SC refuses to entertain plea seeking clarification on declaration of loan accounts as NPA

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking clarification of its verdict of March 23 by which it had vacated the stay on declaration of loan accounts as non-performing assets (NPAs) by the banks.

The top court said that these are policy decisions and it cannot interfere in such issues.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah, was hearing a miscellaneous application filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari that clarification should be given that period of declaring any account as NPA shall be done after 90 days of the date of verdict that is March 23.

“You cannot file miscellaneous application in a disposed of matter and it is only filed for the purpose of correction of names or any factual mistake in the order. What you have sought is substantial relief. Sorry we cannot entertain this,” the bench said.

Tiwari then sought to withdraw the application, which was allowed by the court.

On March 23, the top court giving a major relief to borrowers had directed that no compound or penal interest be charged for the six-month moratorium announced last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the amount already recovered is to be refunded or adjusted in the next instalment of loan account.

While refusing to extend the period of moratorium, the apex court had said there is “no justification” to charge interest on interest or compound interest for the period during the moratorium once the payment of instalment is deferred by last year’s March 27 notification.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had on March 27, 2020 issued the circular allowing lending institutions to grant a moratorium on payment of instalments of term loans falling due between March 1 and May 31 of last year due to the pandemic.

The moratorium was extended by three months till August 31.

It vacated the interim relief granted earlier not to declare the accounts of respective borrowers as NPA.

On September 3, in a relief to stressed borrowers who are facing hardship due to impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the top court had said that accounts which were not declared as non-performing assets till August 31 last year, shall not be declared NPA till further orders.


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