Judgement of the day: Punjab National Bank & Ors. V. Atmanand Singh & Ors.

Facts of the case:

The Respondent had borrowed a certain sum of money from the Appellant and the same was due with interest. After some time the Respondent’s son was diagnosed with cancer and the Respondent sold gold jewellery and approached the Appellant for issuance of bank drafts. The amount was transferred to the loan account against the outstanding dues. The petitioner made grievance before the Branch Manager and thereafter approached the District Magistrate.

The District Magistrate made an enquiry and initiated proceedings wherein various officials were examined. Where after, an agreement was signed by one and all in the presence of Circle Officer and under the overall supervision of the District Magistrate. According to the Agreement the Appellant, after adjusting the amount due by the Respondent, was obligated to keep the remaining in the Fixed Deposit. The Respondent (Petitioner) filed a writ application against the bank’s refusal to honor the Agreement.


When the petition raises questions of fact of complex nature, which may for their determination require oral and documentary evidence to be produced and proved by the concerned party and also because the relief sought is merely for ordering a refund of money, the High Court should be loath in entertaining such writ petition and instead must relegate the parties to remedy of a civil suit. (Para 17)

If on consideration of the nature of the controversy, the High Court decides to go into the disputed questions of fact, it would be free to do so on sound judicial principles. (Para 18)

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