For misplacing a cheque, district consumer disputes redressal forum, Chandigarh, directed a bank to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to a Hallomajra resident for deficiency in rendering service.
Disposing of a complaint filed by Gurjeet Singh, a resident of Hallomajra, Chandigarh, the consumer forum on December 5 directed Canara Bank to pay Rs 10,000 as cost of litigation.
In his complaint, Gurjeet Singh said that in order to return Rs 1.50 lakh, one Surinder Kumar had issued him an account payee cheque which 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 pass book. 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. Gurjeet wrote a number of letters and also made various physical visits to the bank to redress his grievance but to no avail.
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 of 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.”