Bank of Baroda cited technical reasons for withdrawing auction notice of Sunny Deol's property. Image Credit: AFP

London: Bollywood actor Sunny Deol on Tuesday declined to comment on the Bank of Baroda's property auction notice, saying that the matter was personal.

Bank of Baroda the state-owned bank was set to put on auction the property owned by actor and BJP Member of Parliament Sunny Deol to recover Rs 56 crore (Rs560 million).

“I do not want to comment. These are personal matters. Main kuch bhi bolunga, log ghhalat matlab nikalenge (Whatever I will say, people will interpret it wrong),” Sunny Deol told the news agency ANI.

What went wrong?

The remarks comes a day after the bank advertised about e-auctioning of the actor’s property.

A newspaper advertisement on Monday said that "the sale notice I respect of Ajay Sing Deol alias Sunny Deol stands withdrawn due to Technical Reasons” and listed the description of the property.

On Sunday, in the newspaper advertisement, that has been widely circulated in the social media, BOB said the borrower, Sunny Deol, owed the bank about Rs 55.99 crore plus interest and cost from December 26, 2022 onwards less recovery upto date.

Whether the bank missspelt the actor’s name as 'Ajay Sing Deol' instead of 'Ajay Singh Deol' is yet to be ascertained.

Bank makes u-turn, explains reasons

Meanwhile, Bank of Baroda has cited two major “technical” reasons as to why it withdrew the auction notice of actor-cum-parliamentarian Sunny Deol’s property in Mumbai.

Earlier it withdrew the sale notice published citing “technical reasons”.

“First, the total dues did not specify the exact quantum of dues to be recovered. Secondly, the sale notice was based on a symbolic possession of the property as per Rule 8(6) of The Security Interest (Enforcement) Rules 2002. An application has been made for physical possession by the Bank with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on 01st August’2023, which is pending for permission,” a Bank of Baroda spokesperson said in a statement.

“Since the unit is running as conveyed to us by the borrower, sale action will be initiated as per the provisions of the SARFAESI Act, once the physical possession is taken,” the spokesperson said.

In the meantime, the bank said the borrower has approached the lender for settling the dues as per the sale notice published on Sunday, “where the borrower/guarantors were notified that they are entitled to redeem the securities by paying the outstanding dues/costs/charges and expenses at any time before the sale is conducted.”

Citing these as reasons, the sale notice is withdrawn as per the normal industry practice followed in other cases as well, the spokesperson added.

Hopefully there will be action: Congress

Congress has targeted the BJP government over the clarification by Bank of Baroda to not e-auction the property saying that hopefully there will be action in recovering the Rs 56 crore owed to the bank by the actor.

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh in a tweet said: “Undoubtedly, the public outcry and the media coverage has led the Bank of Baroda to issue a clarification on the so-called ‘technical reasons’ behind its withdrawal of its notice of yesterday regarding the property of BJP MP Sunny Deol. There will be no auction. Hopefully, there will be action in recovering the Rs. 56 crores owed to it by the BJP MP.”

Earlier, Ramesh, who is also party’s communications incharge, taunted the BJP government over withdrawal of bank notice to e-auction actor-turned-politician’s Juhu residence saying "wonder who triggered these technical reasons".

Taking to his social media handle X, the party's General Secretary said, “Yesterday afternoon the nation got to know that Bank of Baroda had put up the Juhu residence of BJP MP Sunny Deol for e-auction since he has not paid up Rs 56 crore owed to the Bank.”

“This morning, in less than 24 hours, the nation has got to know that the Bank of Baroda has withdrawn the auction notice due to 'technical reasons'.

“Wonder who triggered these ‘technical reasons’?” the Congress Rajya Sabha MP said.

Sunny Deol is a BJP Lok Sabha MP from Punjab's Gurdaspur Parliamentary constituency.