Banking News

Delhi HC asks IBA to hold meeting of members on information disclosure SOPs

The Delhi High Court has asked the Indian Banks Association (IBA) to hold a meeting of all its members to ensure that everyone follows the standard operating procedures (SOP) related to information disclosure mechanisms to law enforcement agencies.

“It appears that the SOP (standard operating procedures) and the manner in which the SOPs have to be implemented by all the banks is still a work in progress. Let the IBA hold the meeting of the concerned sub-groups and sub-committee in order to ensure that all banks follow the SOP in respect of information disclosure mechanism to the law enforcement agencies,” Justice Prathiba M. Singh said.

The court also issued notice to Srinivasarao, senior advisor, IBA, and asked him to be present before it so that the stand of all the banks can be considered on April 6, the next date of hearing.

The directions came pursuant to the Reserve Bank of India informing the court that detailed SOPs had been prepared for exchange of information between banks and law enforcement agencies and the deadlines for banks to provide information have been fixed strictly and the same have to be mandatorily complied with by all.

In response to grievances raised by law enforcement agencies against banks, notices were earlier issued to banks, and meetings were directed between the Ministry of Home Affairs and bank authorities for better coordination.

The issue arose while hearing petitions by various companies like Dabur India, Snapdeal, Bajaj Finance, UltraTech Cement, alleging that domain names being registered by unknown third parties were infringing trademark rights of various brand owners and implementation of court orders by Domain Name Registrars (DNRs), some of which may be located outside India. The HC had earlier passed various directions for blocking and locking of the infringing of their domain names.”The DNRs (domain name registrar) and the banks, in compliance to the notices, shall provide the requisite information sent to the Delhi Police, expeditiously, failing which, stringent action would be liable to be taken,” Justice Singh ordered.Last year, the HC had sought response from 24 banks after the Delhi Police’s cyber cell informed it about the considerable time being taken by SBI in providing details of transactions by such entities.

The law enforcement agencies had sent notices to various domain name registrar and banks seeking information regarding specific internet protocol addresses and details pertaining to the unified payments interface identification, respectively.

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