MCQ 15 Dec 2023

Daily practice questions for CLAT - (15 December 2023)

The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 (Ordinance) was promulgated on June 26, 2020, to bring ‘Co-Operative Banks’ under the ambit of the RBI by amending the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (Banking Act). The Ordinance is intended not to overlap with the powers that already exist with the Registrars under the respective State Co-Operative laws. The Non-Application of the Banking Act continues as far as Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) are concerned and the Ordinance extends the non-applicability to co-operative societies whose primary object and principal business is long-term finance for agricultural development. The primary reason for this Ordinance was the case of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC Bank or PMC Case), wherein the RBI imposed significant restrictions of withdrawal and suspended its business. The PMC Bank was ramped up with financial irregularities and failed internal control systems. These cases significantly highlight the problems of dual regulation plaguing Co-Operative Banks, the sector whose depositors will now view the ordinance as a much-needed measure to protect their interest. Sandeep Bhalla v The Reserve Bank of India: The writ petition was filed by one of the depositors of the PMC Bank wherein the question being considered is that “if a scheme could be drawn up by the Government and the RBI for ‘Yes Bank’, why the same can’t be extended to the depositors of the PMC Bank”. Ordinance an Answer to the PMC Case: The introduction of the ordinance offers much relief to the plagued UCB sector. The Urban Co-Operative Banks have now been brought under the ambit of the Banking Act. Apart from maintaining the exclusion which is already discussed, among others, the Ordinance adds that at first, a scheme of reconstruction or amalgamation can be initiated any other time and not necessarily during the moratorium; second, during the moratorium, the UCB cannot grant any loans or make investments in any credit instruments. Third, the UCB may issue equity shares, preferential shares, special shares, unsecured debentures or bonds with the prior approval of the RBI. Fourth, the UCB cannot reduce or withdraw capital except as per the conditions specified by RBI and there can be no demand for surrendered shares. Fifth, the board of a UCB registered under a State Law, can be superseded only with the consultation of the concerned State Government. Finally, the RBI may exempt the UCBs or a certain class of UCBs from the application of the provisions of the Banking Act. A note prepared by former Planning Commission adviser K.D. Zacharias, uploaded on the RBI’s website, noted that “banking being a Central subject and co- operatives operating within a State being a State subject under the Constitution, providing an overriding effect to the banking laws over the law governing cooperative societies in case of conflict is a contentious issue.” It may be noted that generally, where a state and central law are in direct conflict, precedence is given to the law promulgated by the centre.

Question1:- Why is there a conflict between laws governing banking and laws governing cooperative societies?
  • (a) The application of both laws may be in prejudice with one another.
  • (b) There is no such conflict.
  • (c) Banking is a central subject and cooperative societies are a state subject. Thus, giving effect to one set of rules over another may cause federalist tensions.
  • (d) Both A and C.
Answer is C is correct. It is not the subject matter of the laws creating the conflict but rather the jurisdiction of centre versus state under Schedule VII of the Indian Constitution. Hence (c) is the correct option.
Question2:- Selvam Cooperative Credit Bank is a cooperative agricultural credit society based in Tamil Nadu. It was conceived in 2008 as a means to provide credit for small farmers who have been traditionally exploited by moneylenders. However, Selvam soon came under controversy as it was alleged that they also perpetuated a similar form of exploitation. Now, there are rumours that the Ordinance is going to make Selvam fall under the purview of the RBI. Advise them.
  • (a) Yes, Selvam will fall under the ambit of the Ordinance due to its exploitative practices.
  • (b) No, Selvam will not fall under the ambit of the Ordinance.
  • (c) Yes, Selvam will fall under the ambit of the Ordinance because it is a credit society.
  • (d) Both A and C.
Answer is B is correct. Since Selvam Cooperative is a cooperative agricultural credit society and the banking Act does not apply to agricultural financing, Selvam will not fall under the ambit of the Ordinance.
Question3:- What is the need for the promulgation of the Ordinance?
  • (a) To resolve problems of regulation.
  • (b) To bring cooperative banks under the ambit of the RBI.
  • (c) To make it easier to restructure cooperative banks.
  • (d) All of the above.
Answer is D is correct. Self-explanatory. UCBs have been regulated by state Registrars and sometimes also the banking system. By placing them within the ambit of banking law, RBI supervision can resolve problems of regulations, and also allow schemes of reconstruction.
Question4:- Sandhya Urban Cooperative Credit, a UCB in Bengaluru, has been struck by a wave of financial irregularities. Dismayed, its depositors form a group and attempt to salvage their money. They have heard of the Ordinance, and come to you to advise if any relief can be found within its provisions.
  • (a) Attempt a civil disobedience movement.
  • (b) Apply for a recovery certificate in the Relevant Court.
  • (c) Push for a scheme of reconstruction or amalgamation under section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act.
  • (d) None of the above.
Answer is C is correct. The Ordinance will make section 45 applicable to UCBs. Section 45 allows the RBI to propose a scheme of amalgamation or reconstruction, during which a moratorium is imposed on the bank, helping it stay alive.
Question5 :- Which of the following is an innovation introduced via the Ordinance?
  • (a) UCBs can freely withdraw capital.
  • (b) The board of a UCB registered with a state government can be superseded in consultation with the RBI.
  • (c) The UCB may issue shares after prior approval from the RBI.
  • (d) A scheme of reconstruction can be introduced if there is a period of moratorium.
Answer is C is correct. A, B, and D are incomplete or incorrect according to the passage.