Delhi HC dismisses PIL seeking oversight Committee for Co-operative Banks

The Delhi High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the formation of a high-powered committee to oversee the operations of co-operative banks, stating that such matters fall under the purview of the executive and legislature.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, in a recent judgment, refused to issue directions in response to the plea filed by Bejon Kumar Misra, which had urged the Union government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to ensure comprehensive insurance coverage for deposits in co-operative banks and provide guidelines for safeguarding deposits during financial crises.

The petition also sought interim measures for consumers affected by the freezing of funds in the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Ltd (PMC Bank).

Acknowledging the RBI’s submission of a Gazette notification outlining the merger scheme of PMC Bank with Unity Bank, sanctioned by the Central government, the court noted the RBI’s statutory obligation to protect depositors’ interests under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

“The said scheme has been prepared by RBI as per its statutory mandate under Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to protect the interest of depositors of PMC Bank,” the court noted.

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“The petitioner has not disputed the contents of the said affidavit. Therefore, the present petition seeking reliefs for the depositors of the PMC Bank does not survive for consideration.”

Given the existing insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh per bank account, increased from Rs 1 lakh per account in February 2020, the court deemed further directions unnecessary. Moreover, on the issue of premium costs for insurance coverage, the court indicated that no additional directions could be issued in this regard. (IANS)

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