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      Foreign judgments on debts recovery will have to be enforced through Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT).

      A judgment or a decree obtained by a bank for recovery of a bank debt, from a foreign court gives raise only for a cause of action for initiating proceedings before a Debts Recovery Tribunal ( DRT ) in India. The proceedings should be initiated before an appropriate Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) within 3 years from the date of judgment and is not extended by the intervention of any acts between the borrower and the banker.

      A judgment or a decree obtained by a bank for recovery of a bank debt cannot be directly enforced in India through a execution petition in a civil court. Such a judgment/ decree can only be enforced through a proceedings in a Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) of appropriate jurisdiction.

      A judgment or a decree of a foreign court in matters relating to debt recovery by a bank can give the bank only a cause of action for approaching the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT). The bank should file an appropriate application before the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) and conduct its proceedings based on the judgment given by the foreign court.

      The Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) will have to issue necessary Recovery Certificate based on the proceedings conducted before the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT). The Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) cannot directly issue a certificate based on the judgment/ decree passed by the foreign Court.

      On receipt of the Recovery Certificate issued by the Presiding Officer of the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) recovery proceedings can be initiated by the Recovery Officer of the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT).

      That means the application filed by the bank before the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) will require that regular proceedings be conducted before the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) and the parties are required to be heard before a Recovery Certificate can be issued to the Recovery Officer of the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT).

      The application for recovery of debts based on a judgment/ decree passed by the foreign Court will have be filed before the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) within three years from the date of judgment. This limitation of three years for filing an application before the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) cannot be extended by any act or action between the bank and the judgment debtor. Thus the cause of action for filing an application before the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) starts from the day the judgment is passed by the foreign Court.

      In one case, a banker secured a judgment in its favor against the borrower, from a foreign Court. Thereafter the borrower started paying some amounts to the Bank and continued for a few years. After payment of installments for a few years the borrower defaulted. As the borrower as residing in India, the bank filed an application before the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) for recovery of the balance of amounts.

      The borrower resisted the recovery proceedings before the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) on grounds of limitation.

      The Bank contended before the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) that the limitation would start from the date the borrower defaulted. The Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) did not accept this submission of the bank on the ground that the foreign judgments are covered under Art 101 of the Limitation Act. Under this provision, the time limit for filing an application or a case based on a foreign judgment is three years from the date of judgment. No other provision is applicable in such cases and as such the limitation cannot be extended by virtue of any activity between the borrower and the banker. Thus payment of installments, date of defaults, singing of Acknowledgement of Debt (AoD) does not extend the period of limitation for filing an application before the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT).

      As such the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) dismissed the claim of the bank.