SC seeks response from RBI on appointment of PSB heads
A PIL filed in SC said the advertisement for the post of MD & CEOs in public sector banks was arbitrary, discriminatory and unjust
The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from the Centre, RBI and others on a petition challenging the government’s move to appoint private bank executives to head five public sector banks.
A bench headed by Justice AR Dave also sought reply from the five public sector banks — Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, IDBI Bank and Punjab National Bank — after a PIL filed by KD Khera, former president of the All India Bank Officers Confederation, challenged the Department of Financial Services advertisement of February 26 inviting applications for the post of managing director and chief executive officer in the A-category for the five banks.
It said the advertisement for the post of MD & CEOs in the public sector banks was arbitrary, discriminatory and unjust as it would affect executive directors and general managers of the PSBs.
Counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Khera, submitted that the senior personnel and employees at the public sector banks had worked for decades in the PSU banks and formed the backbone of the Indian banking industry and they could not be completely overlooked for these posts. He further argued that it was a move to promote outsiders in the banks by discriminating against the well-experienced, in-house staff of these banks, who were much more capable of taking up these positions.
According to the PIL, these top positions have been thrown open to anyone with at least 15 years of experience in mainstream banking, of which, at least, three years should be served at the board level. The candidate should be in the age group of 45 to 55 years and will have a fixed tenure of three years, subject to normal age of superannuation of 60 years.
Khera said the government was not giving a level-playing ground to public sector executives by putting in strict conditions for selection.
“The eligibility criteria is discriminatory and violative of Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution of India as it will debar almost all candidates from within the public sector banks,” he said, adding that the government had deliberately and discriminatingly designed eligibility criteria to make only private sector applicants eligible, on account of the cut-of-age criteria.