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DCB Bank Limited vs. Mr. R. Sadasivan - (NATIONAL COMPANY LAW APPELLATE TRIBUNAL) (25 Jan 2023)

Presumption of due service arises, when 'Notice' is sent to the proper and correct address



The 'Appellant' / 'Bank' has preferred the instant Comp. App. before present 'Tribunal' as an 'Aggrieved Person' being dissatisfied with the 'impugned order' passed by the 'Adjudicating Authority', whereby and whereunder, the 'Appellant' / 'Bank' was directed to refund a sum of Rs.11,30,40,034 to the 'Corporate Debtor's' Account in the 'Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process'.

When 'Notice' is sent to the 'proper' and 'correct address' of the 'Respondent', where he actually and voluntarily resides or carries on business or personally works for gain, there arises a 'presumption' of 'due service'.

At this stage, present 'Tribunal', on going through the 'order' is of the earnest opinion that the 'Appellant' / 'Bank' had candidly admitted that the 'Appellant' / 'Bank' was served 'Notices' not only to its 'Corporate Branch Office' and also, other 'Alternative Offices' on 16th July, 2021 and the same was duly served on 17th July, 2021 and 22nd July, 2021 respectively. It cannot be said that the Appellant was not provided with an 'enough opportunity' or 'adequate opportunity' to take its own decision in the subject matter in issue.

In the instant case, although the Appellant, has come out with a 'specific plea' that only due to 'Covid-19 Pandemic', the Appellant had 'skeletal staff' operation, both at the 'Corporate Office, Branch Office, etc. and that were the only reasons for the Appellant was not quite enough to enter its appearance in the 'subject matter' of the case before the 'Adjudicating Authority' ('Tribunal').

In spite of the reasons ascribed on behalf of the Appellant that, it was prevented because of 'Covid-19 Pandemic' and also added further the Staff members were in operation only in a 'skeletal manner' both at the 'Corporate and Branch Office', yet, present 'Tribunal', is of the considered view that the said reason of 'Pandemic' cannot hold water to and in favour of the Appellant and, especially, in the teeth of the Notices sent to the Bank's Corporate Office, Branch Office and Alternative Office were duly served on 17th July, 2021 and 22nd July, 2021, etc. when once the 'Notice' to a 'Person' / 'Entity' / 'Organisation' was duly served in terms of the NCLT Rules, 2016, then, the 'Adjudicating Authority' ('Tribunal') is left with no action but to Record that the Notices sent were held sufficient. Application dismissed.


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