For failing to release the public provident fund (PPF) amount to the legal heir of an account holder, District Consumer Disputes Redresssal Forum, Chandigarh, directed Punjab National Bank (PNB) to pay `15,000 as compensation for deficient services.
Disposing of a complaint filed by Charan Singh, a resident of Sector 38-D, Chandigarh, the forum directed the bank to release the amount in the PPF account along with up-to-date interest and `7,000 as cost of litigation.
Charan, who had moved the forum, said in his complaint that his father Ajit Singh had a PPF account with PNB.
Charan further said he and his brother were nominees of the account and as per his father’s will registered in June 2004, he (Charan) was to acquire the PPF account, among other things.
Charan stated that the bank had refused to release the amount of `8.68 lakh after the death of his father in November 2013.
In its reply, the bank said that Ajit Singh had opened an account in 1996 and had submitted the nomination of his two sons Mohan Singh and Charan Singh.
The bank said as per records, the account holder had appointed his sons as nominees but had insisted that the entire amount in the account be released on the basis of his will.
The bank further said it did not provide the amount to Charan as he was staking claims over the entire amount.
The forum, presided over by Rajan Dewan, on September 24, said, “The bank, while receiving the nomination request of Ajit Singh, should not have entertained the names of two nominees. Charan has also established that he was the sole beneficiary of the amount of the PPF account maintained by his late father with the bank by virtue of the registered will. Therefore, the act of the bank in not releasing the entire amount in favour of the complainant, who after the changes in the record of the bank was the sole nominee, certainly amounts to deficiency in service.”