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Atul Patankar posted a topic in RTI in MediaAs reported by C Unnikrishnan at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 21 September 2009 MUMBAI: Although a Union finance minister had once described the rising non- performing assets (NPA) of nationalised banks as a loot, public sector banks are unwilling to divulge the names of those who have defaulted on huge loans. None of the 25 public sector banks who were asked to name big defaulters under the Right to Information did so. Sixteen of these banks merely gave figures of the outstandings while nine refused to even reply. According to information provided under RTI, the banks have written off over Rs 15,000 crore in the period 2003-2008. The banks reasoned that furnishing the names is not in public interest and is an invasion into the privacy of borrowers. The RTI application was filed by Borivili resident Richie Shoaib Sequeira on the directions of the Bombay high court. On Thursday, chief justice Swatanter Kumar and Ajay Khanwilkar, while hearing his PIL, directed that notices be issued to Union of India, RBI and other banks. The court also directed Sequeira to make the state crime investigation department a party to the PIL. The matter will come up for hearing on October 15. At the last hearing, the HC had asked Sequeira to invoke RTI or any other law to gather details from the banks. Sequeira had filed a PIL, saying there has been no strict vigil by the finance ministry and RBI while writing off loans by the banks and the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) had failed to recover the debts. The RBI, finance ministry, law ministry and DRT have said that in their replies they have no records of the write-offs and one-time settlements between the borrowers and banks. The PIL also said that no rules have been framed by the finance ministry while writing off loans by the banks, which smacks of corruption. Some of the banks in their replies have said that the write-off is done in accordance with the guidelines framed by the board of directors. During a debate in the Lok Sabha in 2002, the then finance minister Jaswant Singh had described the NPA menace as a loot. The banks which refused to disclose details about the defaulters include SBI its associates, Union Bank, Bank of Baroda, Central Bank of India, Dena Bank, Andhra Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Syndicate Bank and Indian Overseas Bank. Banks like Corporation Bank, UCO Bank, BoI and Allahabad Bank refused to reply to the RTI questions. The banks mostly approach the DRT, attach assets under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act or go in for a one-time settlement to recover whatever dues they can. The DRT, set up for expeditious adjudication and recovery of debts owed to banks and financial institutions, recovered just 32% of the total outstanding amount in the period 2001-07. In the case of State Bank of Travancore, in the period 2003-2008, of the Rs 10,162 crore claimed by the bank, it has recovered only 15%. Another 50% of the claims is yet to be decided. In the one-time settlement, the bank has forgone another Rs 800 crore. Dena Bank has managed to recover only Rs 725 crore of the Rs 151,85 crore for the period 2003-2008. And the bank has foregone another Rs 950 crore as part of one-time settlement in the period 2006-2008. In the case of Oriental Bank of Commerce, the bank has foregone Rs 1353.5 crore in the last four years. Union Bank of India has recovered only Rs 3,261.5 crore of the Rs 7,623 crore in the period 2006-08. Source: Banks shy away from revealing big defaulters' names - Mumbai - City - NEWS - The Times of India
sidmis posted a topic in RTI in MediaRTI query gives ‘offender’ Customs agent clean chit as reported by Urvi Mahajani, Hindustan Times, Mumbai, June 08, 2010 He was labelled a repeat offender by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Customs evasion cases. But Amber Mufti (54), a Customs clearing and forwarding agent, learnt through the Right to Information Act that there are no previous cases lodged against him. He has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court, seeking direction against DRI officers for allegedly implicating him in a false evasion case and illegally detaining him in September 2009. The Bombay High Court has issued notices to the DRI, Additional Director General of DRI K.K. Sharma, Assistant Director of DRI Chetan Lama and Intelligence Officer Abhay Pashine. A division bench of Justice B.H. Marlapalle and Justice A.V. Mohta also directed Pashine to be present in the court on June 21. Mufti’s petition said he was detained by the DRI on September 23, 2009, and was produced before a metropolitan magistrate on September 25 evening in an alleged customs evasion case. The DRI did not give him a copy of his remand application. After being released on bail after 90 days, Mufti acquired copy of the remand application as the DRI did not file chargesheet. DRI’s remand application said: “Mufti is a regular customs offender and has been arrested by the DRI on earlier two occasions on cases of similar nature.” Mufti’s lawyer argued that his client was never arrested before September 23. Mufti filed an application under the RTI with the DRI and magistrate’s court seeking information of the cases under which he was arrested. The DRI did not send any reply to Mufti, states his petition. On March 15, he got a reply from the additional chief metropolitan magistrate, third court esplanade, signed by Chetan Lame, assistant director of the DRI giving him a clean chit. RTI query gives
Atul Patankar posted a topic in RTI in MediaAs reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Apr 2, 2010 THANE: Over three lakh cases are pending in the Bombay High Court, according to an information revealed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The details, dated till December 31, 2009 were given after local social worker Omprakash Sharma sought information in this regard. According to the RTI reply statement, there were as many as 3,38,183 cases were pending in the Bombay High Court and the sanctioned number judges in the court is 75 while the working strength presently is 63. Also, the figures of the division bench vary as per the assignment of judicial work. During the present assignment there are ten division benches at Bombay, three at Nagpur, three at Aurangabad and one at Goa, it said. Normally, the assignment is changed five times in a year and matters are being placed in due sequence before the respective benches, it stated. Sharma has demanded the Union law ministry that additional benches be set up in Nanded, Jalgaon and Pune to clear the pendency. Source: More than three lakh cases pending in Bombay HC: RTI - Mumbai - City - The Times of India