The Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of
Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act) is a crucial legislation enacted by
the Government of India to address the rising issue of non-performing assets (NPAs)
and provide a legal framework for banks and financial institutions to enforce
their security interests. This journal article provides an in-depth analysis of
the SARFAESI Act, its scope and objectives, along with an explanation of its key
sections. Furthermore, important judicial pronouncements related to the Act will
be cited and briefly discussed.
The SARFAESI Act was enacted to empower banks and financial institutions to take
possession of collateral, sell assets without court intervention, and recover
their dues efficiently. Its primary objectives include speeding up the recovery
of NPAs, reducing the burden on courts, and ensuring the realization of security
Scope and Objectives:
The Act applies to secured creditors, including banks, financial institutions,
and asset reconstruction companies (ARCs). It covers a wide range of financial
assets and provides a mechanism for their securitization and reconstruction.
key objectives of the SARFAESI Act are:
- To enable banks and financial institutions to enforce their security interests without court intervention.
- To establish debt recovery tribunals (DRTs) and appellate tribunals for expeditious resolution of disputes.
- To provide a framework for securitization and reconstruction of financial assets.
- To promote transparency and accountability in the recovery process.
Explanation of Key Sections:
- Section 13:
This section empowers the secured creditor to issue a notice to the borrower demanding repayment and taking possession of the secured asset. It allows the borrower 60 days to repay the dues and provides an opportunity for a hearing. If the borrower fails to comply, the creditor can take possession and sell the asset.
- Section 17:
This section relates to the right of appeal against measures taken by the secured creditor. It allows the borrower to approach the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) within 45 days to challenge the creditor's actions.
- Section 34:
This section establishes the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) as a specialized forum to adjudicate disputes arising under the SARFAESI Act. It has the power to pass orders regarding possession, sale, and recovery of dues.
Important Judicial Pronouncements:
Mardia Chemicals Ltd. vs. Union of India:
The Supreme Court held that the SARFAESI Act is a constitutionally valid legislation and emphasized the necessity of adhering to the principles of natural justice while taking action under the Act.
Standard Chartered Bank vs. Noble Kumar:
The Delhi High Court ruled that the SARFAESI Act is applicable to non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and upheld their power to take action under the Act.
Transcore vs. Union of India:
The Supreme Court clarified that the SARFAESI Act does not have overriding effect over other laws, and in case of inconsistency, the provisions of the SARFAESI Act would prevail.
The SARFAESI Act has played a crucial role in enabling banks and financial
institutions to recover their dues efficiently. Its scope extends to various
financial assets, and its key sections provide the necessary legal framework for
enforcement. The Act has witnessed significant judicial pronouncements, further
strengthening its effectiveness and clarifying its applicability. With its
continued implementation, the SARFAESI Act continues to contribute to the
resolution of NPAs and