Mahesh Bank case: HC declines to intervene

Shareholders’ writ petition sought suspension of the bank’s board of directors

Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili of Telangana High Court declined to pass any interim direction in a writ petition filed by AP Mahesh Co-operative Bank Shareholders Welfare Association seeking suspension of the bank’s board of directors.

When the matter came up for hearing on three days ago, the judge issued notices to the respondents but observed that there was no need to pass any specific direction immediately. The judge noted that already Justice P. Naveen Rao heard pleas with similar content and passed interim orders nearly a month ago protecting interests of the small depositors of the bank.

Next hearing

The same interim orders would apply in the plea filed by the bank’s shareholders welfare association, the judge noted. He posted the matter after three weeks for next hearing. The association, in its petition, pleaded with the court to appoint an administrator to the bank stating that a similar request was made by State government’s agriculture and co-operative department to the Central Registrar of co-operative societies.

Irregularities alleged

Supreme Court counsel Dil Jit Singh Ahluwalia appearing for the association said the State government had written on December 23 last alleging irregularities by the previous board of the directors of the bank.

The government sought a forensic audit of the accounts of the bank transactions and appointment of an administrator.

On this January 17, the association represented to the Reserve Bank of India with similar pleas. However, there was no response from the RBI even after three weeks, the counsel told the court. The counsel of the bank chairman opposed issuing of notices in the matter.

The RBI’s counsel informed the court that Justice P. Naveen Rao’s bench had already passed interim orders stating that the bank’s board of directors should not take any major policy decisions. This direction would protect the interests of the small depositors, the counsel said.

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