Staff Reporter

Coimbatore: The Coimbatore District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked the State Bank of India to pay Rs. 25,000 as compensation towards mental agony and Rs. 1,000 as cost in a case filed by a credit card holder.

The order was passed by the forum comprising presiding officer S.A. Sreeramulu and members P. Mathavi and K. Rathinam.

P. Rajendran of Nallampalayam road, in his complaint said he was provided with a credit card by the bank and a loan of Rs. 44,000 as special offer.

But the card holder chose to surrender the card. He dispatched his credit card along with two cheques for Rs. 42,362 and Rs. 780 towards purchases by registered post.

The bank maintained that it did not receive the cheques. It asked its executives from the recovery department to collect the amount.

The executives maintained that Mr. Rajendran had an outstanding of Rs. 64,895 and insisted that he should pay Rs. 42,000 in five instalments.

Mr. Rajendran issued notice asking the bank to encash the cheques already sent and close the account within three days from the date of receipt of this notice. But the bank continued to harass him, he alleged. Then he lodged a complaint at the Thudiyalur Police Station. He also moved the forum seeking a claimof Rs. 2 lakh for causing mental agony.

The bank said that it had not received any cheques. And executives approached the complainant only to seek cheques from him.

The court, however, said that though the bank denied the receipt of cheques, it had not denied the receipt of registered letter sent to it. In the reply notice also this was not denied. Even after receiving legal notices the bank threatened the complainant. The bank had not taken necessary action has caused mental agony to the complainant. Therefore it is very clear that the bank has committed deficiency in service and is liable to pay compensation.

The forum directed the bank to pay compensation and cost of litigation within two months. Failing which the complainant was at liberty to execute the order under sections 25 and 27 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The court directed the bank to encash the cheques sent by the complainant or send a fresh notice to the complainant for Rs. 42,362 and Rs.780 without interest.