PNB charged for deficiency in services
By Neelima Shankar
Oct 17, 2008
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Country's second largest PSU bank, Punjab National Bank has been ordered to pay a compensation of Rs 5,000 for losing its customer's cheque worth Rs 20,000.

The complainant, Ram Krishan, a resident of Dhanas had deposited a cheque worth Rs 20,000 with PNB. The cheque was drawn at the Panchkula Central Cooperative Bank on November 7, 2007 for encashment but the complainant reported that the amount was never credited to his account.

Mr. Krishan had also approached PNB to know the status of the cheque but was always left in vain.

When the District Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum asked PNB for details regarding the matter, the bank admitted that the cheque was deposited with them and sent for collection. They claimed that the amount was not paid by the Panchkula Central Cooperative bank as "payment was stopped by the drawer".

The bank's counsel further said that the original cheque was not received from the payee branch despite repeated visits and may have been misplaced.

The bank also confirmed that they had recommended the compliant to collect an electronic image of the truncated cheque, which is valid for all intent and purposes as per amendment of the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881.

PNB cleared that the compliant did not come to take the cheque despite of the bank's advice.

Even though PNB made its argument clear, the forum found the bank guilty for deficiency in services. The forum said that the bank's offer to issue the truncated cheque proves that they lost the cheque and are therefore subject to compensation.

The bank is asked to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation charges and Rs 500 as the cost of litigation by the District Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum.

Earlier SBI had also been directed to pay Rs 20,000 as compensation for the deficiency in services. The bank had been found guilty of not crediting the cheque amount to the depositors account on the same day as the cheque was deposited.

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