Apex court refuses to touch recovery of non-performing assets (Lead)

August 18th, 2010 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday said that the recovery of mounting non-performing assets (NPAs) was beyond its jurisdiction and that the government and the legislature should deal with it.
The court declined to issue any guidelines or norms for the recovery of NPAs as was sought by a public interest litigation petitioner and NGO Common Cause.

However, the court hoped that the government would make the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) a statutory body.

Disposing the petition, the judgment by an apex court bench of Justice J.M. Panchal and Justice A.K. Patnaik said there was no need for the apex court to issue any guidelines as there were statutory provisions for the recovery of NPAs by financial institutions.

The court said it had issued guidelines and norms in Vishakha case because there was no statute to deal with the incidents of sexual harassment at work places.

Similarly, in the Vineet Narain case the court issued guidelines for the conduct of probe into a hawala case by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Addressing the question whether the statutory provisions were effective or not, the judgment said that it was not for the court but for the government to look into it.

The court also said that it was entirely for the executive and the legislature to deal with the matters falling in the field of economic activity.

The court said it expected that an experts’ committee, under the chairmanship of deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India, that was looking into the matter would suggest effective measures, both administrative and legislative, to deal with the mounting NPAs.

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