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SC stays Gauhati HC order on guards at ATMs

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Dec 5 - The Supreme Court on Monday stayed an order of the Gauhati High Court over deployment of security guards at ATMs in Assam.

A Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud stayed the High Court�s order, while admitting the petition and issuing notice to the Reserve Bank of India, the Centre and the Assam DGP.

A group of banks led by State Bank of India has moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking relief.

The banks, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, argued that engaging security guards on a 24-hour basis in 3,605 ATMs would cost them approximately Rs 11.72 crore a month.

The individual banks need to have �flexibility� to decide whether they should keep security guards or not, depending on the threat perception and footfalls.

They argued that banks were in the process of providing electronic surveillance system round the clock at ATMs. This mechanism was far more responsive than security guards, he claimed.

The Gauhati High Court had made it mandatory for banks to employ security guards 24X7 at all of the State�s 3,605 ATMs or stop operating the machines.

The HC order came following �fraudulent� withdrawal of Rs 35,000 from the account of one Swapan Kumar at an ATM counter in Ulubari, Guwahati in 2012.

The High Court, taking suo motu cognisance of the fraud, directed Assam DGP to explain how the �rights of a common man can be safeguarded� at ATMs.

On the DGP�s advice, the High Court issued a diktat in 2013 that all banks should mandatorily employ security guards or caretakers in shifts at all ATMs across the State. A review petition filed by the banks, citing the costs of keeping guards around the clock, was turned down by the Gauhati High Court in July.

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SC stays Gauhati HC order on guards at ATMs

NEW DELHI, Dec 5 - The Supreme Court on Monday stayed an order of the Gauhati High Court over deployment of security guards at ATMs in Assam.

A Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud stayed the High Court�s order, while admitting the petition and issuing notice to the Reserve Bank of India, the Centre and the Assam DGP.

A group of banks led by State Bank of India has moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking relief.

The banks, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, argued that engaging security guards on a 24-hour basis in 3,605 ATMs would cost them approximately Rs 11.72 crore a month.

The individual banks need to have �flexibility� to decide whether they should keep security guards or not, depending on the threat perception and footfalls.

They argued that banks were in the process of providing electronic surveillance system round the clock at ATMs. This mechanism was far more responsive than security guards, he claimed.

The Gauhati High Court had made it mandatory for banks to employ security guards 24X7 at all of the State�s 3,605 ATMs or stop operating the machines.

The HC order came following �fraudulent� withdrawal of Rs 35,000 from the account of one Swapan Kumar at an ATM counter in Ulubari, Guwahati in 2012.

The High Court, taking suo motu cognisance of the fraud, directed Assam DGP to explain how the �rights of a common man can be safeguarded� at ATMs.

On the DGP�s advice, the High Court issued a diktat in 2013 that all banks should mandatorily employ security guards or caretakers in shifts at all ATMs across the State. A review petition filed by the banks, citing the costs of keeping guards around the clock, was turned down by the Gauhati High Court in July.

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