Libertatem Magazine

New Guidelines On the Procedure for Proceedings Before the Recovery Officer Issued by Delhi HC

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The petitioner has filed this writ petition to implement the award of reinstatement with back wages passed by the Industrial Tribunal on 16th May 2012.

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Facts of the case

On 08th December 2016, this Court constituted a Committee comprising Mr. Rahul Mehra, Mr. Sanjoy Ghose, and Mr. Rajiv Agarwal. The Committee submitted the report on 24th March 2017. On 10th January 2018, the Court examined the status reports filed by the recovery officers/SDMs. The Court noted that the Recovery Officers were not holding the proceeding in open Court. The directions issued, daily cause lists were not displayed outside the Courtroom. The orders passed were not released on the website of the Court. 

Thus, the Court issued a show-cause notice to the Recovery Officers asking about the non-compliance of the directions of the Court.

Statement of the counsel 

Mr. Rajiv Agarwal, Mr. Saurabh Prakash, and Mr. S.P. Jain Advocates were the amici curiae and gave the suggestions to incorporate in the guidelines. 

Ms. Nandita Rao is the counsel for the GNCTD. She submitted that SDMs or Recovery Officers are competent to exercise all the powers of an executing Court under the CPC apart from the powers under the various Statutes. She further added that the Government of NCT of Delhi must issue a fresh Office Memorandum to clarify the powers of the SDMs/Recovery Officers/Appropriate Authorities for the execution of Recovery Certificates. 

Observation of the court

The court observed that the suggestions given by the learned amici curiae, the directions issued by this Court on 27th March 2017 and 13th December 2019, modified and substituted them.

Sections 51(b), 60 to 64, and Order XXI Rules 41 to 57 of the CPC contain the provisions for attachment of properties in execution. Before attaching a property, the concerned Authority must ensure that the property does not fall in the list of exempted properties under Section 60(1) of the CPC. The Authority must ensure the compliance of Sections 60 to 64 and Order XXI Rules 41 to 57 of the CPC for the attachment of properties.

All proceedings before the SDM/Recovery Officer/Appropriate Authority must be held in open Court. The daily cause list of the cases must be displayed outside the Courtroom and on the website. The orders passed must be released on the website of the respective SDM/E-Courts portal within one week. 

Court’s Decision

The court held that these guidelines must be implemented from 2nd August 2021. The government of NCT of Delhi must publish these modified guidelines on its website. They must circulate these guidelines to all concerned SDMs/Recovery Officers/Appropriate Authorities. 

The court ordered a Committee to supervise the implementation of these Directions. The Government of NCT of Delhi must bear the necessary expenditure for the functioning of the Committee. The SDMs/Recovery Officers/Appropriate Authorities must file a quarterly compliance report before the Implementation Committee.

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