SBI pays for its negligence
By Ankit Sharma
Sep 25, 2008
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After a person lost a chance to buy a house, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum directed the State Bank of India to compensate for the deficiency in services. The largest lender, SBI is asked to pay an amount of Rs 20,000 as compensation.

The complainant, Sanjhi Ram form Chandigarh had deposited a Cheque of Rs 3,39,000 in the State Bank of India on November 29, 2007 and the amount was credited on December 5, 2007 due to which complainant lost his chance to apply for allotment of flats under the Housing Board, Haryana.

The complainant had obtained the cheque amount as a loan from his Provident Fund Account. He had drawn a cheque of Rs 3,39,000 in favour of Housing Board Haryana to apply for a flat. This cheque was deposited by the complaint along with the prescribed form of the Housing Board in ICICI Bank. On the receipt, ICICI Bank presented the cheque in the account of the complainant on November 30, 2007, but the concerned SBI Branch dishonoured and returned the same with the memo of ‘Insufficient Funds". This led to the rejection of the complaint's application by the Housing Board Harayana.

This compelled the complainant to knock the doors of consumer forum, which asked SBI for the details regarding the matter.

The bank mentioned that complainant had dropped the cheque in the bank's drop-box on December 5, 2007 and not on November 30, 2007. Further the bank confirmed that the cheque amount was credited on the complainant's account on the same day. The statement by SBI also says that the cheque drawn by the complainant in favour of Housing board Haryana was dishonoured and returned with the remark of ‘insufficient funds' because there were insufficient funds in the complaint's account. Also the account number mentioned in the cheque was not explicit. The statement also clears that the complaint should have drawn a cheque after confirming that the PF amount was credited to his account.

Although SBI mentioned all the causes of their action, yet the forum found the bank to be guilty of not crediting the amount on the same day as the cheque was deposited.

The forum stated, "The complainant lost a chance to participate in the allotment of flats and therefore, the bank is liable to pay compensation. The mere fact that the complainant lost a chance to participate in the allotment of flats cannot be said to be a sufficient ground to ask for compensation. It was a speculative investment to be made by the complainant."

"While issuing the cheque in favour of the Housing Board Haryana, he should have ensured that his own cheque was credited to his account before issuance of any such cheque," added the forum.

Earlier also SBI had to pay Rs 22,200 for harassing and misguiding one of its credit card holder.

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