The court has also restrained the bank from collecting deposits from any individuals who are not repatriates of Burma, Sri Lanka, Vietnam or other countries.
Justice G Jayachandran offered the direction on a plea seeking to quash the circular which obliterated the distinction between a repatriate and an ordinary member. Observing that if the board wants individuals other than the repatriates to become ‘A’ class members, bye-laws has to be amended, he said, “To become ‘A’ class member of the REPCO bank, as per the existing bye-laws for individuals, the prerequisite is he/ she must be a repatriate. This condition cannot be altered or amended through circulars.”
Further, on noting that whether bank has collected deposits from any individual who are not repatriate can be found out only after the scrutiny of records, Justice Jayachandran directed REP CO bank to submit the details about the depositors to the Central Registrar for Co-operative Societies within 15 days and get clearance as to the scheme/arrangement of receiving deposits and proceed further.
Till such time, they are restrained from collecting the deposits from any individuals, who are not repatriates of Burma, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and other countries, the judge added.
The petitioners had contended that REPCO bank though permitted to use the word ‘Bank’ after its name, cannot indulge in banking activities. It is not a bank in true sense to collect the deposits from the ordinary members. The restriction imposed on collecting the deposits from the ordinary members has been breached by the bank, they added.
REPCO Bank had submitted that the circular to admit persons other than repatriates as ‘A’ class members and keeping the admission of the ‘B’ class members in abeyance for the present. These are the decisions of the board in accordance with the provisions of the ordinance dated 21.02.2019 promulgated by the Central government and the bye-law of the Society, it added.