The Punjab and Haryana High Court has quashed an FIR registered against the officials of the HDFC Bank branch at Leela Bhawan, Patiala, registered by a Mandi Gobindgarh resident for selling his 574gm pledged gold with the bank for Rs 9 lakh loan.
Complainant Ranjit Singh had registered an FIR on May 6, 2014, against Brijesh Puri and other officials of HDFC Bank for criminal breach of trust at Mandi Gobingarh police station in Fatehgarh Sahib district.
After the complainant defaulted in paying the interest and loan, the bank officials had by issuing notices in a newspaper sold loan in a public auction to recover the loan amount.
Justice Kuldip Singh ordered, “It comes out that gold was sold in terms of the agreement settled between the parties. Therefore, it cannot be said that the gold was sold dishonestly. The loan was accordingly adjusted. It being so, I am of the view that ingredients for the criminal breach of trust are not made out from the facts brought on the file.”
The court further said the petitioners acted in discharge of their official duty to recover the loan in terms of the agreement by sale of pledged gold for which they were authorised under the terms of the agreement.
With regard to complainant’s submissions, the court said: “Mere fact that auction notice was published in a little known newspaper i.e. Dainik Savera Times published in the State of Haryana, is no ground to hold that there was dishonest intention on the part of the bank.
The gold was properly valued, and its sale was in pursuant to the said agreement between the parties. The gold was sold for more price than its valuation agreed between the parties. The balance amount was sent to the complainant through demand draft.”