Published On : Tue, Apr 12th, 2016

SC pulls up RBI, asks why are names of loan defaulters of over Rs 500 crore not being disclosed

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday termed the amount of loan defaulted by big individuals and corporates in the country as “mind-boggling”.

“RBI has revealed that lakhs of crores of rupees taken on loan has been defaulted by persons and corporates, some of whom have individually taken loans in excess of Rs 500 crore,” the apex court said.

It is a dichotomy that a poor farmer taking few thousand rupees as loan is taken to task but these big people who have taken thousands of crores of rupees and declared their companies sick, are making merry, the top court said.

Stating that the court will have to do something to set the system right, the top court issued notices to the Union finance ministry and the Indian Banks Association.

It also made them parties to the petition.

The court said it will examine if total amount of defaulted loans running in crores can be disclosed. The RBI had earlier raised confidentiality clause.

The next hearing in the case is on April 26.

The court’s attention to big defaulters was drawn by advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had filed a petition more than a decade ago highlighting the scam in Housing and Urban Development Corporation (Hudco) when the BJP-led NDA was in power.

He said a similar approach continued as bad debts of public sector banks running into thousands of crores were written off every now and then.

A newspaper had recently obtained data through RTI Act to report that 29 state-owned banks had written off Rs 1.14 lakh crore of bad debt between financial years 2013 and 2015. The bad debts written off between 2004 and 2015 was Rs 2.11 lakh crore, the daily had reported.