NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Wednesday agreed to hear on October 18 a plea seeking directions for interim protective measures for insuring around 15 lakh customers whose money is blocked in the scam-hit PMC Bank.
The Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank has been put under restrictions by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) following the discovery of a Rs 4,355-crore scam.
Deposit withdrawals have been capped at Rs 40,000 over a six-month period, causing panic and distress among the depositors.
The matter was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench of justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai.
"Upon oral mentioning made by the petitioner-in-person seeking urgent listing of the matter, the registry is directed to list this matter on Friday, the 18th October, 2019 before an appropriate bench, subject to curing of defects," the bench said.
The petition has sought a direction for issuance of "exhaustive and comprehensive guideline" to safeguard the banking and cooperative deposits in the eventuality of emergency financial crisis where citizens are financially stranded by the acts of a few "unscrupulous persons".
The plea, filed by Delhi-based Bejon Kumar Misra, said the Centre and the RBI should be directed to ensure complete insulation and insurance of the hard-earned deposited money of people in various cooperative banks, including nationalised banks, by enacting an appropriate measure of 100 per cent insurance coverage towards the deposited amount.
It said that a high-powered committee should be constituted to look into the complete affairs of working and their operation in all cooperative banks in order to have a robust and transparent mechanism which can inspire confidence of common public in cooperative banks.
The petition has also sought quashing of the RBI notifications restricting the limit of withdrawal of deposited amount in PMC Bank.
"Being aggrieved by financial sufferings of thousands of innocent depositors of PMC Co-operative bank, the question of accountability and propriety must be addressed to inspire the confidence of the crores of the people in the banking systems," the plea said.
A depositor of PMC Bank allegedly committed suicide in Mumbai on Tuesday while another died of a heart attack a few hours after taking part in a protest by the bank customers seeking their money back.
Real estate firm HDIL allegedly accounted for 70 per cent of the bank's Rs 9,000 crore advances.
According to the Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing, HDIL's loans turned non-performing assets, but the bank management hid this from the RBI's scrutiny.