Guarantee for INR 24 lakhs in 2018, along with the firm's partners and others, the Bank was compelled to take this action in order to withdraw the money.
  • As a result, the Petitioner and the other guarantors were each responsible for paying the full amount owed to the Respondent Bank.
  • The fact that Rs. 85,380 was taken out of the petitioner's PPF account was undeniable, according to Justice Supehia. 
  • However, it was established law that no liabilities may be paid from the PPF Account. Therefore, taking the money out was against the law and unjustified.
  • The Bench instructed the Bank to deposit the above mentioned sum within a period of 4 weeks in the name of the Petitioner's saving account, making it clear that the observations of the High Court should not be read adversely to the Bank for any subsequent proceedings for recovery.


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