SC Asks Finance Ministry to Respond to PIL Seeking Mechanism on Unclaimed Deposits

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Union Ministry of Finance to file its response in three weeks to a PIL seeking a mechanism to inform the legal heirs of deceased depositors about the unclaimed deposits lying dormant in bank accounts.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice J B Pardiwala took note of the submissions of a lawyer, representing the Centre, that a reply to the PIL has been filed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and some more time may be granted to the Finance Ministry.

“The Ministry of Finance is granted three weeks time to file the counter affidavit (reply),” the bench said.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Sucheta Dalal, a journalist.

It had earlier issued notices to the two union ministries, market regulator SEBI and the RBI.

The PIL has sought directions to the Centre and others to ensure that unclaimed deposits of the public that get transferred to government owned funds be given to the legal heirs of the depositors. It said a mechanism needed to be evolved to inform the legal heirs about the unclaimed deposits lying in dormant bank accounts.

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