A District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum on Monday directed Axis Bank to pay Squash Champion Dipika Pallikal a compensation of Rs. Five Lakh and costs of Rs.5,000 for deficiency in service.
In her complaint filed in 2012, Dipika, an Arjuna Awardee and recipient of the Padma Shri, who is ranked No.1 in India and 11 in the World, had narrated her harrowing experience while swiping her Debit Card at a hotel in Rotterdam. Despite having a balance of more than ten times the value of the transaction amount, it was declined. The bank claimed the incident was a case of Force Majeure and beyond their control. A month later, the same bank returned a Govt of India cheque of Rs.1 lakh — an award from the Union Sports Ministry — which Dipika had deposited into her account and later cited a technical error. Dipika had claimed compensation for mental agony, among other reasons, to the tune of Rs. Ten Lakh.
"This is a victory for the consumers of India. It reaffirms our faith in Consumer Courts. It will motivate other consumers who are wronged by service providers to stand up and fight for justice. A big thank you to all those who stood by me", said Dipika Pallikal.
“We are very happy with the verdict. Service providers like banks cannot leave their customers in the lurch, wash their hands off and hide behind disclaimers like Force Majeure," remarked Sanjay Pinto, advocate for Dipika Pallikal.