Mah has asked Centre to enact law to protect depositors: Patil

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Nagpur, Jan 24 (UNI) Maharashtra has made a request to the Centre to enact a law at national level to protect the interests of depositors, who put their money in private banks and credit societies in the hope of earning higher interest, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil said.

Speaking to newspersons here today, Mr Patil, who also holds the Home portfolio, said Maharashtra had enacted a law in this regard, a few years ago, but it had been struck down by the Bombay High Court as null and void. On the other hand, the High Court in Tamil Nadu had upheld a similar law enacted in the state, he said.

The Government of Maharashtra had, therefore, approached the Supreme Court pointing out the difference in judgements and seeking a ruling on the same.

''In the meantime, we have asked the Centre for help to prevent unscrupulous elements from robbing people of their money with promises of huge interests,'' he said.

Mr Patil further said the state government had written to the Centre yesterday asking molestation should be changed from a bailable offence to a non-bailable offence. The state had also asked the Centre to enhance the punishment for such offences, which at present is imprisonment for only one year, the Deputy Chief Minister said.

Earlier today, Mr Patil inaugurated a new police station, the 21st in the city, in Nandanvan area in the eastern part.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Patil said the police force would now need to tackle the white-collar crime on a priority, as the amount involved was much higher than that in traditional methods of crime.

He said property worth Rs 37 crore had been looted in various incidents of robbery and dacoity in Maharashtra last year. By contrast, the loss or damage caused by white-collar crime was a whopping Rs 2,100 crore during the same period, he added.

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