A Pune court recently ordered a man who failed to respond to summons to repay a loan of Rs 14,767 to State Bank of India (SBI),17 years after the suit was filed. In 1993,Rajesh Londhe of Hadapsar had taken a loan of Rs 14,240. The loan was to be repaid within 44 months with interest.
When he failed to repay the loan,the bank issued a legal notice to him. As there was no response,the bank filed a civil complaint in the Pune court on March 27,1995. Over the years,the case remained pending as Londhe remained absent in court despite summons issued to him.
Londhe failed to defend himself in the court until the order was passed. The documents and evidence,the entries of the loan account,demand notice,original agreement etc adduced by the bank remained unchallenged, the court judgment stated.
Passing an exparte order (without hearing the defendants side as he had failed to represent himself despite being given an opportunity),the court directed Londhe to repay Rs 14,767 with 12.5 per cent interest per annum from 1995 till date of realisation.
The court of joint civil judge (junior division) R L Wankhade further levied the cost of the suit on Londhe stating,so far as the costs of the suit is concerned,due to non-payment of loan amount,the plaintiff (SBI) has constrained to file the present suit. Therefore,it is just to saddle the costs of the suit on the defendant.
Absconding defendants is one of the major reasons for civil suits pending in courts, said Milind Pawar,member of the privilege committee of the Bar Council of Maharashtra. He said that the plaintiff or complainant can request the court to expedite the case and pass an exparte order on grounds that the defendant and his lawyer consistently remain absent on court dates.