Government only interested in business not people: SC

Supreme Court has said the government hadn’t addressed the “plight of the people due to the lockdown” and was only “interested in business”

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The Supreme Court has said the government hadn’t addressed the “plight of the people due to the lockdown” and was only “interested in business” as it had failed to take a stand on waiving interest during the six-month loan moratorium that’s to end on August 31.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had announced the halt on repayments to support borrowers hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown that followed but has said that interest won’t be waived. The Supreme Court is hearing a plea seeking the waiver of interest during the moratorium period.

2. The Supreme Court is hearing a plea seeking the waiver of interest during the moratorium period.

The court has given the government — which said it backs the RBI’s stand — until the next hearing on September 1 to clarify its own view on the matter. The top court will also hear other petitions seeking an extension of the moratorium beyond August 31. The court has asked the government to respond to these petitions by September 1 as well.

3.The court has asked the government to respond to these petitions by September 1 as well.

“The problem has been created by your lockdown. You cannot be interested only in business and not in sufferings of the people,” said the three-judge bench led by justice Ashok Bhushan on Wednesday.

4."The problem has been created by your lockdown",said the three-judge bench

The court observed that the government had ample powers under the Disaster Management Act to stop banks from charging interest on deferred equated monthly installments (EMIs) as well as interest on interest accrued during the moratorium period.

5.The government had ample powers under the Disaster Management Act to stop banks from charging interest on deferred EMIs:SC

The bench had said earlier that charging interest on loans during the moratorium period would defeat the purpose of the relief but had granted time to the government to review the issue.

6.Charging interest on loans during the moratorium period would defeat the purpose of the relief: Top court

The bench, which included justices R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, said the government was “hiding” behind the RBI and asked why it didn’t want to take a stand.

7.The government was “hiding” behind the RBI and asked why it didn’t want to take a stand, said the court.

It expressed concern over the delay and adjourned the case to September 1 to give the government a chance to take a view on the matter.Solicitor general Tushar Mehta protested against the remarks of the bench, insisting that the government and the RBI were “working in cooperation” and it would be “unfair” to say that the government was “hiding” behind the RBI.

8.It expressed concern over the delay and adjourned the case to September 1 to give the government

The government has backed the RBI’s argument that a blanket waiver across sectors will affect the financial stability of the banking system and has declined to take a separate stand despite repeated court reminders.

9.The government has declined to take a separate stand despite repeated court reminders.

The bench had sought the views of the RBI and the government on the petition filed by Gajendra Sharma, who said he was a borrower whose business and income had been hit by the pandemic.The RBI has filed an affidavit to the effect that the moratorium was only a loan “deferral” and did not include any “waiver”.

10..The RBI has filed an affidavit to the effect that the moratorium was only a loan “deferral” and did not include any “waiver”.

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