For acting against the instructions of the customer and renewing the fixed deposit receipts (FDR), the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed the Amritsar branch of a bank to pay Rs. 2 lakh to an Amritsar resident as compensation for unfair trade practices and deficiency in services.
Disposing of the complaint by Narinder Kumar Jain against the Bank of India, the consumer commission directed the bank to transfer Rs. 25 lakh amount of the FDR, along with interest which had accrued thereon, to the overdraft account. The bank was also directed to pay Rs. 11,000 as cost of litigation.
Jain had moved the commission, accusing the bank of unfair trade practices and deficiency in services.
Jain said he had bought the FDR worth Rs. 25 lakh from Ranjit Avenue branch of the bank in his name besides in the names of Chameli Devi, Pardeep Jain and Parveen Jain. These were to mature on October 30, 2012. He claimed that before the maturing of the FDR he had told the bank to transfer the amount of FDR to his overdraft account but the bank renewed the FDR for another five years, which amounted to deficiency in service. He alleged that the FDR was renewed at a lesser rate of interest, which also amounted to illegality and deficiency in service.
The bank, denying the deficiency, said Jain never approached them with the request to transfer the amount of the FDR to his overdraft account before the date of maturity, and according to the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India, it was further renewed for five years.
Unimpressed by the submissions of the bank, the commission presided over by Justice Gurdev Singh, on June 12, held, “Once the instructions had been given, the bank was not competent to renew the FDR for a further period of five years. They acted against the instructions of the complainant and it amounted to deficiency in service on their part. It also amounts to the adopting of unfair trade practice, as the intention of the bank becomes apparent that they wanted to withhold this deposit of the complainant and never wanted to give the benefit thereof to the complainant by depositing it in the overdraft account.”