Money & Banking

Covid-19: SC refuses to pass direction on plea to redress borrower hardship

PTI New Delhi | Updated on June 11, 2021

The petition was said to be in the realm of policy decision

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to pass direction on a plea seeking measures to redress the financial hardship faced by borrowers during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, saying it is in the realm of policy decision.

“The government has many things to do. They have to spend money on vaccine, on migrant labourers,” the apex court said, adding that it is for the Centre and the RBI to consider the issue.

“These are issues having financial implications and we are not the experts,” a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah told advocate Vishal Tiwari, who has filed the petition.

The top court was hearing the plea which sought directions to the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to take remedial measures to redress the financial stress faced by borrowers during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the hearing, Tiwari referred to the reports on how the second wave of the pandemic has affected the economy.

“The petitioner submits that the circular does not address the hardship of the borrowers. Be that as it may, the financial relief and other measures are in the domain of the government,” the bench said in its order.

“We are of the view that no direction be passed. We observe that all the issues which are raised are policy matters and it is for the Union of India and the Reserve Bank of India to take appropriate decision,” the apex court said.

The bench said it had dealt with similar aspects in a writ petition which was filed last year.

The plea had sought directions to the Centre and the RBI to permit the lending institutions to grant interest free moratorium period for term loan and defer the payment of loan instalments for a period of six months or till the situation from Covid-19 normalises.

Published on June 11, 2021

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