Case Brief: Sekar Vs. Arumugham



DECIDED ON10th August,1999

CITATION- 2000 CriLJ 1552

Facts of the Case

Petitioner Sekar had availed a loan of Rs. 4 Lakh during November 1994 from the Bank of Madura branch of Trichy, Tamil Nadu for purchasing Ashok Leyland Lorry. The petitioner executed a deed in which the lorry is pledged as a security towards the due repayment of the amount borrowed by him. The loan was repayable in 60 monthly installments. In terms, Clause 14(3) of the deeds mentioned that in the event of any default in the payment of the loan installments, the bank had the right to seize the said lorry.

As per Clause 15(b) of the said deed, the bank upon seizure of the vehicle was vested with the right to sell the same and appropriate the sale proceeds towards the outstanding due payable against it. The petitioner had defaulted in payment of monthly installments and as such, on 30-7-1998 the bank seized the said lorry. Then the petitioner filed a suit against the respondent bank on the file of District Munsif Court, Manaparai claiming that he is the owner of the lorry and also filed for a mandatory injunction. The petition was dismissed. Subsequently, he filed the suit in the court of Additional District Judge, Kulithalai who reversed the findings of the magistrate. After exhausting all these remedies, he filed a revision petition against the bank for an alleged offense under Section 451 and 91, IPC before the Madras High Court.


Whether criminal complaints can be filed against an authority exercising its provisions under the law?

Arguments from Both the Parties

Arguments by Petitioner

Counsel for the petitioner, Sekar contended that the Magistrate was mistaken in dismissing both petitions holding that the investigation is pending. As in the registration certificate book also his name is there so he is the owner of the lorry. Not claiming any rival ownership of the lorry by the respondent and not obstructing for directing the respondent to produce the lorry and also to give custody magistrate failed to recognize that keeping lorry in the custody is illegal.

Arguments by Respondents

Counsel for the respondent contended that the petitioner pledged the lorry to the bank as security and Clause 14(e) of the deed of hypothecation clearly says that in the event of any default in the payment of installments, the bank had the right to seize the lorry. Moreover, according to Clause 15(b) of the said deed of hypothecation, the bank has the right to sell the asset upon the seizure of it and appropriate the sale proceeds towards the outstanding due and payable to it. So it is clear from Clauses 14(e) and 15(b) of the deed that the respondent is entitled and has the right to seize the lorry in case of default. 


On the facts stated in the case the dismissal of the two petitions filed by the petitioner under Sections 91 and 451, Cr.P.C. is also proper and correct. Even in the writ petition, the petitioner is directed that he can pay the arrears but however, the same was also not paid. The Magistrate had dismissed these two petitions filed by the petitioner and there is no illegality or infirmity in the orders passed by the Courts below in these two petitions. 

Ratio Decidendi

“Criminal complaint shall not be allowed against any authority which is acted in exercise of power under provisions of law.


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