Central Bank of India ordered to return guarantee papers
By Neelima Shankar
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New Delhi: After a legal battle that took five long years, two Delhi businessmen were finally able to get their guarantee papers back from the Central Bank of India. The Delhi Consumer Commission has directed the banks to return these documents to the concerned persons and provide Rs. 25,000 as cost of litigation to them.

The commission was irked by the fact that despite loan being repaid by the borrowers, the papers which were kept as a collateral with the bank weren't returned. Justice J.D. Kapoor, President of the commission termed this act by the bank as 'unfair trade practice'.

Two businessmen Jai Prakash Gupta and Rajinder Prasad Gupta gave the guarantee for a loan sanctioned to a ceramic company by the Lawrence Road branch of the Central Bank of India. The bank refused to give back the guarantee documents even after the loan was repaid by the firm stating that there was still some outstanding money, which had to be repaid. The two businessmen then took the matter to district consumer forum in 2003. The complaint was however dismissed by the forum on the grounds that the matter was already sub-judice before a debt recovery tribunal, but the commission allowed their appeal.

Stating the bank's act as nothing short of "arm-twisting, unfair and uncouth", the commission said, "the moment the said loan was paid by the principal debtor, the bank had no business to retain those documents and was obliged to return the documents to them."

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