Agrani Bank Ltd. Vs. Messers Calico Cotton Mills Ltd. and others, 2016(1) LNJ 320

Case No: First Appeal No. 5 of 2004

Judge: Sheikh Abdul Awal,

Court: High Court Division,,

Advocate: Mr. Habibul Islam Bhuyan,Mr. Md. Mamunur Rashid,Mr. Md. Noor-Us- Sadik,,

Citation: 2016(1) LNJ 320

Case Year: 2016

Appellant: Agrani Bank Ltd.

Respondent: Messers Calico Cotton Mills Ltd. and others

Subject: Civil Law,

Delivery Date: 2016-1-21


HIGH COURT DIVISION
(CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION)
 
Sheikh Abdul Awal, J
And
Shahidul Karim, J.
 
Judgment on
21.01.2016
  Agrani Bank Ltd., Abdul Hamid Road Branch, Pabna
. . . Plaintiff-Appellant
-Versus-
Messers Calico Cotton Mills Ltd., Rajapur, Pabna and others
. . . Defendant-Respondents
 
 
Code of Civil Procedure (V of 1908)
Section 34
The Court is empowered to grant interest from the date of the suit to the date of the decree and then on the full amount which includes the amount claimed on the date of the suit and the interest thereon granted by the Court for the aforesaid period. Further, this section provides for award of interest on the aggregate sum till the date of realization or an earlier date. It also transpires that the decree holder does not have any statutory right to get interest automatically.   Therefore, we find no difficulty whatever in holding that the grant or award of interest pendent lite is purely a matter of statutory power wherein the discretion of the Court is absolute.         . . .(20)
 
Mr. Md. Mamunur Rashid, Advocate
. . . For the appellant.
Mr. Habibul Islam Bhuiyan with
Mr. Md. Noor-Us- Sadik, Advocates
. . . For the respondent No.5.
 
First Appeal No. 5 of 2004
 
JUDGMENT
 
Sheikh Abdul Awal, J:
 
1. This First Appeal at the instance of plaintiff- Agrani Bank is directed against the impugned judgment and decree dated 7.5.2003 (decree signed on 12.5.2003) passed by the learned Joint District Judge and Artha Rin  Adalat, Pabna in Artha Rin Mortgage Suit No.43 of 1996 decreeing the suit in-part.
 
2. Material facts of the case, briefly, are that the appellant, Agrani Bank Ltd. (Abdul Hamid Road Branch, Pabna) as plaintiff instituted the aforesaid Artha Rin Mortgage Suit No.43 of 1996 in the Court of Joint District Judge and Artha Rin Adalat, Pabna claiming an amount of Tk. 16,90,54,541.55 with interest against the defendant-respondents.
 
3. Plaintiff’s case in short is that  the defendant No.1, company was registered on 11.11.67 by the joint stock company  and thereafter started production of cotton on 9.11.68. After liberation the defendant company  was nationalized  on 26.03.1972 by the Govt. of Bangladesh and its management was entrusted with Bangladesh Textile Mills Corporation,  who availed loan from bank to run the mill. Pursuant to the policy decision of the Government the defendant company owing Calico Textile Mills, which was denationalized and its management was returned to its original sponsors and shareholders and the Government retained certain percentage shares of the defendant No.1, Company.   In the process of denationalization a tripartite agreement was executed between the Government of Bangladesh and the original sponsors of the defendant company and shareholders and the plaintiff bank. Loan in the name of BTMC amounting to TK. 5.17 crore as on 03.07.88 was transferred to Agrani Bank as per tripartite agreement dated 27.05.1988 executed by BTMC, defendant Mill and Bank. The Managing Director of Calico Cotton Mills under took to pay BTMC’s transferred liability on 24.05.1988  (exhibit-8) and thereafter, the defendant Mill further under took in writing to pay BTMC’s liability vide letter dated 15.04.1992 (exhibit-9). The plaintiff bank in not getting loan amount with interest   as per terms of loan sectioned letter served a   legal notice on 17.04.1996 claiming to repay outstanding loan of TK. 1,10,16,572.00 in CC (Pledge), TK. 1,60,58,457.83 in CC (hypo) & BTMC’s transferred liability of TK. 12,81,92,866.00 totaling TK. 15,52,67,894.83 as on 31.03.1996   and thereafter, the defendant Calico Cotton Mill’s Chairman & Director replied to the legal notice on 26.04.1996 (Exhibit-12) admitting the claim of the bank but on various pretext they did not come forward to adjust the loan liabilities and hence, the suit.
 
4. The defendant-respondents duly appeared in the suit and filed two sets of written statements taking the general pleas of maintainability of the suit, absence of cause of action and of being barred by limitation, bad for defect of parties. The claim of the plaintiff is false and without any basis and as such, the suit is liable to be dismissed.
 
5. At the trial the plaintiff side examined only one witness and the defendant side in all examined two witnesses and both the parties exhibited some documents to prove their respective cases.
 
6. The learned Joint District Judge and Artha Rin Adalat after hearing the parties and on considering the evidence and materials on record decreed the suit in-part by the impugned judgment and decree dated 7.5.2003.
 
7. Being aggrieved and dissatisfied with the aforesaid judgment and decree dated 7.5.2003 the plaintiff-Agrani Bank Limited filed this appeal.
 
8. Mr. Md. Mamunur Rashid, the learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the plaintiff-appellant-bank in the course of his argument after placing the impugned judgment and decree,  the evidence of PW-1, DW-1 and DW-2 and other materials on record including the tripartite agreement (Ext.7) submits that the Artha Rin Adalat erred in law in decreeing the suit in-part without properly considering the facts and circumstance of the case and the case made out by the plaintiff-bank that the liability of loan during the period of management of BTMC was transferred to Agrani Bank as per tripartite agreement (Ext.7) and everything was stated in the tripartite agreement which was admitted in evidence and it is on record that on 5.7.1988 the loan transferee  branch of the bank was informed that total liability of  Tk. 5,17,03,151.37 which was transferred through tripartite agreement and interest was charged up-to 03.07.1988. As per section 50 Artharin Adalat Ain-2003 no court can disallow interest which is to be calculated from the date of granting loan up-to the date of filing suit and as per section 50(2) of the Ain the Court is bound to grant pendente lite simple interest @ 12% p.a. from the dated of judgment to till realization. He further submits that the learned trial Judge had misunderstood and misappreciated the evidence on record and misjudged the issues in the suit and thereby   arrived at a erroneous decision to decree the suit in-part against the defendant Nos.1 to 3, (a), 9(b) and 10.
 
9. Finally, Mr. Md. Mamunur Rashid submits that  admittedly a tripartite agreement having been executed between the defendants, Bangladesh Textile Mills Corporation (BTMC) and the  plaintiff in which the defendants admitted the loan liability of the defendant No.1 during the time B.T.M.C. was in the management of the defendant No.1, company and the defendants acknowledged to pay the same with interest and as such,  the finding of the Artharin Adalat in the  language বি,টি,এম,সি, এর ব্যবসহাপনা থাকাকালে কত টাকা ১ নং বিবাদী প্রতিষ্ঠানের নামে ঋণ গ্রহন করা হয় এবং কত পার্সেন্ট সুদে উও্র ঋণ গ্রহন করা হয় ইহা বাদী ব্যাংক প্রমান করিতে পারে নাই।” is perverse being contrary to law and fact.
 
10. Mr. Habibul Islam Bhuiyan, the learned Advocate, appearing on behalf of the defendant-respondent No.5, on the other hand, supports the impugned judgment,  which was according to him just, correct and proper. He submits that the plaintiff-bank has utterly failed to prove  its claim with regard to the amount of Tk. . 13,99,95,226.00 allegedly transferred from  BTMC and as such, the appeal is liable to be dismissed.
 
11. We have heard the learned Advocates for both the sides and perused the record. Now, only the material question is to be considered in this appeal whether the Artha Rin Adalat committed any wrong or illegality in not giving decree against the loan of B.T.M.C. as well as  interest against C,C (hypo)   and pledge  loan from the date of filing of the suit.
 
12. On scrutiny of the record, it appears that the plaintiff bank claimed  two kinds of loan, that is, one was transferred from BTMC amounting to TK. 13,99,95,226.00  and the loan taken by the defendant-mill after denationalization amounting to TK. 1,18,45,285.50 (CC pledge) and Tk. 1,72,14,40.05 (CC hypo) although with regard to the claim of Tk. 13,99,95,226.00 the plaintiff-appellant did not mention in the plaint on which date and from which bank how much money was taken as loan on what interest while the defendant-respondent No. 1 (mill)  was under the control of BTMC. It further appears that the defendant respondents in their  written statement  categorically stated that the Government has issued 18.04 crore Treasurery Bond in favour of the plaintiff bank against the loan Exhibit-Kha (4),   which was admitted by PW-1 in his evidence.  It also appears from  the memo No. 0/4/nwg-03/16/386(1) vide- cÖ`: N/4,  the Ministry of Textile has decided  to remit the 100% interest of the loan with a condition that the loanee will submit 10% down payment against the loan and accordingly, the defendant-respondent No. 1 submitted the said 10% down payment.
 
13. The learned judge of the Artha Rin Adalat on the facts of the case and on consideration of the legal position  observed:  “এ ছাড়া প্রদঃ ঘ/৪ বস্ত্রমন্ত্রনালয়ের ০/৪/হাম-০৩/১৬/৩৮৬(১) পত্র পর্যালোচনা করিয়া দেখা যায় ১ নং বিবাদী প্রতিষ্ঠানের নামে বি,টি,এম,সি-র ব্যবসহাপনায় থাকাকালে গৃহীত ঋণের সুদ মওকুফ করা হয়। যাহার প্রেক্ষিতে বানিজ্যিক ব্যাংকের যে আর্থিক ক্ষতি হয় তাহার শতকরা ৫০ ভাগ সরকার বহন করে।  উক্ত সিদ্ধান্তর প্রেক্ষিতে ১ নং বিবাদী প্রতিষ্ঠান ও কুষ্টিয়া টেক্মটাইল মিলের ঋণ পুনঃ তপসিলের সুবিধার্থে সরকার ১৮.০৪ কোটি টাকার বন্ড বাদী ব্যাংক বরাবর ইস্যু করে। সরকার কর্তৃক ইস্যুকৃত উও্র বন্ডের যে টাকা বাদী ব্যাংক ১ নং বিবাদী প্রতিষ্ঠানের নামে গৃহীত ঋণের বিপরীতে প্রদত্ত হইয়াছে তাহা দাবীকৃত টাকা হইতে বাদ যাইবেz কিন্তু বাদী ব্যাংক তদমর্মে কোন হিসাব বা কোন প্রতিবেদন দাখিল করে নাই। ফলে, বাদী ব্যাংক বি,টি,এম,সির হিসাবে কত টাকা প্রাপ্য হইবে তাহার সঠিক কোন হিসাব আদালতে উপস্থাপন করে নাই। অত্র মোকদ্দমায় বি,টি,এম,সি-এর ব্যবসহাপনায় থাকাকালে গৃহীত ঋণ ৬৭,৬৯,০০০/- (সাতষটির লক্ষ উনসত্তর হাজার) টাকার বিপরীতে  বিবাদীগনের উপর ১৩,৯৯,৯৫,২২৬/- (তের কোটি নিরানব্বই লক্ষ পঁচানব্বই হাজার দুইতশ ছাত্রিশ) টাকা বাবদ ডিএ্রী প্রদান করা অযৌও্রিক। অত্র ঋণ মওকুফের জন্য সরকারের  বিবেচনাতে আছে এবং বি,টি,এম,সি-র নিয়ন্ত্রনে থাকাকালীন গৃহীত ঋণের টাকা অত্রাকারে অত্র মোকদ্দমার অন্তর্ভুও্র হইলে জটিলতা সৃষ্টি হইবে। সে কারনে বি,টি,এম,সি, গৃহীত ঋনের বিষয়ে অত্র মোকদ্দমায় সিদ্ধান্ত হইল না। তবে বি,টি,এম, সি-র পরিচালনায় থাকা কালে গৃহীত ঋণের পরিমান, পরিশোধীত ঋণের পরিমান, সরকার কর্তৃক বন্ড মাধ্যমে পরিশোধের পর এবং সরকার কর্তৃক সুদ মওকুফের পরও বাদী ব্যাংকের কোন পাওনা থাকিলে সংশ্লিষ্টদের পক্ষভুও্র করিয়া বাদী ব্যাংক যথাযথভাবে উও্র টাকা আদায় করিতে পারিবে।”
 
14. This being purely a finding of fact based on correct evaluation of the facts and materials of the case.
 
15. It is also found  that in this case the plaintiff-bank to prove its claim examined one witness as PW-1, who in his cross-examination stated that: আমি বাদী ব্যাংকে ১৯৮০ সালে যোগদান করি। এই ঋণ মনজুর ও প্রদানের সময় আমি বাদী ব্যাংকে কর্মরত ছিলাম। তখন আমি সিডি অফিসার ছিলাম। বিবাদী কত টাকা ঋণের জন্য আবেদন করে জানি না। কত টাকা মনজুর হয় বলতে পারব না। ১ নং বিবাদী  প্রতিষ্ঠান মাঝে সরকারী করনে ছিল। বি,টি,এম,সি, পরিচালনার সময় ৩ কোটি টাকার উপরে ঋণ নেয়। মুল ঋণ ছিল ৬৭,৬৯,০০০/- টাকা যাহা সুদে ৫ কোটি টাকার উপরে হয়। বি,টি,এম,সি, মুল শাখা ঢাকা হইতে ঋণ নেয়। ঐ ঋণের কাগজপত্র কোথায় আছে মনে নাই। This witness in his cross-examination also stated that: সি, সি, হাইপো খাতে সুদ আসলে কত টাকা ও সি,সি, প্লেজ খাতে কত টাকা দাবী করি মনে নাই। সি, সি, প্নেজ গুদামের বন্দকী সামগ্রি আমাদের নিয়ন্ত্রনে আসে।
 
16. Taking into  consideration of all these aspects of the case,  we are unable to differ with the view taken by  the  Artha Rin Adalat that the plaintiff could not prove by adducing evidence as to what amount was taken by the defendants from  BTMC which reached at the figure of TK. 13,99,95,226/=.
 
17. Now, turning to consider the second point whether the Artha Rin Adalat committed any wrong or illegality in not giving interest against C,C (hypo)   and pledge  loan from the date of filing of the suit, as prayed for.
 
18. On perusal of the record, it appears that the Artha Rin Adalat after a detailed discussion of the attending circumstances borne out by records held that in view of the provision of section 34 of the Code of Civil Procedure the plaintiff-bank is not entitled to get interest pendente lite  against C, C hypo   and pledge  loan. In coming to this conclusion the said Court observed that: “১ নং বিবাদী প্রতিষ্ঠানটি একটি নিস্ক্রিয় শিল্প প্রতিষ্ঠান ও প্রতিষ্ঠানটি  বন্ধ রহিয়াছে । সরকার কর্তৃক গঠিত নিস্ক্রিয়/ রুগ্ন শিল্প প্রতিষ্ঠান বাছাই কমিটি নিস্ক্রিয় ও রুগ্ন শিল্পের বিপরীতে গৃহীত ঋণের ১০০% সুদ মওকুফের সুপারিশ রহিয়াছে । এমতাবস্থায়, দেওয়ানী কার্য্য বিধির ৩৪ ধারা মতে মামলা দাখিলের পর হইতে সি,সি হাইপো ও প্লেজ ঋণের বিপরীতে পুনরায় সুদ আরোপ করা অযৌক্তিক ও ন্যায় বিচারের পরিপন্থি।
 
19. Now, in approaching the controversy it will be profitable to notice the provision contained in section 34 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which is quoted hereunder:
 
34.-(1) Where and in so far as a decree is  for the payment of money, the Court may, in the decree, order interest at such rate as the Court deems reasonable to be paid on the principal sum adjudged, from the date of the suit to the date of the decree, in addition to any interest adjudged on such principal sum for any period to the institution of the suit, with further interest at such rate as the Court seems reasonable on the aggregate sum so adjudged, from the date of the decree to the date of payment, or to such earlier date as the Court thinks fit.
(2) Where such a decree is silent with respect to the payment of further interest on such aggregate sum as aforesaid from the date of the decree to the date of payment or other earlier date, the Court shall be deemed to have refused such interest, and a separate suit therefore shall not lie.
 
20. From the provisions of this section, it transpires that the Court is empowered to grant interest from the date of the suit to the date of the decree and then on the full amount which includes the amount claimed on the date of the suit and the interest thereon granted by the Court for the aforesaid period. Further, this section provides for award of interest on the aggregate sum till the date of realization or an earlier date. It also transpires that the decree holder does not have any statutory right to get interest automatically.   Therefore, we find no difficulty whatever in holding that the grant or award of interest pendent lite is purely a matter of statutory power wherein the discretion of the Court is absolute.
 
21. On perusal of the  entire evidence on record,   it is found that  in the instant  case there are evidence enough on record both oral and documentary  to suggest  that the plaintiff-appellant did not care at all to submit any audit report in order to show the exact amount of money that was revealed through the process of audit as per Ext.7, tripartite agreement although   the respondent-defendant company has produced its audit report wherefrom it appears that after making through inquiry the outstanding dues of the defendant company was found to be TK. 24,98,000/= only which was  duly proved as Ext.4(Kha-1).
 
22. Furthermore, in the facts and circumstance of the case the contention as raised by Mr. Md. Mamunur Rashid that as per section 50 Artharin Adalat Ain-2003 no Court can disallow interest which is to be calculated from the date of granting loan up-to the date of filing suit and as per section 50(2) of the Artharin Adalat Ain-2003  the Court is bound to grant interest pendente lite  is plainly misconceived inasmuch as in this case the impugned judgment  was delivered prior to the new Ain being Artha Rin Adalat Ain, 2003 came into force. Therefore, we find no substance in either of the contentions as raised by the learned Advocate for the plaintiff-appellant-bank.
 
23. For the foregoing reasons stated above, both on law and  fact we are of the view that in the facts and circumstance of the case the Artha Rin Adalat committed no wrong in not awarding interest pendente lite  against C,C hypo   and pledge  loan. The learned judge of the Adalat on the facts of the case and on consideration of the legal position rightly decreed the suit in-part. No interference is therefore called for.
 
24. In the result, the appeal is dismissed without any order as to cost.
 
25. Let a copy of this judgment along with the lower Court’s record be sent down at once.
 
Ed.