Bank directed to compensate consumer for deficiency in service

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BY JATIN RAMAIYA

Brisco Sequeira had approached the Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum at Margao complaining against Bank of India. He claimed that he had invested in the name of his minor daughters – Rs 56,521.53 and Rs 56,521.53 for Eldora A Sequeira and Enrique A Sequeira respectively – with the said bank and was given two certificates in the name of the his daughters under ‘Double Benefit Deposit Certificate’.  On both the certificates, the maturity date was shown as November 22, 2012 and the maturity amount on both was Rs 1,26,856.93 respectively. According to the complainant, the certificates were supposed to mature after completion of five years and zero months and according to him the date of maturity was November 22, 2012.

Upon completion of date of maturity, Brisco went to withdraw the amount shown on certificates. However, the bank offered him an amount of Rs 88,000 only on each of the receipts. Brisco protested and did not accept the same and sent a legal notice and since there was no compliance he filed a complaint for recovery of money and compensation of Rs 50,000 for mental harassment. The bank in their defence and denied any liability and stated that it was never committed to Brisco that after depositing the amount for five years under double deposit scheme his amount will be doubled. The bank further pleaded that they have created a genuine mistake in double benefit deposit receipts issued to the complainant by giving 16.50 per cent interest instead of 9 per cent.

The forum observed that since it was the case of the bank that the certificates issued to Brisco were issued erroneously, the bank, however, failed to bring on record any circular to show that the interest accrued on the certificates was not 16.50 per cent but was much more lesser than that and the complainant is entitled to receive only Rs 88,202.35 on each of the DBD certificate. The forum also took into consideration the argument made by the bank that Brisco did not make any grievances of deficiency-in-service and decided that the complaint shows deficiency-in-service and unfair trade practice adopted by the bank. It did not agree with the arguments that the complainant is not a consumer as defined under section 2c of the Consumer Protection Act.

In view these facts, the forum took note that the bank had already deposited an amount of Rs 1,76,404.70 which was according them due to Brisco and directed the bank to pay Birsco the balance amount of Rs 77,309.16  with 9 per cent interest along with compensation of Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,000 as cost.