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Banks to switch over to base rate from July 1

The Banking system in India is in for a sweeping metamorphosis from July 1 when a structural change will be effected in lending rates with the existing Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR) replaced by a base rate, to be determined by banks themselves.

The move, according to RBI Executive Director Deepak Mohanty, will bring to fruition complete deregulation of rupee lending rates of Banks, a process that began two decades ago. The base rate fulfilled the requirement of a benchmark while giving full flexibility to banks with regards to its computation and overall loan pricing.



Bhopal Tragedy: CBI to file curative petition in 2nd week of July

The Central Bureau of Investigation is likely to file a curative petition in the second week of July seeking to revive the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304(II) IPC, which was dropped by the Supreme Court in September 1996 against Union Carbide top brass in the Bhopal tragedy case.

Sources said the petition, is likely to be filed under Article 142 of the Constitution of India.

The offence under Section 304(II) carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

This follows the acceptance of the recommendation of the Group of Ministers (GoM) by the Union Cabinet and Attorney General of India G E Vahanvati is preparing the petition.

The Supreme Court has the sweeping power to pass any order to do complete justice.

The CBI is likely to place some new facts before the apex court, which could not be placed before it in September 1996.

The CBI is also going to plead that the impugned order of the Supreme Court has failed to take note of the fact that the fundamental right of the large number of victims of the gas tragedy to get justice has been overlooked by a bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India A M Ahambi, they said.

The Supreme Court has, however, repeatedly held that the courts are duty-bound to do justice, both to the victim as well as to the accused and in the present case victims have been denied justice.

Poisonous Methyl Isocyanate, which leaked from the Bhopal unit of Union Carbide on December 3, 1984 left 15,274 people dead and thousands others disabled for life.

If the Supreme Court decides to consider the petition, it will also strengthen the case for extradition of the then Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson who was allowed to escape from India on December 7, 1984 and has been declared an absconder by the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court Bhopal.

The Supreme Court reopens on July 5 after summer vacation.


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