Don’t seal banks yet: SC to Noida

Stay comes as relief for customers with valuables kept in lockers,last date for moving out is March 4.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | Noida | Published: February 3, 2012 2:55 am

A day after the Noida Authority sealed eight banks in Sector 19 and received related affidavits from 13 others,the Supreme Court directed it to stop sealing banks with immediate effect,and deseal the ones already sealed. The court has given Noida Authority time till Friday evening to deseal the eight banks.

The order came after a branch of the State Bank of India approached the court for a clarification on whether the six weeks period,which was granted to banks on January 23,meant that they have to stop operations with immediate effect. “We believed the six weeks meant that we could continue functioning for that period. The Noida Authority misinterpreted the order and sealed our operations. Shifting of banks is a long process,and it would have been unfair if our branches were not desealed. Thankfully,the court has given us relief,” an SBI official said.

On December 4,2011,the Supreme Court had come down strongly on the Noida Authority,and stated that banks and commercial institutions operating out of residential plots in Noida should shift out.

Though Noida Authority officials said they have not received a copy of the court order,they would start desealing the banks from Friday morning. Captain S K Dwivedi,CEO of Noida Authority,said,“We held a meeting in the afternoon. We have decided to deseal the banks in the morning tomorrow,as that instruction is clear. However,we are waiting for the full court order to decide our next course of action with regard to other commercial establishments in the area. Till then,the sealing process has been temporarily suspended. We are clear,though,that the stay only extends till March 4,after which all banks and institutions will be sealed.”

The court order comes as a relief to worried customers,many of whom still have valuables in bank lockers. Manoj Yadav,who saw the news on television,said,“I ran to the Indian Bank to take out my valuables. Even though it was a wasted trip,considering that the banks will be reopened only tomorrow,this gives me time to think about my next step. I have property papers in the locker.”

The Noida Authority announced the bidding process for a new scheme for banks,with 74 plots available in commercial sectors. In its January 23 order,the court had asked the Noida Authority to come up with a scheme for relocation of banks,and given it two weeks’ time for plot allotment.

The Noida Authority then brought out a scheme,offering 74 commercial plots to the 104 banks operating out of residential plots.

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