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SC adjourns loan moratorium case, gives more time to file reply

By Astha Joshi

The Supreme Court today adjourned the loan moratorium case till October 5 and granted more time to the Centre, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and other banks to work collectively and file a concrete reply on their side on deferring interest charged during the moratorium period.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted that the government is ahead in its decision-making process. He sought some more time to put on record the complete details of the government’s actions, viewing all sectors on the issue of loan moratorium.

Senior advocate Rajiv Dutta, for the petitioner, argued the adjournment and held that the case should be heard and listed at the quickest.

However, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan took on record Mehta’s submissions and allowed the request to give more time.

The bench, also including Justices M.R. Shah and R. Subhash Reddy, was hearing a bunch of petitions seeking a waiver of interest during the lengthened moratorium period among the lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

On September 10, the court had given the Centre, RBI, and banks two weeks to work together and file a firm reply on their stand on waiving of interest charged during loan moratorium and other related issues. The court also ordered an extension till September 28, advising banks not to mark any loan as non-performing till further directions.

Also, the court noted in its order that an expert committee was constituted to look into all the issues and take action accordingly.