Millennium Post

SC rejects PIL against recruiting private bank heads as PSB chiefs

A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud rejected the petition filed by Bank Officers' Confederation challenging the policy pertaining to such appointments and held that there was nothing wrong with it.

The court had on May 5 sought responses from the government and Reserve Bank of India on the PIL, which had also challenged reduction of cut-off age for being considered for the top post from 58 to 55 years.

The plea had contended that the cut-off age for eligibility was "unjustly, irrationally and unilaterally" reduced against the advice and views of the Appointments Committee of Cabinet.

The PIL, filed by former president of All India Bank Officers Confederation K D Kheda, had challenged 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 plea had contended 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.

It had alleged that 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." 

"Executive Directors of PSBs, 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 qualifiedly reduced in the case of appointment of MD & CMD only for these five large PSBs," the petition said. 

China-led Asian Infra bank starts work on HQ
The China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in which India is the second largest shareholder on Friday held a groundbreaking ceremony here to build its permanent headquarters. The headquarters will be located in the north of Beijing, between the Olympic Forest Park and the iconic Bird's Nest Stadium, with construction expected to be completed by the end of 2019, the bank said in an online statement. Speaking at the ceremony, AIIB President Jin Liqun said, "This bank sets out to be lean, clean and green, and there is no better site in Beijing to highlight our green commitment than alongside the beautiful Olympic Forest Park". 

The AIIB has been using temporary offices on downtown Beijing's Financial Street since beginning operations in January. Jin expects the headquarters to serve as a new city landmark and provide a solid foundation for the bank's development. The AIIB was officially established late last year with 57 founding members. With authorised capital of USD 100 billion, China is the largest shareholder with 26.06 per cent voting shares. India is the second largest shareholder with 7.5 percent followed by Russia at 5.93 percent and Germany with 4.5 per cent. In June, the bank approved its first four loans, totalling USD 509 million, to fund power, housing and transportation projects in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Tajikistan. 

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