Letters to the editor
Apropos of the edit “Treating TB”, the government must take great care to ensure that the rollout of bedaquiline in the country stays immune from the habits of TB patients regarding drug administration that have driven the rise of MDR and XDR TB. Patients often discontinue the medicine upon visible relief from the disease, mistaking that for a full cure. With bedaquiline, we have a hope of bringing down and eventually eliminating XDR and MDR TB and the strains of the TB pathogen that have developed resistance. If India doesn’t pay heed to this, we may soon have a deadlier strain spreading and even worse form of drug resistance. In a country where several thousands die of tuberculosis, any negligence can be costly.
Tall talk on NPAs
Apropos of the report “No bank defaulter will be spared, warns PM Modi; attacks Congress” (FE, March 28), though the PM’s warning that no bank defaulter will be spared sounds great but accusing the Congress party of helping the rich usurp people’s money and claim that his government has “tightened the screws” on the looters who are now fleeing due to fear of going to jail sounds too delusional. The Modi government has miserably failed to handle the case of business tycoon Vijay Mallya in the right earnest and has failed to prevent his escape. Ironically, Modi’s remark is far from the truth as there is no visible reprieve from the NPA problem for the PSBs. One wishes that the PM’s commitment towards not sparing the bank defaulters does not turn out to be yet another hoax as has happened in the case of his tall promises of bringing back black money stashed abroad.
S Gupta, Delhi
Bank staff as public servants
Apropos of your editorial “Public disservice” (FE, March 26), as per your paper, the employees in private sector banks should not be brought within the definition of public servants. In this context, Section 46A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 is reproduced below:
Section 46A: Chairman, Director, etc., is to be public servants for the purposes of Chapter IX of the Indian Penal Code. Every chairman who is appointed on a whole-time basis, managing director, director, auditor, liquidator, manager and any other employee of a banking company shall be deemed to be a public servant for the purposes of Chapter IX of the Indian Penal Code(45 of 1860). As such, the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 itself states that all the employees of a banking company shall be deemed to be public servants. This is required in the case of banking companies as they accept large amount of deposits from the public. The problem arose due to the fact that the Chapter IX of the Indian Penal Code was repealed and the corresponding provisions were included in the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Section 46A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 should have been amended at that time and the words “for the purposes of Chapter IX of the Indian Penal Code” should have been replaced by the words “for the purposes of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988”. In the Global Trust Bank case, the lawyers of Ramesh Gelli and others were trying to take advantage of this legal lacuna in the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The issue has been set right now by the Supreme Court and they have done what should perhaps have been done by the legislature.