Companies & Sectors
Bombay High Court asks Central Bank of India to file affidavit in a PIL filed by Sawant

Sawant, a popular union leader from Central Bank of India, has raised in his PIL the issue of bulging NPAs of state-run banks and lack of action by the lenders as well as government and regulators

 

The Bombay High Court, while admitting a plea by Subhash Sawant, a union leader from Central Bank of India, has asked the Bank to file an affidavit within two weeks. Sawant had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) against, the Union government, Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the Bank, Central Bank Employees Federation and Indian Banks' Association (IBA).
 
Sawant, the General Secretary, of Central Bank Employees Union, has been actively raising his voice against the rising non-performing assets (NPAs) in public sector banks (PSBs) and its inept handling by the bank officials for many years. His relentless battle in the past exposed the dubious dealings of the Bank's former chairperson Homai Daruwala.
 
Earlier, in May 2014, the All India Bank Employees Association and in July 2014, the Bank Employees Federation of India issued releases containing names of several clienteles of public sector banks who have defaulted in repayment of the loans running into thousands of crores of rupees.
 
Subsequently, in October 2014, Sawant issued a press note detailing names of various borrowers of Central Bank of India who have defaulted in repayment worth thousands of crores of rupees.
 
Sawant retired from the Bank in 2009 but continues to be agitated about the impact of rising bad loans. He has been creating awareness among the public about how funds are being doled out to chosen industrialists. 
 
On 3rd November, the Bank issued him a notice for failing to maintain good conduct as a retired employee and providing ‘misleading information’ to the media about bad loans and their recovery. If the action is taken to its logical conclusion, Sawant’s pension and benefits from the Bank would be affected.
 
Sawant, however, stated in the petition that he issue he is raising is about NPAs of state-run banks and lack of action by the lenders as well as government and regulators. He clarified that personal issues with the Bank should not be clubbed with the PIL and he will take appropriate steps in his personal capacity. 
 
Central Bank of India, has had many controversial chairpersons, including Daruwala, who only got a ‘letter of displeasure’; but it is attempting to silence a bold union leader by threatening his pension. In order to understand why the Bank wants to silence Sawant, take a look at the massive bad loans that he has been drawing attention to. 
 
Just 16 corporate groups account for bad loans of Rs4,255 crore in Central Bank of India. Of these, one particular loan is probably making the Bank’s senior management very jumpy—it is the outstanding of Rs316 crore to Sujana Towers, a company belonging to the recently inducted minister, YS Chowdary, of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). The Bank claims that Sujana Towers is not an NPA when it is. The table reads like a list of the more outrageous rip-offs of Indian banking by corporate India. It includes the notorious Winsome Diamonds and Forever Diamonds. Three companies belong to the S Kumar group whose promoters continue to be rich, while they owe big money to lenders. Then there is Kingfisher Airlines with dues of Rs365 crore, the Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd and others. 
 
As a consequence of the support lent by Bank insiders to the whistleblower, the charges against Ms Daruwala were proved. The Bank spent Rs70 lakh in defending her through the politically-connected Abhishek Manu Singhvi (he was paid Rs50 lakh in fees). 
 
In December 2014, Sawant filed a PIL seeking the Bombay High Court’s ‘interference and directions’ for effective loan recoveries in PSBs and ordering them to recover the loans that their clients have defaulted on. 
 
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COMMENTS

P b Sarma

2 years ago

All big ticket NPAs are nothing but siphoning off public deposits into unviable projects of politicians and keeping quiet.Govt does not want to recover these loans with stiff measures but wants to penalise staff by giving less salaries and levy higher service charges on innocent public.

Veeresh Malik

2 years ago

Good job by Mr. Sawant. As a constituent member of Central Bank of India with a bank account with them for 48 years now (since 1967 with the same branch) I would like to join Mr. Sawant as co-petitioner if possible.

Vaibhav Dhoka

2 years ago

All petty are small account holders should support Mr Sawant in his PIL about NPA. This.This rise in NPA will give rise to increased service charges by members of IBA followed by non members.

Prabhu gives green signal to much awaited big-ticket FDI proposals
With the government allowing 100% FDI in the railway sector, setting up of the two big-ticket locomotive plants in Bihar through joint venture model is crucial for Railways to give a boost to its infrastructure
 
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has given the go-ahead to two much awaited big-ticket foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals for setting up diesel and electric locomotive plants in Bihar at a cost of Rs2,400 crore. This ends the suspense over the future of Madhepura electric locomotive plant and Marhora diesel locomotive plant in the state. 
 
The Railways have finalised the financial bidding for the high-value joint venture projects after considerable delays. After prolonged due diligence, there has been repeated revision of bidding documents. The request for proposals (RFP) containing financial bidding documents for both the plants are ready and the shortlisted bidders have been intimated the same, said a senior railway ministry official. 
 
Four global companies—Alstom, Siemens, GE and Bombardier—have been shortlisted for the proposed electric locomotive factory at Madhepura.  Two multinationals—GE and EMD—are vying to get the diesel locomotive plant at Marhora. The estimated cost of the factories is about Rs1,200 crore each. The financial bidding will be opened on 31st August and there will be two pre-bid meetings held in between, the official said. 
 
With the government allowing 100% FDI in the railway sector, setting up of the two locomotive plants in joint venture model is crucial for Railways to give a boost to its infrastructure. The two projects are among top eight infrastructure projects being monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
 
The Madhepura plant will manufacture 800 electric locomotives of 12,000 horse power (HP) over 11 years. While five electric locomotives will be imported, 795 will be manufactured at Madhepura, as per the bidding condition.
 
Marhora plant will produce 4500 HP and 6,000 HP diesel locomotives using state-of-the-art technology. In the course of about 10 years after commissioning, the proposed Marhora plant is expected to manufacture about 1,000 diesel-electric locomotives, that is 100 locomotives annually.
 
While 700 diesel locomotives will be equipped with 4,500 horse power (HP), 300 diesel locomotives will be manufactured with 6,000 HP. 

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COMMENTS

vishal

2 years ago

this is bound to stir the hornets net in the minds of Railways workers and unions. Whatever assurance given by the Government the Railways will not be privatized, there will be no takers for it in future. Whether or not this will affect the much needed funds for Railways is to be seen. With Private sector/s going to have a big hand in Railway infrastructure the cost of Railway travelling may go up.

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