Don’t be like cut-throat money lenders: Kerala HC
Coming down heavily on the inhumane attitude of a bank towards an ill-fated family, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday observed that the public sector institutions should be fair in dealings and should not exploit the weak and vulnerable sections of society. The court pointed out that the bank made a total profit of `18.7 lakh by leasing and later selling a building attached for defaulting on a loan amount of `15,000. “The bank should be engaged only in money lending and not take up real estate business with the borrower’s property,” the court observed. While the clever borrower enjoys all the incentives from the bank, with their huge debts being invariably written off, the sick and the weak are exploited, the court held.
A Division Bench comprising Justice C N Ramachandran Nair and Justice P S Gopinathan made the observation while considering a petition filed by R Shobhana of Thampanoor and her three children challenging the decision of State Bank of Travancore(SBT), Thiruvananthapuram, for not refunding the profit made by the bank after the sale of their property.
The court directed SBT to refund `6.5 lakh to the family members of the deceased debtor after a gap of almost 30 years. Within two weeks, the bank should hand over `2 lakh to Shobhana and `1.5 lakh each to her children, Anoop, Sophia and Raj.
The petitioner had availed of a loan of `15,000 from the bank in 1984 and they defaulted in payment. The mortgaged property was a commercial building in the town and the total debt was `20,000.