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September 2, 2001 - September 3, 2001

HC full Bench hears PILs, contempt cases Monday, September 3, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: A full Bench of the Gujarat High Court comprising Chief Justice D M Dharmadhikari, Justice R K Abhichandani and Justice K R Vyas heard the public interest litigations, contempt of court proceedings and other matters on Friday.

Till now the PILs were taken up by a division Bench of the court, and such matters were taken up twice a week. But after the new sitting of the court that started this week, the PILs have been assigned only to the full Bench once a week on Fridays.

As many as 280-odd matters were listed for proceedings on Friday, which included notices returnable, adjourned, urgent admissions and final hearing matters. Nearly 35 cases were taken up during the course of the day.

The court was abuzz with activities since morning. Hundreds of depositors of the Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank attended the court proceedings on Friday, leaving the court room and the lobbies outside it packed. They were awaiting the hearing of the MMCB case.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]


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Centre submits MMCB revival package Monday, September 3, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: The Government of India has filed an affidavit and submitted a notification and revival package for the Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank, before the Gujarat High Court on Friday.

Five different petitions about the MMCB filed by Jayshree Marketing, Mukesh Parikh, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GCCI), Surat Nagarik Sahakari Bank and Piyush Kapadiya were to come up for hearing before a full-Bench of the court on Friday.

The hearing did not take place, but the affidavit was submitted to the court by the central government counsel MR Shah.

Along with the affidavit by the government filed by SD Indoria, director of co-operation in the ministry of agriculture (department of agriculture and co-operation), a copy of the notification issued by the Centre on August 24 was also submitted.

It said that the Central Registrar of the Co-operative Societies, New Delhi, after observing all the procedural requirements, has now prepared and finalised a reconstruction scheme for revival of the MMCB under section 15 of the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act, 1984. The scheme has also been approved by the Reserve Bank of India.

The notification issued by the Centre said that the central government, vide order dated August 22, 2001, has made an order of moratorium in respect of MMCB, under sub-section (2) of section 45 of the Banking Regulations Act, 1949, for the period from the close of business on August 23, 2001, up to inclusive of the August 29, 2001.

And whereas in the pursuance of the above order, a reconstruction scheme of the MMCB has been prepared under Section 15 of the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act 1984. The RBI has approved the scheme of the reconstruction of MMCB. Central registrar of co-operative societies KS Bhoria made the package and submitted.

The revival package contained two plans, for revival and liquidation of the bank. However, when a meeting of the state and the officials concerned took place it was decided to oppose the liquidation package on the grounds that if such a would be implemented it will have some benefit, but the disadvantage will be that the same would be very harmful for the co-operative sector in the state. Hence, the first scheme was favoured.

It was also feared that the sum of Rs 800 crore that the co-operatives have to give might not be given. The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) has to pay Rs 464 crore, while the deposits worth Rs 625 crore by the co-operative sector would be retained and so will be Rs 246 crore worth of deposits of the depositors.

It was also submitted that the RBI will ensure smooth implementation of the scheme and that the Centre can take appropriate action if the proper steps are not taken.

Bank took Rs 192 crore as call money, which have not been returned. Of this Rs 93 crore were taken from different co-operative banks and Rs 99 crore from commercial banks, but none of them has been returned. This will now be converted into fixed deposits for four years and from the fifth year it will be refunded in equal instalments. An interest of 7.5 per cent will be calculated on it every six months.

It was submitted that the current administration of the Bank will be replaced by the Board of Management which will take steps to recover debts, modernisation of banks and encourage investment in to the MMCB.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]


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Centre submits MMCB revival package Monday, September 3, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: The Government of India has filed an affidavit and submitted a notification and revival package for the Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank, before the Gujarat High Court on Friday.

Five different petitions about the MMCB filed by Jayshree Marketing, Mukesh Parikh, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GCCI), Surat Nagarik Sahakari Bank and Piyush Kapadiya were to come up for hearing before a full-Bench of the court on Friday.

The hearing did not take place, but the affidavit was submitted to the court by the central government counsel MR Shah.

Along with the affidavit by the government filed by SD Indoria, director of co-operation in the ministry of agriculture (department of agriculture and co-operation), a copy of the notification issued by the Centre on August 24 was also submitted.

It said that the Central Registrar of the Co-operative Societies, New Delhi, after observing all the procedural requirements, has now prepared and finalised a reconstruction scheme for revival of the MMCB under section 15 of the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act, 1984. The scheme has also been approved by the Reserve Bank of India.

The notification issued by the Centre said that the central government, vide order dated August 22, 2001, has made an order of moratorium in respect of MMCB, under sub-section (2) of section 45 of the Banking Regulations Act, 1949, for the period from the close of business on August 23, 2001, up to inclusive of the August 29, 2001.

And whereas in the pursuance of the above order, a reconstruction scheme of the MMCB has been prepared under Section 15 of the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act 1984. The RBI has approved the scheme of the reconstruction of MMCB. Central registrar of co-operative societies KS Bhoria made the package and submitted.

The revival package contained two plans, for revival and liquidation of the bank. However, when a meeting of the state and the officials concerned took place it was decided to oppose the liquidation package on the grounds that if such a would be implemented it will have some benefit, but the disadvantage will be that the same would be very harmful for the co-operative sector in the state. Hence, the first scheme was favoured.

It was also feared that the sum of Rs 800 crore that the co-operatives have to give might not be given. The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) has to pay Rs 464 crore, while the deposits worth Rs 625 crore by the co-operative sector would be retained and so will be Rs 246 crore worth of deposits of the depositors.

It was also submitted that the RBI will ensure smooth implementation of the scheme and that the Centre can take appropriate action if the proper steps are not taken.

Bank took Rs 192 crore as call money, which have not been returned. Of this Rs 93 crore were taken from different co-operative banks and Rs 99 crore from commercial banks, but none of them has been returned. This will now be converted into fixed deposits for four years and from the fifth year it will be refunded in equal instalments. An interest of 7.5 per cent will be calculated on it every six months.

It was submitted that the current administration of the Bank will be replaced by the Board of Management which will take steps to recover debts, modernisation of banks and encourage investment in to the MMCB.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]


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Small-cause judges can help clear cases Monday, September 3, 2001

BY AMIT MUKHERJEE, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Like most civil suits, Dinanath Pathak's case continues even after 12 years, with the man neck-deep in debts and justice taking long in coming.

In Ahmedbad, there are more than 70,000 cases pending in the city civil courts with many dragging on for more than a decade. About a lakh criminal complaints are also pending in the magisterial courts due to heavy work burden.

But still senior division judges appointed at the Ahmedabad Small Causes Court, under the Presidency Small Causes Courts Act, continue to sit without much work on hand. Despite their positions being technically higher than senior division judges, and just below a district judge, their powers are limited.

The category of cases they handle are much below the level handled by judges lower than them in the judicial hierarchy. The cases are of less significant nature and parties involved even do not bother to turn up. Representations have been made for the last five years to the state legal department to effect changes in the legislation and enhance the powers of the small cause court judges so that the burden of litigation in the city is shared. But the government has turned a deaf ear to it.

Senior division judges at the district level have unlimited jurisdiction with powers to take up all kinds of civil disputes and monetary matters. But the judges of Small Causes Court of Ahmedabad, though being higher than the senior division judges, have powers curbed under the PSCC Act restricting them to take up only tenancy disputes and matters of monetary recoveries within a Rs 5,000 limit.

The Ahmedabad Bar Association has been making several representations to the state government to amend the PSCC Act so that jurisdiction of the judges presiding over the small causes courts can be extended. "The matters handled by the small causes court are of less importance. An amendment in the Act is necessary so that unnecessary burden on the judiciary which is retarding case-disposal can be dealt with," says Haresh Shah former president of the ABA.

At the city civil court, suits pertaining to monetary recoveries more than Rs 5000 are there in thousands. "There is a backlog of about 70,000 ongoing cases, including motor vehicle disputes, civil suits, insolvency matters, property disputes, government suits, and most are adjourned repeatedly," laments ABA secretary Himanshu Trivedi.

According to Shah, a suit of involving Rs 25000 at the civil court takes on an average about 10 years. "Representations are being made for several years now to amend the PSCC Act. Judges of the small causes court should be empowered to entertain recovery matters up to Rs 2 lakh, or at least Rs 50,000 or more so that the back logs in the city civil court be brought down."

Even a judge of the small cause court admits: "Filing of cases in this court have drastically come down and we can handle more work." But, he said, the issue of amendment is lying at the state law commission's 'cold storage' for more than two years.

The powers enjoyed by the small cause court judges are even less than that of a metropolitan magistrate, although the former is a rank up in the hierarchy. "With a backlog of about one lakh cases, under the NI Act, which at times drag on for five years or more, amendments in the PSSC Act can definitely help people get speedy justice," says Small Cause Court Bar Association joint secretary Sudhir Brahmbhatt.

He said with nearly 300 matters coming up before the 17 magisterial courts already burdened with loads of regular bail and other matters, the process of justice could get a fillip if these cases are distributed among the 13 small causes courts.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]


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Advocates demand HC, DRT Benches Sunday, September 2, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: Vadodara city and district advocates have submitted a memorandum to the district collector, demanding Benches of the Gujarat High Court and the debt recovery tribunal (DRT) in Vadodara.

The memorandum, submitted as a part of the ongoing agitation, states that the notification for the DRT Bench was issued recently. However, influential leaders were working against its establishment. Similarly, it states that all tribunals must be decentralised.

It said some ministers were making announcements regarding High Court Benches at Rajkot and Surat. This, Baroda Bar Association spokerpersons, said was not justified as a large number of cases there were filed from the city.

Meanwhile, a group of 18 women advocates observed a token fast as a part of the agitation. BBA also claimed the support of Nationalist Congress Party and Congress's women wing in the agitation.

On Monday, a public meeting will be held at the Nyay Mandir to muster support for the agitation. The advocates will continue to refrain from work on this day.

A release issued here by BBA president Narendra Tiwari stated that a rally would be taken out on Wednesday as a part of the agitation. He added that teachers, health workers and people from other walks of life would join the rally.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]


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