Delhi

‘Current account holder not a consumer’

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Falls within category of hiring services for commercial purpose, says consumer forum

A District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has dismissed a complaint against the Oriental Bank of Commerce after stating that a person having a current account in a bank cannot be considered a ‘consumer’.

Referring to previous judgments of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, the district forum said: “Operating a current account connected and related to business transactions would fall within the category of hiring services for commercial purpose”. The complainant had alleged that the bank demanded a sum of ₹4,000 from him in order to maintain the minimum balance. “However, the minimum balance mentioned for general current account is ₹500,” the complaint stated.

‘Misled, harassed’

The complainant alleged that the letter sent by the bank on additional charges was simply to mislead and harass him.

It was alleged that the complainant had already deposited an amount of ₹1,000 in the account and an additional ₹4,000 would be exceeding the ₹500 margin by a considerable amount.

“If minimum balance requirement as their website is ₹500, how could the bank demand ₹5,000 illegally?” read the complaint.

In its defence, the bank argued that the complainant had opened his account under the Pragati current account, which required a higher balance to be maintained.

The bank alleged that the complainant was well aware of the terms and conditions while opening the account.

The bank stated: “The complainant was explained each and every aspect and requirements to his satisfaction for opening and operating of the current account in the name of the firm.”

Consumer Protection Act

While pronouncing its order, the forum dismissed the complaint stating: “The particulars of the current account explicitly demonstrate that it was opened by the firm with commercial activities. We are of the opinion that a complainant holding a current account in the bank is not a consumer within the Consumer Protection Act.”

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 7:22:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/current-account-holder-not-a-consumer/article19694890.ece

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