A savings account in a private bank being used for commercial transactions cannot be covered under Consumer Protection Act, held a district consumer forum while dismissing a complaint filed by a housewife.
According to the complaint, Shital Desai, a resident of Parel, had approached Kotak Mahindra to open a three-in-one account, which included a saving account, demat account and a trading account. As per the terms, the saving account was a zero-balance one. But the bank opened an account whereby Desai was required to maintain an average quarterly balance.
Desai alleged that she came to know about the mistake when her husband went to deposit the cheque of a dividend she had received from stocks trading. He was informed that the account had been closed.
Desai claimed that she had to ask the company to give her another cheque for another bank account. She then filed a consumer complaint against the bank for deficiency in services.
Ashutosh Marathe, the bank’s advocate, argued though a mistake had been made, Desai could not be considered a consumer as she had opened the account for commercial purposes and to earn through stock market trading.
Desai’s advocate, however, argued that she earned her livelihood by investing in mutual funds and company dividends. “The complainant never asked for speculative profit nor prayed for compensation for speculative losses. Trinity account opened by the complainant is an individual account for earning her livelihood and not for individual purpose and therefore complainant is consumer.”
Dismissing the complaint, the forum observed that Desai had availed services of the bank for commercial purpose and therefore she was not a consumer.