THE BOMBAY HIGH Court on Wednesday asked V Raheja Design Construction Private Limited to pay litigation fees worth Rs 10 lakh to a businessman, who had filed a summary suit filed against the company.
The summary suit filed by Bipin Vazirani has stated that the businessman lent Rs 22.10 crore to the company between 2011 and 2013.
To repay the debt, the company issued two post-dated cheques on December 22, 2014. The first cheque was drawn dated March 31, 2015 — worth Rs 22.99 crore. It was to repay the principal amount along with interest of 18 per cent per annum. The second cheque was drawn post-dated to March 31, 2015 — worth Rs 93,12,996 — for interest computed at 18 per cent per annum. Vazirani told the court that when the cheques were presented before the bank for clearance on June 9, 2015, both dishonoured and returned unpaid due to insufficient funds.
The company’s lawyer told the court that they should be granted unconditional leave as the plaintiff’s argument seemed to be one of desperation rather than substance. He also argued is that these were money lending transactions.
Justice G S Patel, exempting the plea from the purview of the Money Lending Act, directed the company to pay Vazirani Rs 35.76 crore with further interest at the rate of 18 per cent on the principal amount of Rs 23.92 crore from March 15, 2018, along with further interest from the date when the suit was filed — January 2018 — at the rate of 12 per cent per annum.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Zal Andhyarujina, told the court that Vazirani has paid litigation costs, including amounts spent towards court fees, legal fees and litigation expenses, worth around Rs 11,95,000. To this, Justice Patel said: “I believe a figure of Rs 10 lakh would be reasonable. There will be thus be a decree of costs against the defendant (company) in the amount of Rs 10 lakh, though without interest.”
Vishal Manghnani of Wishman Consultant, which represented Vazirani, said: “Justice is served.”