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Bank loan defaulters from Ludhiana make a beeline to national lok adalats

The banking cases at the pre-litigative stage evoked a huge response at lok adalats with litigants thronging courts for settlement of their cases. Besides banking cases, a large number of matrimonial disputes were also settled.

punjab Updated: Sep 09, 2018 12:19 IST
Aneesha Sareen Kumar
Aneesha Sareen Kumar
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Bank loan,Bank loan defaulters,Ludhiana
(Representative image )

It has been four years that Hakam Singh, a farmer of Batari village, defaulted on payment of his loan instalment which he had taken in 2011 from the Oriental Bank of Commerce for his agricultural production. All was well until a bad crop in 2014 after which bank recovery agents started running after him to recover Rs 22 lakh.

Singh was, however, a happy man on Saturday as his case got settled at the pre-litigative stage at the National Lok Adalat held in district courts.

While he agreed to pay Rs 16 lakh, the remaining amount was waived off by the bank after his case was heard by a bench headed by civil judge (junior division) Rajinder Teji. “I feel so relieved now,” said Hakam Singh.

The banking cases at the pre-litigative stage evoked a huge response at lok adalats with litigants thronging courts for settlement of their cases. Besides banking cases, a large number of matrimonial disputes were also settled. The lok adalats opened to jampacked courtrooms in the morning and the judicial officers were seen receiving queries till late afternoon.

A whopping Rs 11.7 crores pending recovery by various banks was settled at the pre-litigative stage at a bench presided over by civil judge (junior division) Rajinder Singh Teji. While Rs 5.23 crores of the amount was claimed by the banks, the remaining Rs 6.55 crores was waived off during settlement of different cases. Cases of 135 bank defaulters were settled by the particular bench alone.

In the court of civil judge (junior division) Ankita Mittal, claims by financial firms amounting to Rs 29 lakh were settled amicably.

Court sources said as many over 3,000 banks and financial institutions across the district had approached the courts for settlement of their cases at the pre-litigative stage. The court had issued summons to the parties to get their cases settled at the Lok Adalats.

Meanwhile, district and sessions judge Gurbir Singh said while banks and financial firms had been approaching them, borrowers too can approach courts for settlement. “Banking cases comprise a huge percentage of cases at the courts and getting these cases settled while these are in pre-litigation is a boon for the public. The litigants can get their litigation settled fast and free of cost, amicably,” he said.

He added that in Lok Adalat, grievance of both the parties is heard carefully and then they are urged to move for mutual settlement with which the dispute is permanently solved in one hearing. “People do not have to come for repeat hearings and don’t have to pay any fee for their case,” Singh said.

A total of 22 benches were constituted. A total of 2,198 cases of 4,809 were settled on the spot and awards amounting to Rs 36.7 crore were passed during the lok adalat.

First Published: Sep 09, 2018 12:18 IST