Supreme Court - RBI Debate on Naming Big Defaulters

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Vijay Mallya is not the only big defaulter that has many a banks worried. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had submitted in a sealed cover information about other big defaulters to the Supreme Court.

After going through the list Supreme Court is of the opinion that the information provided to it by RBI should be made public along with the total amount of outstanding loans given by banks to various individuals and entities which is running into lakhs of crores of rupees.

RBI

Supreme Court had in past too expressed concerns about the rise in bad loans of the banks.

Supreme Court's views:

A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice R Banumathi was of the opinion that, "This information does make out a case. This is quite a substantial amount which is involved."

The Bench found that the matter was important and it was ready to examine if the total amount of defaulting loans which run into crores of rupees can be disclosed. The Bench was also asked all the parties involved in the matter to frame the topics that can be debated.

The Bench expressed surprise that banks were taking no concrete steps for the recovery of loan from such big defaulters.

RBI's views:

RBI though was had a very different opinion about making the names of defaulters public. RBI's argument was that there was a confidentiality clause that needs to be considered before these names are made public. Also the Bank felt that making these names and figures public will have its own impact.

History:

The petition to make the names of defaulters public was filed in 2003 by an NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation. The issue originally raised was of loans advanced to some companies by government owned Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).

The Bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice R Banumathi expanded the scope of the PIL and impleaded Ministry of Finance and Indian Bank's Association to discuss the matter. The matter has been posted for further hearing on April 26th.

The plea had mentioned that around Rs. 40,000 crore of corporate debt was written off in 2015.

Supreme Court had sought information from RBI:

The Supreme Court had directed the RBI to provide following information to it:

  1. A list of companies which are defaulters of bank loans of over Rs 500 crore.
  2. Provide within six weeks the list of companies whose loans have been restructured under corporate debt restructuring schemes.

Supreme Court had taken note of a news report about bad loans of the banks and their inability to recover the loan amounts from the big defaulters.

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