In a significant legal development, the Bombay High Court ruled on Tuesday that public sector banks do not have the authority to issue Lookout Circulars (LOCs) against defaulters. This landmark decision, delivered by the bench comprising Justice Gautam Patel and Justice Madhav Jamdar, has profound implications for the enforcement actions taken by these banks.

Details of the Ruling

  • Legal Authority: The court highlighted that public banks lack the legal rights to issue LOCs, which are typically used to prevent debtors from leaving the country.
  • Constitutionality: A specific section of the government’s memorandum was declared unconstitutional, leading to the annulment of all LOCs previously issued against loan defaulters.


This ruling is expected to significantly impact the way public banks manage default cases and recover debts. With the LOC tool no longer available, banks might need to explore other legal avenues to ensure compliance and recovery.

Next Steps for Banks

In light of this ruling, public sector banks will need to reassess their strategies for handling loan defaults. This may involve strengthening internal recovery processes or seeking other legal measures that are in line with the court’s guidelines.

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