Bank should give relaxation to the borrower if he has taken agricultural loan and is unable to pay monthly installments on time due to some reasonable reason: High Court of Kerala

If the borrower who has taken agricultural loan is unable to repay on time due to some reasonable reason like flood, drought or other natural calamities then bank should increase the number of installments or give other relaxation and same was upheld by High Court of Kerala through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE MURALI PURUSHOTHAMA in the case of SUBAIR K. M. vs. CANARA BANK (WP(C) NO. 11606 OF 2022) on 31st March, 2022.

Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner availed an agricultural loan from the respondent Bank for an amount of Rs.5,00,000/-/ Since, the petitioner could not pay the monthly installments, the loan account was classified as NPA and proceedings were initiated by the respondent Bank under the SARFAESI Act. Challenging the proceedings initiated under the SARFAESI Act, the petitioner has approached the Court.

While admitting the liability to pay the amount, the petitioner seeks indulgence of the Court to remit the outstanding amounts in the loan account in easy monthly installments. Learned Standing Counsel for the respondent Bank submits that the total amount outstanding in the loan account of the petitioner as on today is Rs.7,94,925/-. He further submitted that, if the petitioner can remit the entire outstanding dues in 8 monthly installments, the loan account can be settled.

Learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that he has availed the loan for agricultural purposes and due to the 2018 flood and the Covid-19 pandemic, the petitioner could not remit the monthly installments and that if the petitioner is granted 14 monthly installments, he can remit the entire amounts outstanding in the loan account.

Court held that the writ petition can be disposed of with a direction to the petitioner to pay the entire outstanding dues with interest and bank charges in 12 equal monthly installments commencing from 30.04.2022. It is ordered so. In case there is any default in paying the amounts as aforesaid, the respondent Bank will be at liberty to recover the entire amounts outstanding, in accordance with law. In order to facilitate the petitioner to make payment as afore, further proceedings under the SARFAESI Act shall be kept in abeyance.

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Judgment reviewed by – Amit Singh

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