Kochi: The High Court has ordered to return the house of Preetha Shaji, which was auctioned and sold over non repayment of loan.
The HC order cancelled a bank move auctioning and selling the property valued around Rs 2.5 crores for Rs 37.8 lakhs. The order was announced after a petition alleging that the auction, conducted eight years after the Debt Recovery Tribunal’s (DRT) order, was not legally valid.
Preetha Shaji can retain the house after paying the bank Rs 43.35 lakhs. However, she needs to pay the amount within one month. If she fails to pay the amount, the bank can initiate new auction procedure. The court also ordered to pay Ratheesh, who bought the house in the auction earlier, Rs 1 lakh.
In 1994, Preetha Shaji appeared as a surety for his friend who had taken Rs 2 lakhs as loan from HDFC bank. As the loan was not repaid, the fine and interest amounted to Rs 2.70 crore, said the bank officials. Following this the bank auctioned and sold the 18.5 cent property for Rs 37 lakh.
Alleging conspiracy behind the bank’s action, Preetha Shaji had filed a petition seeking CBI inquiry into the issue.
Earlier, Preetha Shaji had conducted a protest in front of the Panampilly Nagar DRT office for two days and nights. She along with her supporters were arrested and removed from the spot. Then, Preetha Shaji resorted to a hunger strike protest by setting up a pyre at the spot demanding to stop the evacuation procedure.