“…Because You Locked Down Entire Country”: Supreme Court Rebukes Centre

The Supreme Court on Wednesday lashed out at the Central government for not filing the affidavit in time with respect to the government’s decision on whether interest can be waived or, whether it can stop charging interest on interest accrued during moratorium period. The Centre had to clarify its position under the Disaster Management Act (DMA) and file an affidavit entailing its power.

While observing that the case has been hanging for a long time, Justice Ashok Bhushan heading the bench observed, “The problem was created by your (Centre) lockdown. It appears Union of India is hiding behind Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ” He added, “It is not the time to look after business only, consider relief. This is not the time to consider business only. Plight of the people has to be considered.”

The bench also comprising justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MR Shah observed that the Centre has sufficient powers under DMA to take a decision on whether it can direct the banks to stop charging interest on deferred EMIs and stop interest from accruing on interest for moratorium period.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that the government and RBI are working together in cooperation and it is unfair to say that the Centre is hiding.

The apex court directed the Centre to file its delayed affidavit in a weeks’ time and clarify its stand on loan moratorium repayment, which expires on 31 August.

The case will be next heard on 1 September.


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