Calcutta High Court judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay on Sunday said he will resign from his post on 5 March.
India’s top ten wilful defaulters cumulatively owed Rs 40,825 crore to banks, as of March 31, the Ministry of Finance said.
The Ministry further said four of these ten fugitive economic offenders have been deported or extradited to India so far.
Overall, the top 50 wilful defaulters owed banks as much as Rs 87,295 crore as of March 31, with the largest such borrower viz. Gitanjali Gems Ltd., owned by Mehul Choksi, uncle of fugitive economic offender Nirav Modi, accounts for more than 10% of the outstanding dues
Fugitive Mehul Choksi’s Gitanjali Gems is the biggest wilful defaulter owing Rs 8,738 crore followed by Era Infra Engineering Limited owing Rs 5,750 crore, REI Agro Limited Rs 5,148 crore, ABG Shipyard Limited Rs 4,774 crore, and Concast Steel and Power Limited Rs 3,911 crore.
The key names in the bank fraud include Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara, Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Hitesh Kumar Narendrabhai Patel, Junaid Iqbal Memon, Hajra Iqbal Memon, Asif Iqbal Memon and Ramachandran Vishwanathan.
As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), SCBs have written off an aggregate amount of Rs 10,57,326 crore during the last five financial years.
The Finance Ministry also said that total assets amounting to Rs 15,113.02 crore have been confiscated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and restituted to public sector banks.
Furthermore, assets amounting to Rs 873.75 crore have also been confiscated under Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA) in respect of the said FEOs.
Compromise settlement by banks
RBI has already advised the Indian Bank Association (IBA) back in 2007 that banks may enter into compromise settlements with wilful defaulters/ fraudulent borrowers without prejudice.
There are provisions into play enabling banks to enter into compromise settlements in respect of borrowers categorised as fraud or wilful defaulters.
However, compromise settlement is not a matter of right for borrowers but is a discretion to be exercised by lenders based on their commercial judgments.
According to a recent circular by RBI, regulated entities (banks) may undertake compromise settlements or technical write-offs in respect of accounts classified as fraud or wilful defaulter without prejudice to the criminal proceeding underway against such borrowers, and all such proposals need to be approved by the board.
A minimum cooling-off period of 12 months has been prescribed as a general prescription for normal cases of compromise settlements.