New Delhi: Honourable Supreme Court of India yesterday, on 23rd February, ruled that chairpersons, directors and officers of the private banks are public servants and as such they can be prosecuted for the corruption charges under the provisions of the Anti- corruption law.
It was seen that the decision was made by the honourable Apex Court of the country, in the case of appeal preferred by the CBI- Central Bureau of Investigation, where it had claimed the prosecution of the two former officials of the Global Trust Bank Ltd- which was a private bank before its amalgamation with the Oriental Bank Of Commerce.
The decision was made by the Bench of the honourable top court of the country, which comprising of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice P. C. Pant. And in the decision it was also found holding by the Court that all the Private bank officials would be defined as Public Servants, as such private banks are operating under the license issued by the Reserve Bank of India. The as such, these officials are public servants under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruptions Act, which is being the law for prosecuting the Government employees found indulging in the corruption activities. It was also ruled by the Court that irrespective of the nature as Private of Government, the bank employees when discharging a public duty then they are amenable to the jurisdiction of the Special law aimed to stem corruption.
Also, in the ambit of the expression, ‘public duty’, the court said to have brought the duties which are discharged in the interest of the state, public or community at large. Thus, the officials who perform such duties comes under the scope of the definition of the ‘public servant’ as contained under Section 2 (c) (viii) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the bench said.
In the case, the High Court of Bombay ruled for quashing the charge sheet of the CBI against Ramesh Gelli and Sridhar Subasri- the then Chairman and Executive director of the concerned bank, respectively. Moreover, the court further observed that the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 requires harmonious construction, and cannot be left meaningless, where, in that law, bank officials are deemed to be public officials.
Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan
Read the Judgement here