Supreme Court To Hear Plea Over Unclaimed Funds In Banks
The petition says at times nominees are unaware of dormant accounts of the deceased and seeks measures to address the issue.
The Supreme Court of India has agreed to hear a petition by senior journalist Sucheta Dalal seeking a mechanism for disclosure of information on dormant bank accounts, insurance and post office funds of deceased individuals to their legal heirs or nominees.
The petition said unclaimed funds in bank accounts get transferred to government-owned funds such as the Depositor’s Education and Awareness Fund; Investor’s Education and Protection Fund and Senior Citizen’s Welfare Fund.
The DEAF had Rs 39,264 crore at the end of March 2021 and the amount lying with IEPF was at Rs 4,100 crore at the end of March 2020, according to the petition by Dalal.
These unclaimed amounts lying in the funds, the petition said, are due to two reasons-
Funds getting transferred to the account because nominees remain unaware of the very existence of the bank accounts and banks fail to inform them.
Information of the deceased investors whose deposits, debentures, dividends, insurance and post office funds have been transferred to the IEPF is not readily available on the website.
The petition emphasises on the need to develop a centralised online database which will provide information about the deceased account holder. And that banks should have to mandatorily inform the Reserve Bank of India about the inoperative and dormant accounts.
The petition by Dalal came up before the bench presided by Justice S Abdul Nazeer. The top court has issued notice to the central government and the Reserve Bank of India.