A government circular, permitting registrars to annul or cancel land documents registered by deceit, has been upheld by the Madras High Court saying that constitutional, statutory or administrative authorities possess the power to recall orders obtained by fraud. Justice T Raja, upholding the circular said, “If it is held that the registering authorities have no power to annul an earlier document, such an interpretation would lead to perilous implications harming public interest and public policy by allowing the fraudulent transactions to take place lavishly behind the back of innocent land owners.” The judge was passing orders on writ petitions which challenged the legality of the circular.
Claimants of dormant accounts and deposits will get an interest of 4% on amounts lying in those accounts, the Parliament was informed. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has established the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund (DEAF) to create awareness about such dormant accounts. “The rate of interest payable by banks to the depositors/claimants on the unclaimed, interest bearing deposit, transferred to the Fund shall be 4% simple interest per annum,” minister of state for finance, Nirmala Sitharaman, said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
“As per the provisions of DEAF, amount to the credit of any account, with any bank, and which has not been operated upon for a period of 10 years, or any deposit or any amount remaining unclaimed for more than ten years shall be credited to the fund, within a period of three months from the expiry of 10 years,” Ms Sitharaman said.
She said the total amount credited to the Fund as on 1 July 2014 by 633 banks was Rs3,455.44 crore. The minister said DEAF should be utilised for promotion of depositors’ interests and for such other purposes necessary for the promotion of depositors’ interests by RBI from time to time.
Initiating the process of providing portable universal account numbers (UANs) to members, EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organisation) issued 41.7 million UANs which would be operational only in October. The process of seeding with the know-your-customer (KYC) documents, like aadhaar card is expected to be complete by 15 September 2014. UAN is expected to improve the quality of service provided to workers in the organised sector, since they would not have to apply for a transfer of PF account claims on changing jobs. EPFO wants that the firms provide aadhaar/NPR number of workers (wherever available) and their bank account number (as part of the KYC details), as it will enable EPFO to provide services directly to the beneficiaries without the intermediation of employers.