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Supreme Court raps banks for forcible recovery

Supreme Court dismisses ICICI Banks case for forcible recovery

Apnaloan.com Research Bureau

16 May 2008

The Supreme Court once again assailed the practice of banks employing musclemen for recovery of loans from the public. It dismissed an appeal by ICICI Bank in one of the cases in which it had apparently used force for debt recovery.

The court thinks it is appropriate to remind the banks and other financial institutions that we live in a civilised country and are governed by the rule of law.

The court recalled that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in a letter accompanying its April 24, 2008, Guidelines on Engagement of Recovery Agents had stated that it might consider imposing a ban on banks engaging recovery agents in a particular area, either jurisdictional or functional, for a limited period.

Supervisory action could be attracted when the high courts or the Supreme Court pass strictures or impose penalties against any bank or its directors/officers/agents with regard to policy, practice and procedure related to the recovery process.

The court said RBI had expressed its concern about the number of complaints filed against banks in the recent past for engaging recovery agents who tended to violate the rules.