The Bombay high court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as to what action it has taken in 140 cases of alleged frauds registered by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with regard to bad loans of nationalized banks that stood at Rs 9,190 crore in financial year 2011-12.
A division bench of justices PV Hardas and Ajey Gadkari gave the direction while hearing a public interest litigation filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, seeking CBI probe into the non-performing assets scam. The petition also prays that the RBI should be directed to inform the court about the NPA scenario.
The petitioner has alleged that RBI and the nationalised banks do not comply with the Banking Regulation Act, 1969, which mandates periodical submission of audit reports to the RBI. The same is not complied with in order to suppress the NPA scenario and shield the culprit beneficiaries working in collusion with the banking authorities, alleges the petition.
According to information obtained by Tirodkar under the RTI, the NPAs of nationalized banks were Rs 455 crore ending March 2008. It swelled to Rs 9,190 crore as on March 31, 2012. The petition states that over 140 bank fraud cases of nearly Rs 15 crore each were reported to the CBI by various banks between 2008 and 2012.
"Recently the United Bank of India's chairperson and managing director, Archana Bhargava, resigned citing personal reasons. At that time,the gross NPA of the bank was Rs 8,545 crore, which was 10.82 per cent of its gross advances, and net NPA was Rs 5,630 crore or 7.44 per cent of the net advances."
Also the Sharada Chit Fund of the State Bank of India created NPAs of hundreds of crores with the bank which have not been reported to the RBI as mandated under the Banking Regulations Act, 1969.
The Central Vigilance Committee Rules state that the CBI has to be informed of any case of fraud which is more than Rs 50 crore. In a case where the amount exceeds Rs 100 crore, an FIR has to be registered.
The HC has kept the petition for hearing next week.