New Delhi: The apex consumer forum NCDRC has observed that it is a bank's responsibility to compensate a customer for losing a cheque, including the dishonoured ones, deposited with it.
The observation by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) came while directing Bank of Baroda (BoB) to pay over Rs 3 lakh to a Gujarat resident for losing a cheque of Rs 3.6 lakh, issued in his favour, which had bounced.
The commission noted that the bank not only lost the dishonoured cheque, but also did not give the complainant -- Chitrodiya Babuji Divanji -- a cheque return memo, even though he constantly pursued the case with it.
It said as a result Divanji suffered a loss of Rs 3.6 lakh.
"Divanji constantly pursued his case with the petitioner (bank) for return of the dishonoured cheque and cheque return memo. Unfortunately, the cheque was lost by the bank. He did not receive the bounced cheque nor did he get the cheque amount of Rs 3,60,000.
"When the cheque in question had been lost by the petitioner bank, it is the responsibility of the bank to compensate the loss," the NCDRC said.
"In view of the above discussion, we found no illegality or infirmity in the impugned order. No miscarriage of justice is also shown to have been done in the case. Order is also not perverse. The findings are based on sound principles of justice.
"We see no illegality, infirmity or jurisdictional error in the impugned order and the same is upheld. The revision petition has no merit and the same is dismissed," NCDRC presiding member Justice Deepa Sharma and member
C Vishwanath said while upholding a Gujarat state consumer commission's decision against the bank.
The state commission on January 20, 2016 allowed Divanji's appeal directing the bank to pay him Rs 3,60,000 and had set aside the district forum's order.
The district forum had in 2013 partly allowed the complaint and directed Bank of Baroda to pay Rs 15,000 with interest.
According to the original complaint, Divanji had on September 11, 2010 deposited a cheque of Rs 3,60,000 in his savings account at the Market Yard branch of Visnagar, Gujarat.
The cheque, given to Divanji by someone else for clearing his dues, was returned by the bank as dishonoured. However, it never reached him.
The bank denied all allegations levelled against it by Divanji in the multiple legal notices sent by him.