The Punjab & Sind Bank
This is a discussion on The Punjab & Sind Bank within the Banking forums, part of the Financial Services category; vvvvH.P. STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION, SHIMLA, CAMP AT UNA. FIRST APPEAL NO.428/2007. DATE OF DECISION: 21.11.2009 1. Shri Swaran ...
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The Punjab & Sind Bank
vvvvH.P. STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION, SHIMLA, CAMP AT UNA.
FIRST APPEAL NO.428/2007.
DATE OF DECISION: 21.11.2009
1. Shri Swaran Singh son of Shri Basant Ram,
2. Smt. Pushpa Devi wife of Shri Sarwan Singh, residents of village Bhanjal, Tehsil Amb, District Una, H.P.
… … Appellants.
1. The Punjab & Sind Bank Head Office Bank House No.21, Rajindera Place, New Delhi, through its Chairman.
2. The Branch Manager, Punjab & Sind Bank, Mubarikpur, Tehsil Amb, District Una, H.P.
3. The Zonal Manager, Punjab & Sind Bank, Sector 17-B. Bank Square, Chandigarh.
… … Respondents.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Arun Kumar Goel (Retd.), President.
Hon’ble Mrs. Saroj Sharma, Member.
Hon’ble Mr. Chander Shekhar Sharma, Member.
Whether approved for reporting? Yea
For the Appellants: Mr. Keshav Chandel, Advocate. Vice
Mr. Naresh Thakur, Advocate, alongwith appellant No.1 in person who has been identified as such by Mr. Chandel.
For the Respondents: Mr. Baldev Singh, Advocate, alongwith Mr. Ramesh Kumar, Branch Manager of respondent No.1-bank at its Mubarikpur Branch.
O R D E R
Justice Arun Kumar Goel (Retd.), President (Oral).
1. We have heard learned Counsel for the parties and with their assistance we have also examined the record file. Complaint No.36/2004 had been filed by the appellants wherein impugned order has been passed by District Forum, Una, on 31.8.2007 while partly allowing the said complaint.
2. From the pleadings of the parties, it is evident that appellants were having joint saving bank account No.2211 with respondent No.2. According to them, last balance in this account was Rs.10,839/- till the end of year 2000. This amount was not being paid to them and according to them, the money was misappropriated mischievously as it later on transpired that it was due to acts of one Sarvjit Singh, employee of the respondents posted at the relevant time at its Mubarikpur branch. Appellants got legal notice issued raking up their claim vide Annexure C.2. Its service is not in dispute. Though Mr. Singh learned Counsel for the respondents submitted that this notice, Annexure C.2 was duly replied to by his clients, however there is nothing on record to support this fact. Thus we conclude that the respondents did not dispute what was claimed by the appellants in the notice, Annexure C.2.
3. In the aforesaid background, appellants filed Complaint No.36/2004 alleging deficiency of service on the part of the respondents and claimed a sum of Rs.10,839/- besides damages of Ra.15,000/- on account of loss of reputation caused to them plus cost and interest.
4. This complaint was contested and resisted by the respondents. According to them, the complaint was not maintainable, there were complicated questions of facts regarding interpretation of documents which required examination and cross examination of witnesses, and the complaint was not within time. Since the appellants had alleged fraud, misappropriation of money, Forum had no jurisdiction. Regarding entries in the pass book, Annexure C.1, it was contended on behalf of the respondents that entries without counter receipts carry no value in the eyes of law
Appellants having met respondent No.2 was not denied, however entries in the pass book including balance of Rs.10,839/- shown in the pass book was specifically disputed. Thus, there being no deficiency of service, it was prayed that the complaint be dismissed. District Forum below after hearing the parties and taking note of the entire oral and documentary evidence, partly allowed the complaint thereby directing the respondents to pay Rs.1685/- with interest @ 9% per annum from the date of filing of the complaint i.e. 18.3.2004 till realization of this amount besides Rs.1.000/- as costs. Hence this appeal.
5. It was submitted by Mr. Chandel, learned Counsel for the appellants that the District Forum below fell into error in ignoring all the entries which where there in existence in the pass book. Further according to him, respondents are precluded from saying that part of the entries in the pass book are correct and part of them are wrong. In this behalf when a reference is made to the next page where the entry of Rs.10,839/- is made, it is clear that a balance of Rs.103/- has been shown, thereafter a sum of Rs.62,340/- was deposited on 21.10.2002 and the account was operated by the appellants. It left a balance of Rs.1685/- as in the month of May, 2003. Its refund has been allowed as noted above in favour of the appellants and against the respondents. So far the impugned order is concerned, we may mention that respondents are not aggrieved from it since they have not challenged the same. Explanation in this behalf given by Mr. Singh, learned Counsel is that because this was the amount standing to the credit of the appellants, therefore bank was duty bound in law to pay the same to them.
6. Matter is not that simple as was being projected by Mr. Singh on behalf of the respondents.
When complaint was filed, Annexure C.1 is the first document i.e. filed by the appellants alongwith their complaint. It contains entries of deposit and withdrawal from 15.9.1988. This position was reinforced even by Mr. Singh on behalf of the respondents after having referred to the original ledger receipts brought by the bank Officer who is present today. It is very strange that except for last entry showing balance of Rs.10,839/-, neither the preceding nor subsequent entries are being disputed on behalf of the respondents. We specifically questioned learned Counsel for the respondents, what he has to say in the context of Annexure C.1 and what is the reason for disbelieving the stand of the appellants that on 27.12.2000 the balance was Rs.10,839/- and not Rs.129/- as alleged by the respondent No.2-bank on the basis of entries contained in Annexure R.7, the statement of account filed by them. On instructions received from the bank Officer, Mr. Baldev Singh submitted that entry carried forward to next page of Rs.103/- is after deducting the charges required under the bank rules. We again specifically and pointedly asked learned Counsel for the respondents, why the appellants were not questioned at the relevant time when he deposited Rs.62,340/- with the respondent-bank and/or disputed the balance of Rs.10,839/- on 27.12.2000, learned Counsel for the respondents had no answer save and except that this was never the balance due in the books of the bank. We are neither accepting nor are ready to accept this explanation of the bank.
7. Faced with this situation, Mr. Baldev Singh wanted us to rely upon the decision of this Commission in
Appeal No.454/2007, decided on 10.4.2009 in the case of Krishna Devi and others Versus The Punjab & Sind Bank and others. A perusal of this decision shows that despite public notice having been issued by the respondent-bank, appellants in that case had not lodged any claim. It was under those circumstances that the appeal of the appellants was dismissed. That is not the defence set out while contesting the complaint of the appellants by the respondents. This judgment is on its own facts and no benefit can be derived from it.
8. No other point was urged.
In view of the aforesaid discussion, we are of the opinion that this appeal deserves to be allowed. Ordered accordingly. As a consequence of it, order passed by the District Forum, Una, Camp at Amb in Complaint No.36/2004 dated 31.8.2007 needs to be modified thereby holding that the appellants are entitled to a sum of Rs.10,839/- alongwith interest at the rate as well as from the date as ordered by District Forum below. Likewise order of cost passed by the District Forum below is upheld. Appeal is allowed subject to this modification, leaving the parties to bear their own costs.
Learned Counsel for the respondents submitted that he shall collect copy of this order from the Court Secretary at Shimla free of cost as per rules and Mr. Chandel submitted that copy of this order may be sent to him at his address, District Courts at Una, in the like manner. This prayer is accepted. Office will do the needful accordingly.
November 21, 2009.
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