Con­sumer court or­ders bank to pay Rs 50,000 for de­fi­cient ser­vices

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For mis­plac­ing a cheque, the dis­trict con­sumer dis­putes re­dres­sal fo­rum in Chandigarh has di­rected Ca­nara Bank to pay Rs 50,000 as com­pen­sa­tion and Rs 10,000 as cost of lit­i­ga­tion to a cus­tomer for de­fi­ciency in ren­der­ing ser­vice.

In his com­plaint, Gur­jeet Singh, a res­i­dent of Hal­lo­ma­jra, Chandigarh, said that in or­der to re­turn Rs 1.50 lakh, one Surinder Ku­mar had is­sued him an ac­count payee cheque that was pre­sented to the bank for clear­ing. Af­ter a few days, when Gur­jeet vis­ited the bank to en­quire about the sta­tus of the cheque, he was told that the said cheque had been re­turned and en­try in this re­gard was made in the pass­book. The com­plainant had de­manded back the orig­i­nal cheque along with the memo. In this re­gard, he also met the bank manager re­peat­edly, who put off the mat­ter and failed to re­turn the cheque. Later on, the bank manager told the com­plainant that the cheque had been handed over to Surinder Ku­mar.

Gur­jeet al­leged that the bank, in con­nivance with afore­said Surinder Ku­mar, mis­ap­pro­pri­ated the cheque in ques­tion and its manager also mis­be­haved with him.

Deny­ing the charge, Ca­nara Bank said that Gur­jeet was told that his cheque was mis­placed dur­ing tran­sit and he was fur­ther re­quested to wait due to the ren­o­va­tion work at the branch. The bank had de­nied all al­le­ga­tions of mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion.

The con­sumer fo­rum said, “The de­fence pleaded by the bank is not wor­thy of cre­dence. On the one hand, the bank has pleaded that the com­plainant was told that his cheque was mis­placed dur­ing tran­sit but on the other hand, it has been pleaded that it was fur­ther ex­plained to him the ren­o­va­tion work of the branch was go­ing on and he was re­quested to wait.

“The bank has not pro­duced any such ev­i­dence which could show that the cheque of the com­plainant was mis­placed due to ren­o­va­tion work of the of­fice. Con­duct of the of­fi­cials of the bank has been ex­tremely neg­li­gent and they did not bother to re­dress the griev­ance of the com­plainant un­til he filed a con­sumer com­plaint.”

Con­sumer court slaps fine on bank for ‘un­just’ ac­tion

The Dehradun Dis­trict Con­sumer Dis­putes Re­dres­sal Fo­rum has im­posed a fine of Rs 28,720 on ICICI Bank for seiz­ing a man’s bike with­out serv­ing any prior no­tice to him.

“The ac­tion of the bank in tak­ing away the bike was not just and there­fore, it should pay to­tal puni­tive dam­ages of Rs 28,720 to the com­plainant,” an or­der passed by the fo­rum stated.

Ev­i­dently, the com­plainant Satish Ku­mar Agar­wal had pur­chased a bike on 5 April 2004 from a lo­cal mo­tor­cy­cle dealer and got it par­tially fi­nanced from the bank. The com­plainant claimed that the to­tal cost of the bike was Rs 43,200 and he got Rs 35,075 from the bank. He also claimed that he was reg­u­larly pay­ing his monthly in­stal­ments and had re­turned Rs 16,720 to the bank. How­ever, on 7 July 2005, the bank seized his bike and later auc­tioned it with­out serv­ing any no­tice to Agar­wal.

Satish moved the con­sumer fo­rum, claim­ing a re­fund of the en­tire amount he paid to the bank through monthly in­stal­ments. The con­sumer fo­rum ad­ju­di­cat­ing over the case di­rected the bank to re­fund the en­tire amount of Rs 16,720, which the com­plainant paid through monthly in­stal­ments, and also im­posed a fine of Rs 7,000 for caus­ing men­tal ha­rass­ment and Rs 5,000 for other mis­cel­la­neous ex­penses.

The fo­rum also di­rected the bank to pay the fine amount within 30 days of the or­der or the com­plainant would be en­ti­tled to charge seven per cent an­nual in­ter­est on the to­tal amount till the day he got the money from bank.

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