ISLAMABAD The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the State Bank of Pakistan to submit 10 samples of each year of the people who have obtained bank loans from 1971 to December 2009. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Tariq Pervaiz and Justice Ghulam Rabbani, was hearing a suo moto case pertaining to Rs 54 billion written off loans. The Chief Justice observed that according to section 33-B of the Banking Companies Ordinance, there were two conditions - inadequate security and the rehabilitation of sick unit - which the barrowers have to meet for getting loans written off. The CJ asked Iqbal Haider, SBP counsel, to inform the court that whether the mortgaged properties of people, who failed to return loans, were sold by the banks. The learned counsel informed that from 1971 to December 2009 total Rs 256 billion loans were written off by the banking sector, while Rs 54 billion loans were written off during the last two years about that the Finance Minister had informed the National Assembly two weeks ago. Haider said that except the National Bank of Pakistan rest of the banks were in private sector. The Chief Justice then remarked that no bank in the country could function without getting licence from the SBP and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. Abdul Hafeez Pirzada amicus curaie stated that it was not the matter of private or public banks, but of the huge money that was written off, and the people who got their loans written off also are not paying the taxes. He remarked that in CLC 2009 Lahore High Court the court in its judgement maintained that the banks have penalised those people who had taken small loans, but no action was taken against the big fishes. He further stated that those who were paying the loans were punished. The learned counsel said that violators of the law have benefited. The SBP should not discriminate among the loanees, he added. Iqbal Haider said that the banks wrote off loans according to the circulars issued by the State Bank from time to time. The Chief Justice asked what was the constitutional value of SBP circulars, saying that in CLC 2009 for the first time Article 25 of the Constitution has been invoked. He remarked that the court would recover the money from those who got their loans written off; as the money involved in written-off loans belongs to public exchequer and it should be spent for the welfare of the masses. Iqbal Haider said that the lists of people who got their loans written off during 1971 to December 2009 have already been submitted in the court and the Advocate on Record has to correct the page numbering and put the documents in a proper order. He said that there were 49 volumes of the documents of defaulters.