GIVING a new twist to the appointment of public sector banks' chiefs, the Supreme Court on May 5 sought responses from the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India on a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the appointment process of heads of five public sector banks.
A bench of justices AR Dave and RK Agrawal issued notices to the department of...financial services and the RBI and sought their replies by May 11 on the plea contending that the cut-off age for eligibility was "unjustly, irrationally and unilaterally" reduced. This was, argued the PIL, against the advice and view of Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC).
The PIL was filed by former president of All India Bank Officers Confederation KD Kheda and it challenges the February 26 advertisement for appointment of CEOs and MDs of Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank and IDBI Bank.
Quoting provisions of Banking Companies Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings Act 1980, the PIL argues that only whole-time directors of public sector banks, whose names are cleared by the Central Vigilance Commission, can be appointed to head public sector banks.
The eligibility criteria for the posts of CEO and MD of the five banks have been set "with a sole objective to make all existing executives directors of Public Sector Banks ineligible", says the PIL."Executive Directors of PSB, who were the only persons eligible under old policy, will automatically become ineligible solely on account of cut-off age of 55 years with three years Board experience, which is purposely and malfidely reduced in the case of appointment of MD & CMD only for these five large PSB (public sector bank)," the petition said.