New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the interest waiver case to November 18 due to the unavailability of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The three-judge SC bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan is expected to pass a formal order in the case on November 18. The RBI has pleaded to lift the stay on the classification of accounts as NPA.

The apex court will be hearing a batch of pleas seeking a waiver of interest charged by banks on EMIs during the RBI's six-month loan moratorium period.

The top court is hearing a batch of petitions regarding charging of interest on interest - or compound interest - by banks on EMIs delayed by borrowers for the March-August 31 period under a scheme approved by the RBI that would provide relief to millions of people.

The main petitioner, Gajendra Sharma thanked the court, government and Solicitor General for giving relief to small borrowers and holding their hands.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah was requested by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the hearing in the loan moratorium case be deferred as he would be busy arguing on behalf of the Centre in other matter relating to the Central Vista project.

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"These moratorium matters were listed yesterday but they came up today. I am requesting for an adjournment considering I have a case (Central Vista) where I will be arguing" the law officer said.

A letter seeking deferment of the hearing in the case was also circulated by advocate-on-record Anil Katiyar for the Centre to the parties and the bench.

The top court acceded to the request and adjourned the hearing on pleas including the one filed by Gajendra Sharma on 5 November.

The government has decided to bear the cost of the scheme, estimated at Rs 6,500 crore.

The amount - the difference between compound interest and simple interest for the six-month period - paid by lenders on eligible loans will be reimbursed by the government at a later date.

In March, RBI had announced a moratorium on repayment of term deposits for three months, which was later extended for three months more till August 31. The move was intended to provide borrowers relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and expected to give them more time to clear payments of EMIs amid the economic fallout of the lockdown, without being classified as NPAs.