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Friday, August 12 2022

It is duty of legislature: SC turns down Subramanian Swamy’s plea for guidelines for NPAs

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to entertain a plea by MP Subramanian Swamy seeking framing of guidelines to deal with the menace of NPA in the banking sector, saying, “It is the duty of the legislature” and a policy matter, which should be decided by the government and RBI.

However, the top court allowed Swamy to make a representation before the RBI.

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices Vikram Nath and B.V. Nagarathna told Swamy, who argued in-person, “How do we frame guidelines so that non-performing assets (NPAs) do not occur? It’s for the legislature”.

Swamy contended that his plea deals with cases and methods by which a large number of NPAs do not occur again and added that this will be beneficial for everybody. He added that the court can set up a committee in the matter, and insisted “we can make out a case.”

Justice Nath said the RBI and finance ministry have been issuing guidelines, and policies are framed so that NPAs do not occur.

“There is no need for us to interfere in all of this,” the bench noted.

Swamy argued that the RBI is maintaining extraordinary secrecy in connection with information on NPAs, and added that when a bank closes down, people run from pillar to post for their funds.

He further contended that judgments referred in the petition along with others, which states how courts haven’t taken a hard-line position, that it cannot enter this domain.

Justice Chandrachud said: “We can say ultimately RBI can look at your material and take a decision at the policy level. But constituting a committee etc, cannot happen”.

Swamy’s plea stated that it is appropriate for this court to constitute an expert committee for necessary guidelines. The bench said: “In the matter of this nature the reliefs which have been sought are core issues of policy which pertain to the domain of expert bodies such as RBI”.

The bench added that it is not possible for the court to tread into policy domain.

The bench, in its order, said: “We leave it open to the petitioner to submit a representation or the plea itself as a representation to RBI, so that a view can be taken so that any guidelines be duly modified to address the grievances. Plea is accordingly disposed of.”

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