CONSUMER COMPLAINT NO:33/2007.
Tirunelveli Town. …Complainant.
1. Tmt. Nirmala,
Formerly Manager, State Bank of India,
Adayar (Chennai) Branch,
Now Manager, State Bank of India,
Thiruvaiyaru Branch, Thanjavur Dt.
2. Thiru Rajendran,
State Bank of India,
Adayar Branch, 3 Kasturiba Nagar,
Chennai 600 020.
3. The General Manager,
State Bank of India, CIRCLETOP HOUSE
Post Box No.737, Aparna Complex,
16, College Lane, Chennai 600 006.
4. The Manager,
State Bank of India,
V.O.C. Street, Tirunelveli Town. … Opposite parties.
This complaint came before us for final hearing on 30-11-2009 in the presence of Thiru A.Balasubramanian, Advocate for the complainant and Thiru S.Shenbagam, Advocate for the opposite parties and having stood over till this day for consideration this Forum made the following:
This complaint is filed under section 12 of Consumer Protection Act 1986.
1) The averments of the complainant in the complaint are briefly as follows: The complainant was having a savings account in the State Bank of India branch at Adayar while he was Scientist of the Structural Engineering Research Centre, (CSIR), Thramani, Chennai. His account number is 01190008880. After his retirement from service in the year 2000, he was residing at Chennai for the education of his grand children. This account was maintained by him to transact his monthly pension amount. His employer, Government of India, was depositing complainant’s pension amount in the above account every month. During 2005 he shifted his family from Chennai to Tirunelveli, his native place. To maintain his pension account the complainant has opened a savings account in the State Bank of India Tirunelveli branch on 16-1-2006 and the account number is 3003211964-2. On 25-1-2006, the complainant has sent a request letter to the Manager, State Bank of India, Adayar branch to transfer his debit amount in his savings account there to the saving account of State Bank of India Tirunelveli Town Branch. On the same day the complainant sent another option letter to his employer the CSIR Tharamani, Chennai with a request to deposit his monthly pension amount to his savings account in the State Bank of India, Tirunelveli Town Branch. The complainant has given the said requests in the proper format to his employer in the 1st week of March 2006. The employer office has considered the request of the complainant and sent a letter on 10-3-2006 to the Manager State Bank of India, Adayar Chennai Branch expressing the option of the complainant to transfer his deposit amount in his account to Tirunelveli Town Branch. The 1st opposite party who was the Manager of the Bank failed to honour the request of the complainant and further she had failed to take any action even after receiving the requisition letter from CSIR. The 1st opposite party does not have the basic courtesy to reply honouring the letters of the complainant and his employer. More over the 1st opposite party has also failed to send a line of reply and transfer the pension deposit amount to Tirunelveli Town Branch. The act of the opposite party amounts to deficiency of service which caused mental agony to the complainant. The complainant sent a legal notice to the opposite parties on 3-8-2006. But no action was taken by the opposite parties on it. Subsequently in stead of transferring the savings account of the complainant from 1st opposite party to Tirunelveli Town Branch the 1st opposite party negligently and irresponsibly transferred the account to the State bank of India, Trichy Town in the month of July 2006. Hence he has filed this complaint to direct the 1st opposite party to transfer the deposit amount in his account along with reasonable interest from State Bank of India Branch at Adayar to State Bank of India, Tirunelveli Town Branch and to pay Rs.2,00,000/- towards loss and damages for deficiency of service of the opposite parties and to pay cost of this proceedings.
2) The averment in the counter filed by the 2nd opposite party which is adopted by opposite parties 1, 3 and 4 are briefly as follows: The complaint is not maintainable in law and on facts. There is no transaction or correspondence with the named persons viz.Smt.Nirmala and Sri Rajendran, on this ground the complaint is liable to be dismissed. The complainant is a retired employee of the CSIR and has been withdrawing his pension amounts from 2nd opposite party under arrangement with his employer and reopened an account at State Bank of India Branch at Tirunelveli Town subsequently. The allegations that the 1st opposite party failed to honour his request and his employer to transfer the pension deposit amount and thereby caused deficiency of service are not correct. While transferring the account from 1st opposite party to Tirunelveli Town Branch the 1st opposite party negligently transferred the account to the Trichy Town Branch and caused mental agony to the complainant is not correct. The complainant has been receiving the monthly pension from his employer CSIR Tharamani Chennai through 1st opposite party. Under request from the CSIR the branch would make a debit entry in the S.E.R.C. account and credit the pension in the complainant’s account. The complainant has been withdrawing these amounts periodically. He has been operating the above pension account from 2001 onwards without any grievances. In the meanwhile he has shifted his residents from Chennai to Tirunelveli and opened an account at State Bank of India, Tirunelveli Town Branch. In the month of March this opposite party received the letter allowing the bank to debit the pension amount of the complainant and credit the same in the complainant’s new account at Tirunelveli. At that time the State Bank of India has also opted to shift the branch wise operations into the new Centralized operation and introduced the new core banking system in all the branches in important cities including those at Chennai, Trichy and Tirunelveli. The 1st opposite party bank also migrated to this core banking solution platform only on 28-5-2006 and normally it takes 3 to 6 months for the operations to stabilize in the core banking software. These branches were also undergoing system difficulties during the initial months of operations of the C.B.S. and were also at Adayar Branch. The branches at Adayar and other branches besides attending on the usual day to day banking operations and administration has been carrying on the works for the above system changing without causing any hardships to the customers. The 1st opposite party has sent the complainant’s pension paper with necessary advice to the Tirunelveli Town Branch on 20-6-2006. The monthly pension amount of the complainant’s due from June, 2006 onwards has been duly credited in his Tirunelveli Town Branch account and the complainant has withdrawn those amounts forthwith. There was no delay for the complainant to withdraw his pension amount from June 2006 onwards. The amounts for March April and May 2006 were credited at his Adayar Branch account. The complainant was permitted and entitled to withdraw any amount at Adayar Branch or Trichy Branch or Tirunelveli Branch from anywhere in these places under the New Core System. He can operate his Adayar Branch account residing at Tirunelveli itself and he can thus withdraw the amounts from the account at Adayar. The complainant had also deposited three cheques in his name on 18-7-2006 and on 7-7-2006 and he has withdrawn Rs.20,000/- from his account at Tirunelveli Town Branch in spite of the wrong transfer entry to Trichy Town Branch. These factors establish that there was no delay or deficiency caused to him by the respondents branches. Hence the allegation that the respondents have caused deficiency of service for withdrawing his pension amount is false. The transfer of account from one branch to another will not cause and has not caused any loss of interest to the account hence there is no loss of any interest for the complainant. The complainant has conveniently and without any delay or loss has been operating his pension account at Tirunelveli Town Branch receiving the pension amounts from June 2006. The Home branch has been properly changed from Adayar branch to Tirunelveli Town branch in August 2006. The complainant has suppressed these facts though he has filed this complaint only in March 2007. The complainant has not stated about the loss of interest if any from which period to which period. The core banking system will not cause any loss to the account as it comes under one centralized account. The Assistant General Manager State Bank of India Adayar has also sent a personal letter to the complainant even for this erroneous change in the code no. i.e. naming Trichy Town in stead of Tirunelveli Town and regretted very much for the above inconvenience, though no delay in withdrawal and no loss of interest is caused to the complainant. Immediately after the complainant has brought to the knowledge of the opposite party Adayar Branch about the mistaken entry of Trichy Town instead of Tirunelveli Town, it was corrected and duly informed to the complainant. No part of cause of action arose at Tirunelveli Town for filing the above consumer case before this Forum. The complainant has added 4th opposite party though no cause of action or part of cause of action or grievance arose at Tirunelveli Town. In the notice dated 3-8-2006 the Tirunelveli Town Branch was not impleaded or addressed. The cause of action noted in the complaint related to 1st opposite party. The complainant’s residence at Tirunelveli Town will not give the cause of action or enable him to file this case at Tirunelveli. Hence this complaint is liable to be dismissed.
3) The points for considerations are;
1. Whether there is any deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties and if so;
2. To what relief the complainant is entitled to?
4) Points: To prove the case of the complainant proof affidavit was filed and Ex.A1 to Ex.A5 were marked. Ex.A1 is the letter given by the complainant to his employer, Director, SCRI Chennai for transfer his pension account from Chennai to Tirunelveli. Ex.A2 is the letter from his employer to the 1st opposite party. Ex.A3 is the legal notice issued by the complainant to the 1st opposite party. Ex.A4 is the reply received from the 1st opposite party. Ex.A5 is the extract of savings account of the complainant with 4th opposite party. On the side of the opposite parties, proof affidavit of 2nd opposite party was filed and no documents were marked. The case of the complainant is that he worked at CSIR Tharamani, Chennai and retired during the year 2000 and was residing at Chennai and getting the pension amount through the 1st opposite party. Subsequently he shifted his residence from Chennai to Tirunelveli and opened an account with 4th opposite party and he sent a letter of request to the 1st opposite party and his employer to transfer his savings account from 1st opposite party to 4th opposite party. The allegation of the complainant is that instead of transferring the account to Tirunelveli Town Branch the 1st opposite party had transferred his account to Trichy Town Branch and with the result he could not get pension in time and there were loss of interest also. On the other side opposite parties admitted that the complainant had a savings account at 1st opposite party and opened a new account at 4th opposite party and gave a letter for transfer of his account from 1st opposite party to 4th opposite party. When the complainant sent a letter the State Bank of India branches have opted to their his branch wise operations into new centralized operation and introduced the new core banking system in all the branches in important cities including those at Chennai, Trichy and Tirunelveli and these branches were undergoing system difficulties during the initial month of operations. The 1st opposite party has also migrated to this core banking solution plat form and it takes 3 to 6 months to complete this system and besides attending to the usual day to day banking operations the above works was carried on without causing any hardships to the customers. When the system was introduced the complainant was enable to withdraw any amount at Adayar Branch or Trichy Branch or Tirunelveli Branch from any where by operating from any place. Complainant has filed this complaint to direct the opposite party to transfer his saving account from 1st opposite party to 4th opposite party. The opposite parties have contended that during August 2006 the savings account of the complainant had already been transferred to the Tirunelveli Town Branch and from June 2006 he is operating and withdrawing pension amount at Tirunelveli Town Branch. Since the new core banking system was under introduction from March 2006 to May 2006 the savings account of the complainant could not be transferred from 1st opposite party to 4th opposite party because of the administrative reasons. No hardships was caused to the complainant because of the above changing of system and the complainant was permitted to operate his account with the 1st opposite party from Tirunelveli itself and he had drawn his pension amount for the month of March, April and May also without any delay which would show that there is no deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties.
5) The opposite parties have admitted that instead of transferring the complainant’s savings account to Tirunelveli Town Branch by mistake they have transferred it to the Trichy Town Branch and immediately after it was brought to their knowledge they have rectified the mistake and transferred the account to Tirunelveli Town Branch. The reasons stated that the above mistake was explained by them with sound reasoning even though complainant would contend that there is loss of interest for him he had not stated for what period and how much amount is lost towards interest for the period from March 2006 to June 2006. Even though the complainant’s account was not transferred to the Tirunelveli Town Branch he had operated his account from Tirunelveli and received the pension amount. This would show that no hardships was caused to the complainant and no loss of amount was also there. Counsel for the opposite party argued that no cause of action has been made against 4th opposite party and this Forum has no jurisdiction to entertain this complaint. The jurisdiction of this Forum under the act is where the opposite party resides and not the complainant resides. No complaint or grievances or deficiency of service has been attributed against the 4th opposite party. The relief asked for by the complainant is against 1st to 3rd opposite parties only. The residence of the complainant at Tirunelveli does not enable him to file this complaint before this Forum as no part of cause of action arose at Tirunelveli. Complainant has stated no grievances against the 4th opposite party and impleaded the 4th opposite party only as a formal party.
6) The counsel for the opposite parties relied upon a citation in IV (2005) CPJ Page 259 wherein it has been stated that merely because application sent from one place could not be said that part of cause of action arose at that place, and because letter of request was sent to the 1st opposite party and his employer to transfer complainant’s account from 1st opposite party to the 4th opposite party from Tirunelveli, it would not confer territorial jurisdiction to file this complaint before this Forum and argued it would not confer any territorial jurisdiction to file this complaint before this Forum. Since no part of cause of action arose at Tirunelveli as rightly argued for the counsel for the opposite parties this Forum has no territorial jurisdiction to entertain this complaint.
7) In the circumstances stated above by transferring the complainant’s account from 1st opposite party to Trichy Town Branch no hardship was caused to the complainant and no loss was also made as alleged by the complainant. The relief asked for by the complainant to transfer his account from 1st opposite party to 4th opposite party had already been met out. In the circumstances stated above we hold that this Forum has no jurisdiction to entertain this complaint and we also hold that there is no deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties causing mental agony and loss to the complainant and we hold that the complainant is not entitled to any relief as asked for. We answer this point accordingly.
In the result the complaint is dismissed. There is no order as to costs.
Dictated to the Steno-typist taken and typed by him and corrected by me and pronounced by us in the Open Forum on this the 9th day of December 2009.