Astounding Centre doesn’t want to disclose info about loan defaulters, says Prashant Bhushan

New Delhi: It is astounding that there is Rs 10 lakh crore non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks, but the Central government does not want to disclose details about defaulters, said noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan here on Friday.

“It is astounding that there is Rs 10 lakh crore NPAs of banks, but the Central government doesn’t want to disclose information about these defaulters,” said Bhushan, while talking to reporters here.

“The information regarding willful defaulters who were likely to flee the country was given to the Centre by then RBI Governor Urjit Patel. The government did not share this information with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC),” he claimed.

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“People like Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi are fleeing the country, but the general public are not entitled to access any information in this regard,” he said.

Bhushan’s statement comes close on the heels of the Supreme Court on Friday granting last opportunity to the RBI to comply with its order to disclose the inspection reports of banks under the Right to Information Act (RTI).

A division bench of the top court comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah has warned the Central bank that any further violation of the apex court’s 2015 verdict would result in serious contempt of court proceedings against the RBI.

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Taking a serious view of the RBI’s failure to disclose the information, the apex court said that the Central bank is duty bound to comply with the directive unless exempted.

The top court also asked the RBI to withdraw its non-disclosure policy, which violated the apex court’s judgment.

In its dated December 16, 2015 verdict in the RBI vs. Jayantilal N Mistry and others case, the Supreme Court had held that the Central bank is bound to disclose information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

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Petitioners Girish Mittal and Subhash Chandra Agrawal had alleged that the RBI and its former Governor Urjit Patel had “willfully and deliberately” disobeyed the apex court’s order.

They had sought the initiation of the contempt of court proceedings against Patel for the non-disclosure of information.


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