Bank staff as pub­lic ser­vants

The Financial Express - - COMPANIES -

Apro­pos of your ed­i­to­rial “Pub­lic dis­ser­vice” (FE, March 26), as per your pa­per, the em­ploy­ees in pri­vate sec­tor banks should not be brought within the def­i­ni­tion of pub­lic ser­vants. In this con­text, Sec­tion 46A of the Bank­ing Reg­u­la­tion Act, 1949 is re­pro­duced be­low: Sec­tion 46A: Chair­man, Di­rec­tor, etc., is to be pub­lic ser­vants for the pur­poses of Chap­ter IX of the In­dian Pe­nal Code. Ev­ery chair­man who is ap­pointed on a whole-time ba­sis, manag­ing di­rec­tor, di­rec­tor, au­di­tor, liq­uida­tor, man­ager and any other em­ployee of a bank­ing com­pany shall be deemed to be a pub­lic ser­vant for the pur­poses of Chap­ter IX of the In­dian Pe­nal Code(45 of 1860). As such, the Bank­ing Reg­u­la­tion Act, 1949 it­self states that all the em­ploy­ees of a bank­ing com­pany shall be deemed to be pub­lic ser­vants. This is re­quired in the case of bank­ing com­pa­nies as they ac­cept large amount of de­posits from the pub­lic. The prob­lem arose due to the fact that the Chap­ter IX of the In­dian Pe­nal Code was re­pealed and the cor­re­spond­ing pro­vi­sions were in­cluded in the Preven­tion of Cor­rup­tion Act, 1988. Sec­tion 46A of the Bank­ing Reg­u­la­tion Act, 1949 should have been amended at that time and the words “for the pur­poses of Chap­ter IX of the In­dian Pe­nal Code” should have been re­placed by the words “for the pur­poses of Preven­tion of Cor­rup­tion Act, 1988”. In the Global Trust Bank case, the lawyers of Ramesh Gelli and oth­ers were try­ing to take ad­van­tage of this le­gal la­cuna in the Bank­ing Reg­u­la­tion Act, 1949. The is­sue has been set right now by the Supreme Court and they have done what should per­haps have been done by the leg­is­la­ture.

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