Eyeing sops, Punjab farmers aren’t repaying loans, SC told | India News

Eyeing sops, Punjab farmers aren't repaying loans, SC told | India News
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NEW DELHI: Banks fear elections in Punjab and their fears have found expression through Patiala Central Cooperative Bank Ltd who told the Supreme Court on Monday that no farmer is returning the loan taken from the banks as they hope to get a concession from the government that they will come to power after the elections.
Since it has become the norm for parties to announce free offers before polling, it is public sector banks, especially troubled co-operative banks, that have been plagued by the loan-forgiveness schemes that have been routinely announced for more than two decades.
Lawyer Sudhir Walia, who appeared before the Patiala Central Co-operative Bank, said the Punjab and Haryana High Court in January 2020 ordered the reinstatement of the daily bet, which was sacked in 2005, with compensation of Rs 20,000 along with 6% annual interest from 2005 until the date of payment to the worker. He said there are 12 similar cases pending in the Supreme Court, where daily bets have been similarly kicked out.
However, the Board of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant insisted there was no deficiency in the HC’s order directing the reinstatement of the daily separated wager as the procedure set forth in Section 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act was not followed.
When the board said it would support the trend for the bank to return the expelled daily bet, which was serving as the lead in 1999, Walia said that a lump sum would be fixed instead of Rs 20,000 at 6% interest per annum, as it would entail a severe financial hit to the bank. When the board proposed a lump sum compensation of Rs 1 lakh, the worker’s lawyer, Durga Dutt, said it should be much more as the person was sacked in 2005 and has faced hardship for almost 17 years.
Waliya said: “No farmer returns the loans he took from the cooperative bank in the hope that the next government (after the elections) will waive agricultural loans. An additional financial burden, given that there are 12 similar cases pending in the Supreme Committee., through heavy compensation would to break the back of the Co-operative Bank.”
This argument struck a chord with the judiciary, which told the worker’s lawyer that unless the bank survived, where would it get the job and compensation. “If you are liquidated, you will get nothing,” the court said.
She upheld the High Commissioner’s order to reinstate the worker but directed the bank to pay him 1 lakh rupees within two months as compensation for the period in which he was unemployed.


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