SC to hear PMC Bank customers' plea seeking protection
17 October 2019
The Supreme Court is reported to have agreed to an urgent hearing of a petition seeking directions to provide interim protective measures for insuring around 15 lakh people whose money is blocked in the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank.
The plea, filed by Delhi-based Bejon Kumar Misra, said the centre and the RBI should be ordered to ensure complete insulation and insurance of the money deposited by people in cooperative banks, as also nationalised banks.
The petitioner wants the central government and RBI to provide 100 per cent insurance cover for the amount deposited.
On Wednesday, the matter came up for urgent hearing before a bench of Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai. The apex court is reported to have agreed to hear the depositors’ plea on 18 October.
“Upon oral mentioning made by the petitioner-in-person seeking urgent listing of the matter, the registry is directed to list this matter on Friday, October 18, 2019, before an appropriate bench, subject to curing of defects,” a PTI report cited an SC bench as saying.
The petitioners also want a direction to the government to set up a high-powered committee to look into the affairs of all cooperative banks. The petition also sought quashing of the RBI notifications restricting withdrawals from PMC Bank.
“Being aggrieved by financial sufferings of thousands of innocent depositors of PMC Co-operative bank, the question of accountability and propriety must be addressed to inspire the confidence of cores of people in the banking systems,” the plea said.
Three account holders of the PMC Bank have died in Mumbai in the last 24 hours. Two of the three deaths were due to heart attacks as relatives of the deceased said they were under “severe stress”, and another depositor allegedly committed suicide.
Former Jet Airways employee Sanjay Gulati, 51, died on Monday night, 52-year-old Fatommal Punjabi died of a heart attack after he collapsed in his shop at Sindhi Colony in the Mumbai’s Mulund area on Tuesday afternoon. Dr Yogita Bijlani, who moved to Mumbai from the United States last year, allegedly committed suicide.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate is looking into allegations that the bank did not report all non-performing assets, or bad loans, after providing funds to a number of companies. The scam is said to be worth Rs4,355 crore. The Reserve Bank of India had earlier this month imposed restrictions on the amount of money that can be withdrawn from the bank. Deposit withdrawals have been capped at Rs40,000 for six months.