Mumbai: In an attempt to unite Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank depositors, Moneylife Foundation, non-profit organisation, organised a meeting between depositors and legal experts, on Saturday. During the gathering, the legal experts advised the depositors to opt for filing Writ Petitions in the court and not Public Interest Litigations (PIL).
Speaking to PMC account holders that were present at the meeting, advocate Murali Neelakantan, explained how the method of Writ Petitions is faster. “In case of a Writ petition, the petitioners have to be present in the court and the judge can see the petitioners, which helps them understand the urgency of the case. This is unlike a PIL, for which the end result is often time consuming.”
He added that even if one per cent of the three lakh PMC depositors went to the court during the Writ Petition, the case can proceed faster. “Imagine the impact it will be if 30,000 depositors remain present in the High Court at the time of the hearing.” It is important that the judge sees all the affected depositors.
At present, a legal team comprising of two Supreme Court advocates, have been formed by the foundation to help the depositors fight the PMC case in the court. Neelakantan added, “These advocates are doing this pro bono want to help PMC depositors. Moreover if you want to justice, it is important for all depositors to be present there to support your lawyers.”
The NGO has also initiated a survey to collect information about the PMC account holders to make their case stronger. Sucheta Dalal, a trustee of Moneylife Foundation, added, “Around 11,000 petitioners have filled the survey which is an authentic way to sign up for the petition. Once we have a large number, we will contact them personal, verify their details and make them petitioners. Despite this round, the depositors would still have to appear before the court and make the judge understand the urgency of their matter.”
Dalal added, it has been 18 days and the bank is still not fully operational. “Any further delay will reduce the chances of the bank's survival.” Dalal also felt nationalised banks, mainly the State Bank of India or Bank of Baroda should not be forced to takeover the PMC bank. "Rather allow some other institution to come forward to takeover the PMC bank," she said.
Dalal added, it is time the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) acted fast. Adding to it, Devidas Tuljapurkar, the joint secretary of All India Bank Employees Association stated, RBI is not putting out any information, which is a sad state of affairs. “There is a fear among general public about banking systems and more names were being ciruclated. The RBI has to address these issues," said Tuljapurkar.
Tuljapurkar affirmed, once the PMC account holders come together, the bank unions will also try to support them.