Radhey Sham aged 35 years s/o Ram Swarup r /o Village Siana, Tehsil and Distt. SBS Nagar.
State Bank of India, Branch Railway Road, Nawanshahr through its Manager, Railway Road, Nawanshahr Tehsil Nawanshahr District SBS Nagar.
O R D E R
Present complaint has been filed by the complainant Radhey Sham U/s 12 of the Consumer Protection Act (hereinafter referred as the Act) against State Bank of India, Branch Railway Road, Nawanshahr through its Manager, Railway Road, Nawanshahr, Tehsil Nawanshahr District SBS Nagar. The complainant has alleged that he is earning his livelihood from the income of agricultural products. That the representative of the State Bank of India, the Op, approached the complainant with an offer that their bank advances loan to the farmers under the Kissan Credit Scheme with very low rate of interest with no hidden costs.
On these assurances that the complainant availed loan facility under Kissan Credit Scheme and got an account bearing No. KCC 30311262927 on 16/01/2008 opened in his name with the Credit facility up to Rs.17,00,000/-. That he mortgaged his agricultural land situated in village Siana, Tehsil Balachaur as a security of the loan at the time of the opening of the account the Ops advanced token amount of loan and debited an amount of Rs 4,250/- as processing charges and Rs 8500/- as inspection charges. That on enquiry he was explained that he Bank charges 2½% of the total credit limit as processing charges and 5% as inspection charges. However, the complainant was constrained to pay this amount despite his objections to these charges. Subsequently when the complainant realised that the said concessional scheme is nothing but mere eyewash and no special incentive is being given to the farmers and the interest charged is also the same.
In March 2009 he expressed his intention before the OPs to make one time payment of the KCC loan amount, that in spite of this disclosure and information the OPs further/again charged an amount of Rs.4.200/- under processing fee and Rs.8,500/- under inspection fee. Therefore, the charging of these amounts under the processing and inspection fee is unconstitutional, un contractual, unilateral, arbitrary etc. It has been alleged that this is the deficiency in service towards the complainant by the Ops. It has been averred that the complainant has suffered great mental as well as physical agony on account of the indifferent attitude of the Ops. Therefore he has sought for directions to the OPs to reimburse the amount illegally charged and to pay Rs.20,000/- as compensation for mental and physical agony plus Rs.10,000/- as litigation expenses.
2. Notice of the complaint was sent the OPs. In their written statements the Ops have denied that any representative of Op the Bank went to the complainant with an offer for KCCS, it is alleged that complainant himself approached the bank for raising loan against Mortgage of land. It has been averred that the OP is governed by the circulars issued by its office at Bombay from time to time, regarding the charges to be recovered from the concerned loanee, at the time of advance of loan.
The OP bank has charged the amount of inspection charges and service charges as per circular no. NBG/DOD-GB/62/2008-2009 dated 02/03/2009. It has been denied that the OPs have charged the service charges @ 2.5% as alleged, however admittedly the Ops has charged only 0.25% as service charges and Rs.8,500/- as inspection charges. It has been contended that the charges are very much legal as the complainant was also informed about these before advancing the loan. Therefore, there is no deficiency in service on the part of the Ops as such there is no question of torturing the complainant as alleged. It has further been averred that the complaint is without any merit and merits dismissal.
3. To prove his allegations Sh. Uma Shankar, advocate, counsel for the complainant tendered in his evidence affidavit of the complainant Ex C1, Copy of pass book Ex C2, Clearance certificate Ex C3.
4. And to rebut the complainant’s evidence Sh. Gaurav Sareen, advocate, counsel for the OPs tendered his evidence Ex R1/A affidavit of Sh. B.C. Bhatia, Manager, State Bank of India, Nawanshahr and Ex RA Master Circular and closed their evidence.
5. We have heard the arguments by both the Learned. Counsels for the complainant Sh. Dhiraj Sehjpal and Sh. S.K. Sareen, Counsel for the Ops.
6. Sh. Dhiraj Sehjpal, Advocate, counsel for the complainant has mainly focused on the arguments that the Bank has illegally burdened him with the processing charges in the tune of Rs.4250/- and inspection charges to the tune of Rs.8500/- twice by the time of the full payment of the loan obtained by him! To prove his case he has drawn our attention to the evidence i.e. Ex.C2 a copy of the passbook and Ex. C3 is the clearance certificate by the Bank. On the other hand, the Learned. Counsel for the Ops has mainly argued that the Ops Bank is governed by the circulars issued by its head office, Bombay from time to time regarding the service to be recovered from the concerned loanee at the time of advancing of the loan. Therefore, the Op bank has charged the amount of inspection charges and inspection as per circular No. NBG/DOD-GB/62/2008-2009. It has further been argued that the bank has charged the service charged @ 0.25% not @ 2.5% as alleged by the complainant, that the Op bank has duly discharged his duty to inform the complainant about these charges at the time of advancing the loan.
To prove his contention the Op has tendered evidence Ex. R1/A affidavit of Sh.B.C. Bhatia, Manager, State Bank of India, Nawanshahr and copy of Master circular No. NBG/DOD-GB/62/2008-2009 is Ex RA. During the argument only on the directions of the Forum the Op also produced the record about the spot inspection containing the exact remarks and observation of the officials conducting spot the inspection. The copy of the permission or intimation given to the higher officials of the Bank as well as the copies of the log book, movement register and personal diary were also presented. Perusal of the sanction of short term loan, inspection register etc amply clears that the bank has duly followed the procedure laid down by the bank for advancing a loan.
7. We appreciate the learned counsel for the Op’s contention that the bank has duly followed its circular no. NBG/DOD-GB/62/2008-2009 i.e. part of IG-2 which clearly states that the service charges for the advance related service as Working Capital for all fund-based limits irrespective for the size of the loan:-0.25% PA on the entire unutilized portion if average utilization is 60% or less or inspection charges (modified as on 25/07/2006) non submission of audited balance sheet:-above Rs.2 lacs but up to Rs.5 crore & Rs.500/- per lac per PA for inspection within the municipal limit.
8. After due application of mind to the facts, circumstances & evidence of the OP on file we are of the view that, the bank is within its right to charge the processing & service charges etc as per the circular no. NBG/DOD-GB/62/2008-2009 @0.25% which comes to Rs.4,250/- only and not as per the complainant’s allegations i.e. @2.5%. Even the processing charges Rs.8,500/- too have been charged @ given in the Master circular i.e. Rs.500/- per lac PA. Thorough perusal of the OP bank’s record and due consideration of the arguments of the learned counsel for the Op Sh. S.K. Sareen, advocate we are of the opinion that there is no deficiency in service by the Op bank in the present case.
9. In view of the aforesaid discussion we find no merit in the complaint as the complainant has failed to give any substantial and cogent evidence to prove his allegation. Therefore, we are constrained to dismiss the complaint. Parties are left to bear their own costs.
10 The copy of this order be sent to the parties as per rules.
11. File be consigned to the record room.