Section 14 of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002

Time limit of 60 days under Section 14 of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002:

Directory or Mandatory:

The true intention of the Legislature is a determining factor herein. Keeping the objective of the Act in mind, the time limit to take action by the District Magistrate has been fixed to impress upon the authority to take possession of the secured assets. However, inability to take possession within time limit does not render the District Magistrate Functus Officio.

The secured creditor has no control over the District Magistrate who is exercising jurisdiction under Section14 of the Act for public good to facilitate recovery of public dues.Therefore, Section 14 of the Act is not to be interpreted literally without considering the object and purpose of the Act. If any other interpretation is placed upon the language of Section 14, it would be contrary to the purpose of the Act.

The time limit is to instill a confidence in creditors that the District Magistrate will make an at-tempt to deliver possession as well as to impose a duty on the District Magistrate to make an earnest effort to comply with the man-date of the statute to deliver the possession within 30 days and for reasons to be recorded within 60 days. In this light, the remedy under Section 14 of the Act is not rendered redundant if the District Magistrate is unable to handover the possession. The District Magistrate will still be enjoined upon, the duty to facilitate delivery of possession at the earliest.

[Source: C. Bright vs. District Magistrate decided by SC on 5th November 2020]

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