By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], May 3 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank and others on an application seeking immediate release of emergency funds to meet the financial needs arising out of sudden outbreak of second wave of COVID-19.
The bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh sought response from all the respondents and asked the RBI to be sympathetic to the depositors. The bench slated the matter for May 13.
The interim application was filed in the pending petition filed by Bejon Kumar Misra challenging withdrawal limits in PMC Bank.
Advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi, who appeared for petitioner, submitted that the common depositors are condemned to lead "humiliated life without any money at a time when they are in the need of money". He said the interim order cannot be continued for indefinite period of time especially during the outbreak of COVID-19.
The application said the second wave of pandemic is posing huge challenge to the depositors of PMC on account of increased price for the treatment in hospitals and cost of essential medicines.
The petitioner sought directions to the respondent to release the money within 24 hours in case the depositors are facing urgent financial problems through special establishment of 24X7 grievance redressal mechanism as there is no mechanism for processing requests and responses to requests of those needy depositors and they are being kept under dark about the process of their request for release of the required money.
Earlier, in the ongoing matter, the petitioner submitted that current scenario casts serious doubt "on the legitimacy of the banking system of our country, which is not responding even in a critical situation of the depositors in such critical pandemic situation".
Delhi High Court had earlier directed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank and other respondents to consider the needs of the depositors during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The RBI had capped the deposit withdrawal limit at Rs 40,000 and restricted the activities of the PMC Bank after an alleged fraud of Rs 4,355 crore came to light. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized and identified movable and immovable assets worth more than Rs 3,830 crore owned by HDIL in connection with the case. (ANI)