The Supreme Court on Monday indicated not to grant any relief in terms of a petition for an interest-free loan moratorium for six months or till the Covid-19 situation improves.
The Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and M R Shah made this observation while talking among themselves as the petitioner's lawyer Vishal Tiwari did not connect on the video conferencing.
The hearing was put off to June 11 since Tiwari didn't come on line to argue his case for moratorium in view of the loss of business opportunities and unemployment due to the second wave of Covid-19.
Talking among themselves, Justice Bhushan asked his colleague judge, said "Have you seen the prayers, brother?"
Justice Shah said, "Yes. We cannot grant it. A representation can be allowed to be made to the RBI."
The petition says the Centre and its concerned ministries as also the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have failed to bring in any sound relief in this present situation for the stressed sectors and individuals for whom sustenance and existence have come under a cloud.
"No such monetary relief and packages has been declared by the sovereign in this stressed time and people are under tremendous pressure to maintain the EMIs and is always under the threat of accounts being declared NPA," says the petition.
It further argues that with no salary, it has turned out to be a hopeless situation for individuals. "The RBI on 6-5- 2021 has issued a circular for resolution plan 2.0, which cannot be said to be an adequate relief to all in the present circumstances being arbitrary, unfair and just an eyewash," the petition stresses.
It says the RBI circular, introducing a resolution plan for stressed Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) during second wave of COVID-19 is not benefiting the real stressed borrowers.
Pointing out the RBI circular on August 6 last year providing the facility of restructuring of loans during the first wave of Covid-19, the petition prays for a similar and immediate relief in the present situation.
Prayer is to direct that no bank or financial institution should act against any property of any citizen or corporate for a period of six months for non-payment of loans and no account be declared as non-performing asset (NPA) for six months.