Despite the rising non performing assets ( NPAs), nationalized banks express unwillingness to reveal the names of the big defaulters.
According to the right to information act, the banks have written off over 15000 cr. during the period 2003-08. Under the right to information act, 25 public sector banks were asked to reveal the names of these big defaulters. Out of these, sixteen merely gave the amount of outstanding loans while nine did not even reply.
The banks said that revealing the names would intrude the privacy of the borrowers and would not be in public interest.
Bombay high court directed Richie Shoaib Sequeira , a Borivali resident to file an application with the RTI. On Thursday, while hearing the litigation, chief justice Swatanter Kumar and Ajay Khanwilkar, directed that notices be issued to the central bank, the Union bank and others. The court also asked Sequeria to involve the state crime investigation department in this regard. The matter will come up for hearing on the 15th of October.
Sequeria had filed a PIL, saying that the finance ministry and the reserve bank had not maintained a strict vigil while writing off the debts and the DRT, debt recovery tribunals, have failed to recover the debts.
The PIL also complained that no rules have been framed by the finance ministry pertaining to writing off debts. Defending themselves, some banks said that the write off was done in accordance with the guidelines of the board of directors.
The banks that refused to reveal details about the defaulters include SBI, Central bank of India, Oriental bank of commerce, Dena bank, Syndicate bank, Andhra bank , Indian Overseas bank. Other banks like UCO, Corporation bank and Allahabad bank refused to reply to RTI questions.
The debt recovery tribunals help financial institutions to recover their bad debts. The Debt Recovery Tribunal are governed by provisions of the Recovery of Debt Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993, also popularly called as the RDB Act. Rules have been framed and notified under the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993.
Dena bank recovered only Rs. 725 crore of the Rs 151,85 crore for the period 2003-2008. UBI could recover only Rs. 3261.5 crore of the Rs. 7,623 crore in the period 2006-08.