Company Judge has no say in the sale of secured assets made by secured creditors under the SARFAESI Act

Supreme Court: While answering the common question of law involved in the present appeal that whether a Company Court directly or through an official liquidator can interfere in a sale of secured assets made by the secured creditors as per the provisions of SARFAESI Act, 2002, the Division Bench of Vikramajit Singh and Shiva Kirti Singh, JJ., held that the Company Court or official liquidator cannot have any say in the sale of secured assets made by secured creditors under SARFAESI Act.

The present appeals arose before the Court from two conflicting decisions of Punjab and Haryana High Court and Delhi High Court on the same issue. The Delhi High Court held that a Company Judge cannot interfere with the proceedings by a secured creditor under the SARFAESI Act; whereas the Punjab and Haryana High Court held the opposite. The counsel on behalf of appellant Anupam Lal Das relied on Section 13 of the SARFAESI Act, 2002 which granted a right to secured creditors to satisfy their debts without the intervention of the court or tribunal. It was further contended that there is inconsistency between Section 529A of the Companies Act, 1956 and Section 13 of the SARFAESI Act, 2002. The counsel on behalf of respondent Ravindra Bana contended that, once the assets comes under the official liquidator then these assets should be governed by Section 529A of the Companies Act, 1956 and other provisions of Companies Act which are in favour of the secured as well as unsecured creditors.

The Court observed that the clear intention of Parliament for enacting SARFAESI Act, 2002 is to grant secured creditors the right to enforce their secured interest without the intervention of the Courts and the Tribunal. If the borrowers have any grievances against liquidation of secured assets then they have the right to seek redressal under Section 17 and 18 of the SARFAESI Act. Affirming the decision of the Delhi High Court on the issue, the Court further observed that the SARFAESI Act has sufficient provisions to protect the interest of the secured creditors and no interference is required from the side of a Company Judge or Official Liquidator under the Companies Act. [Pegasus Assets Reconstruction P. Ltd. v. Haryana Concast  Limited , 2015 SCC OnLine SC 1387, decided on 29.12.2015]

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