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2017 (9) TMI 127

Head Note:
Interest on the amount of the Award - Payment of actual rate of interest earned by the respondent on the amount seized and confiscated from the petitioner - accretion to the amount seized from the petitioner - Held that:- In the present case it is admitted that the respondent had received interest amounting to ₹1,64,52,470/- on the separate fixed deposit created from the currency seized. However, it is seen that the respondent has paid only a sum of ₹1,19,09,803/- as interest. Thus, the respondent is directed to refund the balance amount of ₹45,42,667/- (₹1,64,52,470/- minus ₹1,19,09,803/-).

The respondent has also provided no justification for not paying the amount of interest along with the amount seized. Even according to the respondent, a sum of ₹1,19,09,803/- was payable to the petitioner on 25.10.2012. However, this amount was paid by the respondent on 05.04.2013, and there is no explanation, whatsoever for retaining the amount. The petitioner has been deprived of the use of the said funds and, thus, is entitled to be compensated for the same. There are numerous decisions, where the Courts have awarded interest as compensation for denial of the right to utilise the money due. In Thazhathe Purayil Sarabi & Ors v. Union of India (2009 (5) TMI 966 - SUPREME COURT) the Supreme Court observed that “As has been frequently explained by this Court and various High Courts, interest is essentially a compensation payable on account of denial of the right to utilise the money due, which has been, in fact, utilized by the person withholding the same. Accordingly, payment of interest follows as a matter of course when a money decree is passed”.

Thus, this Court is of the view that the respondent be also directed to pay interest at the rate of 6% per annum on the said sum of ₹1,19,09,803/- (which was concededly due to the petitioner on 25.10.2012) for the period from 25.10.2012 to 05.04.2013.


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