THE POLICE are investigating charges leveled by a professor of a reputed engineering college against a multinational bank, which allegedly sent a pack of intimidating loan recovery agents to hound him.
Prof J.S. Kalra of the Delhi College of Engineering said in his complaint to police that the agents abused and beat him up outside the Indraprashta University campus in north Delhi for delaying monthly installments of a loan. They did not care to stop even after he told them that he was a heart patient and that he had developed chest pain. “They even threatened to kill me,” Kalra said in his complaint.
The incident took place in September but the 58-year-old professor is hopeful of justice, encouraged by the recent strict guidelines issued by the RBI against banks intimidating customers to recover loan. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram too has iterated that “strictest action” will be taken against banks stooping to strong-arm methods.
The police said they have registered a case of criminal intimidation against the loan recovery agents, allegedly hired by
HSBC bank. “They got into Kalra’s car and refused to leave till he paid the loan installments immediately. They hurled abuses, and beat him up. When they saw Kalra developing heart problem, they left him,” said Devesh Chandra Srivasatava, deputy commissioner of police (north).
A HSBC spokesperson, Malini Thadani, when contacted by HT, said she was not aware about the incident and would comment on it after getting details of the case.
Kalra had taken a loan of Rs 4.5 lakh to buy a Santro from the Noida branch of HSBC last year.
“We have registered a case but further investigations are on. When we approached the bank they told us that they had not hired any agent to recover the loans from the complainant. No arrests have been made into the case and we are verifying the details,” said a senior police officer.