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Do not disobey court orders: Madras HC

Last Updated: Saturday, January 22, 2011 - 19:06

Madurai: The Madras High Court bench has warned officials and individuals against disobeying its orders and said "there would be end of the rule of law" if any leniency or indulgence is shown in favour of persons who violated court orders.

"An order passed by the competent court is bound to be obeyed without any reservation by parties, Justices N Paul Vasanthakumar and R Subbiah said.

Disposing an appeal relating to auction of a house by Paramakudi Cooperative Building society in Ramanathapuram district despite an interim stay, the judges expressed concern over the tendency to violate court orders. "Such tendency will grow further if such acts of disobedience are condoned."
In the present case A Murugesan of Paramakudi said he and his mother jointly borrowed Rs 2.75 lakh from the society in 1998 to build a house and repaid part of the amount. After various proceedings, the matter was referred to arbitration.

The arbitrator passed an award on Jan 23 2010, directing them to pay Rs 7.95 lakh along with subsequent interest to the society. This was also not paid and hence the society issued a notification to auction the property on April 29.
Meanwhile, Murugesan filed a petition challenging the auction notice, which the High court stayed on April 28. The interim order was conveyed to the Sale officer the next day.

Yet the officer conducted the auction in the afternoon and confirmed in favour of an individual who bid the property for Rs 10.25 lakh. Thereafter, the Court dismissed the petition on the ground that the Petitioner had not challenged the arbitration award. Hence the present writ appeal.

Appellant`s counsel G R Swaminathan contnded that the property would fetch more than Rs 35 lakh, but that the society office bearers had hurriedly conducted the auction and confirmed it with the intention of grabbing it for a song.

Stating that the petitiion was filed only to gain time to deposit the arbitration award amount, he produced five Demand Drafts for Rs 8.18 lakh along with interest.

Agreeing with him, the judges held that the auction would be a nullity as it was conducted despite an interim stay.

The judges directed the society to return the property to the appellant after receiving the DDs and other dues, if any.

The society was also ordered to cancel the sale deed executed in favour of the highest bidder and return the money with nine per cent interest.


First Published: Saturday, January 22, 2011 - 19:06

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