A day after the reported death of a Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) bank account holder over uncertainty of their savings, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to provide 100 percent security and protection to the savings of large number of customers.
The PIL was filed by Delhi-based consumer activist Bejon Kumar Misra seeking protection to 15 lakh consumers and a direction to frame guidelines to safeguard the deposits in case of financial crisis of the PMC bank.
Petitioner's counsel Advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi mentioned before the Bench headed by Justice N V Ramana for urgent hearing of the petition.
The bench agreed to hear the plea on October 18.
The petitioner alleged that the financial fiasco of the PMC bank which caused mass erosion of the public confidence in the banking system of our country.
The plea said "thousands of depositors across the country are grappling the financial hardships by arbitrary circular issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which leads tolimit the withdrawal of their own money initially up to Rs 10000/- only and subsequently to Rs 25000/...-.Hence,the circular is arbitrary and discriminatory."
Seeking protection to the consumers' money, it prayed for laying down a " comprehensive and exhaustive guidelines" arising out of the recent situation.
Further, the plea alleged that the hard earned money of the common people are being looted and plundered by few influential and unscrupulous people making them financially orphan and resourceless.
The RBI has imposed restrictions on the Bank for six months following irregularities by it.
The Apex bank, however increased the withdrawal limit of depositors to Rs 40,000 from Rs 25,000.
The plea said that a high-powered committee should be constituted to look into the complete affairs of working and their operation in all co-operative banks in order to have a robust and transparent mechanism which can inspire confidence of common public in co-operative banks.
A few PMC bank account holders have filed a PIL in Bombay HC challenging the restrictions on withdrawals.
As per the initial probe Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing, the bank had loaned nearly 70% of its Rs 9000 crores deposits to real estate firm HDIL in contravention of RBI guidelines.