The Reserve Bank of India on Monday told the Supreme Court that it could not make public the identities of the big defaulters of loans as such disclosure could severely impact the businesses. Telling the bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar that disclosing the names of big defaulters could adversely impact the businesses, the RBI said that there were laws that can be looked into to decide whether the identities of big decision can be made public. The central bank, which has already submitted the list of big defaulters in a sealed cover, said: “There are a series of statutes that can be looked into to decide whether the disclosure can be made.”
As the apex bank insisted that it could not make public the names of big defaulters, the court asked it to file an affidavit on the issue and directed the hearing of the matter after four weeks. The RBI’s stance in response to a plea by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation which is seeking the disclosure of the names of all defaulters who owe more than Rs 500 crore to the banks. The court also wanted to know how the public-owned banks and financial institutions advancing large scale loans without proper guidelines.
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The RBI was asked to tell the court if there were guidelines on advancing of loans and whether adequate procedures to recover them. The top court had, in the earlier hearings on the PIL, expressed concern over the rising bad loans. The CPIL had moved the court in 2003 pointing to bad loans advanced to a few companies by the state-owned Housing and Urban Development Corp Ltd.