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Punjab And Sind Bank vs. Frontline Corporation Ltd - (Supreme Court) (18 Apr 2023)

Appellate Court would not interfere with the exercise of discretion of the court of first instance except where the discretion has been shown to have been exercised arbitrarily

MANU/SC/0426/2023

Commercial

The present appeal assails the judgment and order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court, thereby setting aside the order of the Single Judge, vide which an earlier interim order of the Single Judge, directing the Appellant to take steps to sell the suit property but not to pass final orders on the sale, had been vacated.

In the present case, it cannot be said that the action of the secured creditor, i.e. the Appellant is either fraudulent or that its claim is so absurd or untenable which may not require any probe. It is further to be noted that the SARFAESI Act itself provides remedies to an aggrieved party in view of the provisions of Sections 17 and 18.

The Appellate Court would not interfere with the exercise of discretion of the court of first instance and substitute its own discretion except where the discretion has been shown to have been exercised arbitrarily, or capriciously or perversely or where the court had ignored the settled principles of law regulating grant or refusal of interlocutory injunctions. It has been held that an appeal against exercise of discretion is said to be an appeal on principle. It has further been held that, the Appellate Court will not reassess the material and seek to reach a conclusion different from the one reached by the court below if the one reached by that court was reasonably possible on the material. It has been held that if the discretion has been exercised by the trial court reasonably and in a judicial manner the fact that the appellate court would have taken a different view may not justify interference with the trial court's exercise of discretion.

Undisputedly, in the present case, while vacating the interim relief granted vide order dated 15th July 2013, the Single Judge had held that, the relief claimed by the plaintiff could not have been granted in view of the provisions of Section 34 of the SARFAESI Act. As such, the Single Judge had passed the said order on the basis of a statutory bar. The Division Bench has grossly erred in interfering with the discretion exercised by the Single Judge. The judgment and order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court is quashed and set aside and the judgment and order passed by the learned Single Judge is upheld. Appeal allowed.

Tags : SUPREME COURT   SARFAESI ACT   DISCRETION OF LOWER COURT  

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