ICICI Bank official summoned as COVID orphans face eviction over loan dues

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights issues notice to official as bank moves to attach house

April 04, 2022 08:34 pm | Updated April 05, 2022 08:49 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Picture used for representational purposes. File

Picture used for representational purposes. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued summons to a senior official at ICICI Bank as four children stare at the possibility of losing their home over repayment of a loan taken by their parents, both of whom died last year during the second wave of the pandemic.

“The Commission requires you to physically appear before the Commission in this matter to furnish an action taken report on 20.04.2022, and to explain the reasons for not furnishing the requisite information sought by the Commission,” Registrar NCPCR, Anu Chaudhary, wrote in a letter addressed to Non-Executive (part-time) Chairperson, ICICI Bank. The summons was issued on March 29.

This followed the bank’s failure to respond to an earlier letter from the NCPCR seeking details on the matter.

The issue involves four Delhi-based siblings, aged between a year-and-a-half and 14, who lost their mother and father during the brutal second wave of Covid-19 last year. Their father had taken a loan of ₹25 lakh and repaid nearly ₹7 lakh. After his death, ICICI bank threatened to attach the house, according to the children’s paternal uncle, Mangat Singh Aswal. The family has sought that the bank waive the loan or extend the timeline for repayment so that the children can repay once they start earning.

Following the NCPCR’s intervention, it is learnt that the bank is in touch with the family and is working to resolve the matter.

“We don’t want the children to be rendered homeless. We will look at providing them legal aid, if needed,” Chairperson of NCPCR, Priyank Kanoongo, told The Hindu.

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