HDFC Bank asked to pay ₹5 lakh for misplaced documents

A consumer forum directed HDFC Bank to pay ₹5 lakh as compensation after it misplaced original property documents which a couple had deposited as mortgage. It also instructed the bank to sign an indemnity bond protecting the couple in case they are forced to face losses due to the missing documents.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Hyderabad-I, was dealing with a complaint filed by T. Srilakshmi, an LIC employee, and VSM Prabhakar Y.

The complainants stated in 2003 that they sought a loan of ₹15 lakh from the bank.

The application was on mortgage of the plot and the original title deeds were handed over to the bank. This was acknowledged by means of a receipt dated December 11, 2003. The complainants stated that they visited the bank several times and sent many emails from April to June in 2013 requesting the documents be returned.

On July 15, 2013, the complainant received a letter from the bank informing them of the loss of documents with a promise to obtain a duplicate copy. However, no further information was received. In the meantime, LIC Housing Finance Ltd, which the complainants approached for facilitating the loan, was informed that the documents were misplaced. It sent them a notice directing them to pay the entire outstanding amount.

For their part, the bank denied any deficiency of service stating that the documents were misplaced on account of a human error. It stated that a complaint with the Narayanguda police was filed in order to obtain duplicate copies. Taking the evidence put on record, the forum stated that it was only in December 2018 that the bank sent a complaint to the police. In the same month, it got published notices of the loss of documents in a Telugu and English newspaper.

But it noted, “No reason is forthcoming from the opposite party for giving general notice by way of publication about the two years after filing of written version. This itself speaks of the carelessness and negligence on part of the opposite party. The opposite party has not filed the certified copy of the sale deed which was misplaced in their hands even as on today,” it stated.

Apart from the compensation, the forum directed the bank to obtain a certified copy of the title deeds and hand them over to the complainants along with a report from the Narayanguda police station stating that the original documents could not be found. The forum imposed costs of ₹25,000.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 4:05:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/hdfc-bank-asked-to-pay-5-lakh-for-misplaced-documents/article29316602.ece

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