SC defers hearing over loan moratorium extension to Nov 18

·2-min read
The Supreme Court of India (File photo)
The Supreme Court of India (File photo)

New Delhi [India], November 5 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred hearing on the petitions seeking an extension of loan moratorium and waiver of interest on interest on term loans during the six-month COVID-19 moratorium period.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan deferred the hearing to November 18, Wednesday, after the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Venkatraman sought adjournment in the hearing, stating that the Solicitor General (SG), Tushar Mehta, was arguing in Central Vista case in another bench.

"We defer the hearing. We will hear the case on November 18," Justice Bhushan said.

The top court was hearing petitions, including two filed by Gajendra Sharma and his lawyer Vishal Tiwari, seeking to waive off interest on interest and appropriate directions in the loan moratorium, granted as a relief owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Resolution and restructuring plan of government is impractical and selective. It is not going to benefit common borrowers. Banks are not following and granting restructuring," Tiwari told the apex court.

The pandemic is not over, still there is very limited work in selective sectors. The moratorium extension is the only relief in the present time, Tiwari submitted in the apex court.

Senior lawyer Rajeev Dutta, appearing for a petitioner, sought disposal of his client's plea.

The apex court today asked the RBI to argue on the next date of hearing, November 18.

The Central government, in its affidavit filed before the Apex Court on October 25, had stated that the interest waiver scheme can be availed by borrowers in specified loan accounts for a period from March 1 to August 31, 2020.

This decision was taken by the Ministry of Finance and has been approved by the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on October 21, the affidavit stated.

Earlier, the Ministry of Finance had approved a scheme to provide relief in interest compounding to borrowers for the six-month loan moratorium period up to Rs 2 crore after the top court had directed the Centre to implement the interest waiver on loans as soon as possible observing that it is not fair on the government's part to delay the implementation of its decision. (ANI)