Banks should waive small amounts given as loan to farmers and rickshaw pullers, suggested Madras High Court Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal, here on Thursday.

Inaugurating a Mega Lok Adalat exclusively for Central Bank of India, organised by the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority (TNSLSA), Mr. Justice Eqbal said these people would have borrowed Rs.5,000 or Rs.10,000. When they were unable to repay this small amount, the banks should waive it. .

Borrowers should know that the money that was lent to them is public money. At the time of taking the loan, the borrowers are ready to sign any document given by the banks. But, at the time of recovery, they start taking various defences forcing the banks to take legal action, he said.

Those who come to settle the disputes were very wise, Mr Justice Eqbal said adding that otherwise, the borrowers would be the sufferers. Central Bank had also shown its concern to waive interests to genuine borrowers who were unable to pay.

In his address, Justice Elipe Dharma Rao, Judge, Madras High Court and Executive Chairman, TNSLSA, said six Benches have been constituted to deal with 2,523 cases, which involved a total sum of Rs.64.11 crore.

S. Kannan, General Manager, Central Bank of India, said a total of three mega lok adalats were conducted by the TNSLSA in the last couple of years.