Saturday, February 5, 2011

HC slaps contempt notice on SBI chairman

Mumbai: Nationalised banks are not supposed to act like ``moneylenders'' the Bombay HC has said in an order and issued contempt notices against State Bank of India chairman O P Bhatt and another bank official.

The bank violating court orders took possession of a disputed flat in Thane and put it up for auction. ``The SBI being Government of India undertaking is expected to honour the rule of law,'' said a division bench of Justice V C Daga and Justice R G Ketkar. ``It is not expected to act as a money lender.

The approach should not be to deprive citizens of their property in garb of executing powers under the Securitisation Act and make unlawful gain for its officers while disposing of property at a throw away price. Rather the approach should be to recover monies by legal means.''

The high court has asked Bhatt and S Ramaswamy, of the SBI Wagle Estate, Thane branch to respond to the contempt notices by February 9. The court has issued a notice to deputy manager of the Wagle Estate branch Abhay Nimkar as to why he should not be prosecuted for perjury for making a false statement in court.

In 2006, Mumbai resident Firdosh Mehta signed a deal with one Pandurang Hiwarkar to buy his flat in Neelkanth Tower in Thane for Rs 57 lakh. While he paid a part of the amount, he found out that the flat was mortgaged with SBI and Hiwarkar had defaulted on the home loan. Mehta moved the court, which ruled in his favour in December 2009. Hiwarkar then approached the high court.

Despite the fact that Mehta offered to pay off the liability, SBI refused to settle the case. Hiwarkar issued cheques of over Rs 34 lakh, but they bounced. On December 6, 2010 SBI took possession of the flat despite court orders the flat would remain with Hiwarkar. The court found that the bank took possession of the flat at 1.45 pm but Nimkar said they attached it at 12 noon.

No comments:

Post a Comment