Forum: litigation cost to be paid also
Forum directs bank to pay Rs. 3,000 compensation
Customer could not withdraw his salary for two months
MANGALORE: Dakshina Kannada District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked the Moodbidri branch of Canara Bank to pay a compensation of Rs. 3,000 to a customer for freezing his salary for two months. He was working as a lecturer at a Moodbidri-based educational institution from 2001 to 2008.
The customer, Prashanth Hegde (32), had complained that he was unable to withdraw his salary through the bank’s ATM in early July 2008 and that he had got the message, “your transaction was declined”.
He was under the impression that he had sufficient funds in his savings bank account.
He got similar responses when he tried again in the last week of August 2008.
When he approached the bank, its manager told Mr. Hegde that his salary had been frozen, following the instruction from his employer that he had left the institution without any reason or notice and without following service rules.
The complainant submitted that the action taken by the bank was illegal and the bank had nothing to do with matters of his service. The bank maintained that it had received the letter from the finance officer of the institution asking it to transfer a sum of Rs. 14,450 by debiting the S.B. Account of Mr. Hegde and that it had accordingly withheld the withdrawal of the amount for 18 days.
The order delivered by president of the forum, Asha Shetty, said, “… before withdrawing or blocking the amount, it is the primary duty of the bank to issue notice to the complainant… The bank cannot take its measure behind the back of the customer once the amount had been deposited to the account of the complainant. In this case, it was proved that the complainant had sufficient balance and the step taken by the bank was one-sided and amounted to deficiency (in service)”.
Besides awarding compensation of Rs. 3,000 to Mr. Hegde, the forum has asked the bank to pay the litigation cost of Rs.1,000 to him by May 28.