Following an RTI filed by activist Saket Gokhale, the Reserve Bank of India has admitted to Indian banks technically writing off Rs 68,707 crores of India’s 50 top wilful defaulters, which included names like absconding fugitive Mehul Choksi. 

Free Press Journal

RTI activist Saket Gokhale had filed an RTI query seeking details of the 50 top wilful defaulters and the current status of their loans till February 16.

I filed this RTI because Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, but they had refused to reply to this starred question asked in parliament by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, in the last budget session, on Feb 16, 2020. 

-Saket Gokhale

The RBI said that this amount comprising outstanding and the amounts were technically written-off, till the 30th of September, 2019. The central bank claims that it hasn’t updated the list since then. 

The Print

You can see the whole list here: 


Topping the list is Choksi’s scam-hit company, Gitanjali Gems Limited which owed Rs.5,492 crore. The list also includes Baba Ramdev and Balkrishna’s group company Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd., Indore (Rs.2,212 crore), and Zoom Developers Pvt. Ltd., Gwalior (Rs.2,012 crore), liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. (Rs 1,943 crore).

A majority of them have defaulted prominent nationalist banks over the past several years and many of them are either absconding or facing action by various probe agencies and some are under litigation

-Saket Gokhale

Twitter has been criticising the government since this news became public.

Meanwhile the RBI also said that according to section 8 (1)(a) of RTI Act 2005 read with para 77 of Supreme Court judgement of December 16, 2015 in Jayantilal N Mistry case, information on overseas borrowers is exempted from public disclosure.