New Delhi [India], December 8 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned to tomorrow the hearing on the pleas seeking an extension of the loan moratorium period and waiver of interest on interest on term loans in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, fixed the matter for further hearing on Wednesday.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central government, said he has already filed his written submissions. The Reserve Bank of India circulars were issued under our directions and subsequently people's difficulties during this period were tried to be minimum, Mehta submitted before the bench.
Mehta said it is wrong to say that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has not done anything. "We can't neglect public health during a pandemic," he said.
He submitted that the petitioners have not challenged any of the circulars, especially that of August 6, 2020, and counted the various financial schemes launched by the Government of India in view of the COVID-19 and its economic impact.
"We can't say till when disaster relief measures will be needed, but we have taken all kinds of measures to lessen people's difficulties. We can't predict the date when the pandemic will end," Mehta added concluding his arguments for the Union of India today.
Earlier, the top court had directed that the bank accounts of persons, as on August 31, should not be declared as non-performing assets until the disposal of the pleas seeking an extension of the moratorium period.
Lawyer and one of the petitioners in the case, Vishal Tiwari, said that the submissions of respondents did not cover his prayers and arguments.
Tiwari said the government had not made any proper assessment that how many people have seized to earn a single penny or how many percentages availed the moratorium.
"The respondents have not analyzed the pandemic situation and how much time the economy will take to run smoothly," Tiwari said and added that he would request the apex court for a chance for rebuttal.
The top court was hearing two pleas filed by Gajender Sharma and lawyer Tiwari, seeking directions to extend the moratorium period to help borrowers in deferring their EMI payment on term loans and for waiver of interest on the loan repayment during the moratorium. (ANI)