State hastens to transfer Rs 5L to martyred jawan’s widow after bank error
Embarrassed by the bouncing of its Rs 5 lakh cheque to slain Sukma (Chattisgarh) encounter CRPF jawan Ranjeet Kumar’s widow, the Bihar government had to rush to transfer the money online.india Updated: May 28, 2017 10:36 IST
PATNA Following an uproar over ‘dishonouring’ of a cheque handed over to the widow of a CRPF jawan killed in a Maoist ambush at Sukma (Chhattisgarh) on April 24, an embarrassed Bihar government, on Wednesday, resorted to instant damage control and transferred the Rs 5-lakh amount in the designated account, through online transaction.
Sunita Devi, wife of slain CRPF jawan Ranjeet Kumar, had deposited the cheque of HDFC Bank, issued to her by the district administration, in her account at the State Bank of India branch at Aliganj in Jamui district of south eastern Bihar.
However, the branch returned the cheque to her, claiming that the authorised signatory’s initials did not match the records at the branch.
As soon as the news regarding the return of the cheque spread, the government swung into action to remedy the situation. However, this was enough to give the opposition BJP ammunition to attack the Nitish government for its ‘insensitivity’.
The BJP had made it an issue earlier this month when none of the ministers of the Nitish cabinet was present to pay respect to the six slain jawans from Bihar, when their bodies arrived at the Patna airport.
The government had to face another embarrassment when the BJP criticised it for keeping the procession with martyr’s bodies waiting at the airport, to provide passage to the carcade of the CM who was attending a function nearby.
“I was informed by the bank that the signature on the district magistrate’s cheque did not match (the specimen signature in the branch records) and so it was being returned,” said Sunita Devi.
The Supreme Court has ruled that in case of a cheque bounce, a mismatch of signatures will be treated on par with insufficiency of funds, “payment stopped” and “closure of account”, which are offences under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
Sheikhpura district magistrate Dinesh Kumar, however, insisted that the problem lay at the level of HDFC Bank and action would be taken against it.
“If the signature did not match, the HDFC Bank should have informed those concerned immediately or replied to the query of the SBI. We have taken a written apology from the HDFC Bank and legal action will also follow,” he added.
BJP leader Mangal Pandey, however, wasted no time in hitting out at the Nitish government. “There is no sensitivity in Nitish government. If they cannot honour martyrs, who else will they pay respect to?” he wondered.
In response, JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar said the government could not be blamed for a banking error, which was promptly sorted out.
On April 24 last, 25 jawans of the CRPF were killed in an encounter with Maoists in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. Among them six jawans were from Bihar. The deceased were members of the 74th battalion of the CRPF.
Slain CRPF jawan’s wife had deposited HDFC Bank cheque issued by distt admn, in her SBI account at Aliganj, Jamui. But the bank returned it claiming authorised signatory’s initials did not match bank records .