Date of Filing:20.11.2008
Date of Order: 16.03.2009
BEFORE THE I ADDITIONAL DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM SESHADRIPURAM BANGALORE-20
Dated: 16th DAY OF MARCH 2009
Smt.C.V. Rajamma, B.Sc., LL.B., PGDPR, Member
Sri. Bajentri H.M, B.A, LL.B., President
COMPLAINT NO. 2513 OF 2008
Sri. V. Rao Gulur,
S/o. Gulur Seshagiri Rao (Late),
Aged About 70 years,
R/at: Flat No. T3, Plot No.33,
BANGALORE-560 062. …. Complainant.
The Chief Manager,
State Bank Of India, PBB,
No.296, GVS Complex,
10th Main, 22nd Cross,
3rd Block, Jayanagar,
BANGALORE-560 011.…. Opposite Party.
This complaint is filed claiming Rs.55,333/- from the opposite party for the loss suffered along with additional compensation towards deficiency in service on the following grounds:-
The complainant got the Security release Letters on his Rupee Loan Numbers 30292012076 and 30295172037 on 21.10.2008 from the opposite party Bank and left eleven of his pledged USD certificates with Sri. Ramaprasad for renewal and prompt dispatch to the SBI, Padmanabhanagar Branch. Sri Ramaprasad, an officer in opposite party Bank, promised to dispatch them duly renewed by courier on 21.10.2008, which according to him should get to the Padmanabhanagar Branch by 23.10.2008 as 22.10.2008 was a holiday. Frantically, he was earmarking his otherwise time of value in contacting Sri. Ramaprasad from 23rd to 30th October 2008 on his phone number 26540181 to reach was next to adventure he relentlessly was pouring confirmations that the renewed USD certificates would be delivered by courier. But on the second and subsequent calls Sri. Ramaprasad said on phone that, he would find where the certificates are and personally deliver them to the SBI Padmanabhanagar Branch after the closing time of the opposite party Bank. During all the time between 23rd and 30th October 2008, he was ringing up SBI Padmanabhanagar Branch to find out whether they had received the USD deposit certificates. On the evening of 30.10.2008 at about 6.00 PM he got a confirmation call from the SBI, Padmanabhanagar Branch that the said certificates are delivered by Sri. Ramaprasad. The USD and Rupee exchange rates where at a peak of Rs.49.98 on 24.10.2008 and continued during the first part of the week of 27.10.2008, but had fallen to Rs.47.25 by the time the opposite party Bank delivered the certificates on 30.10.2008 at 6.00 PM. The criminal negligence in handling a TIME SENSITIVE Foreign Exchange Instrument has forced on him a loss that hovers around Rs.40,000/- and the same clearly graduates to its family act that is deficiency of service. While lending Rupees on Dollars as Collateral, the Bank has reduced the face value in USD by 20% keeping the 20% as a cushion against the exchange rate fluctuations, by the same yardstick, he feels compelled to saturation in invoking an order from the Forum on the opposite party allowing a mere 10%, that compute to Rs.49.98 x 0.10 = Rs.4.998 or Rs.5/- per USD of Consumers Safety Cushion for Criminal Negligence by the Bank. Thus on the USD 11,506.66 of the certificates the Bank had held and prevented him from converting the dollars at favorable rates of exchange, it would be just to award Rs.55,333/- for the criminal negligence of the Bank that also graduates to deficiency of service. Hence the complaint.
2. In the version the contention of the opposite party is as under:-
The complainant has deliberately made certain false averments to suit his case. The complainant is a customer of Padmanabhanagar Branch of SBI and the opposite party Bank is maintaining the FCNB deposits of the customers on behalf of Padmanabhanagar branch. On 21.10.2008 the complainant handed-over eleven FCNB deposits to Sri. Ramprasad, Special Assistant in opposite party Bank for noting the renewal particulars on the receipts at the instance of Padmanabhanagar Branch. These deposits were auto renewed between the period from 10.08.2008 to 04.09.2008. On receipt of the said deposits the Officer requested the complainant to wait for half an hour, since some other customers who approached the Bank prior to the complainant were waiting, but the complainant instead of waiting told the Officer that there is no urgency and requested to send the USD certificates after renewal to SBI Padmanabhanagar Branch. On 23.10.2008 the complainant asked the Branch to convert one of the deposits bearing Account No.30251275078 for USD 1045.93 which was converted at the rate of Rs.49.51 per dollar on 24.10.2008 by the Forex Link Branch and credited to the SB Account of the complainant. Two branches have different weekly offs and there were continuous holidays on account of Diwali. Since it was month end, due to continuous holidays, the work pressure was too much, therefore the USD certificates could not be sent by courier on 25th and 28th October 2008, which were the only available working days during the said period. The opposite party ensured delivery of the certificates personally on 30.10.2008. The complainant had given instructions to convert only one of the receipts and had not given instructions for conversion of the remaining deposits. If really the complainant wanted to en-cash the certificates between 21.10.2008 and 30.10.2008 he could have instructed the opposite party Bank to do so. On 20.11.2008 as per the request of the complainant, the opposite party Bank arranged for conversion of his deposits at the rate of Rs.50.255 per dollar which is much more than his expectation of Rs.49.94. 29.10.2008 was public holiday and card rate for 30th and 31st October 2008 was 49.16 and 49.11 respectively. The card rate for conversion during the period from 21.10.2008 to 06.11.2008 obtained from Forex branch is as under:-
The allegation that, the rates peaked between 27.10.2008 and 30.10.2008 is false and baseless as the market was closed for three days between 27.10.2008 and 29.10.2008 and there was no much difference between the rates on 30th and 31st of October 2008. Therefore there is no deficiency of service on the part of the opposite party Bank. There is no basis for claiming the damages from the opposite party. The complainant had not suffered any loss, he en-cashed the certificates on 20.11.2008 at the rate higher than the rates on 21.10.2008 and 30.10.2008. It is not the case of the complainant that he could not en-cash the certificates during the period from 21.10.2008 to 30.10.2008 to take advantage of the rate prevailing at that point of time. He en-cashed only one certificate and could have en-cashed others also, if he wanted to do so. The complainant has not approached this Forum with clean hands and therefore not entitled for any relief. On these grounds the opposite party has prayed for dismissal of the complaint.
3. In support of the respective contentions, both the parties have filed affidavits. We have heard arguments on both sides.
4. The points for consideration are:-
(1) Whether the complainant has proved deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party?
(2) Whether the complainant entitled to the relief prayed for in the complaint?
5. Our findings on the above points are in the Negative for the following:-
POINT Nos. 1 & 2:-
6. It is not in dispute that the complainant handed-over the USD certificates on 21.10.2008 to Sri. Ramaprasad, an Officer in the opposite party Bank, and the same were to be dispatched to Padmanabhanagar Branch of SBI after renewal. It is also not in dispute that Mr. Ramaprasad personally delivered the certificates to Padmanabhanagar Branch of the SBI at 6.00 PM on 30.10.2008. Therefore the deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party as alleged by the complainant is with regard to the delay of about 7 or 8 days in delivering the certificates to Padmanabhanagar Branch of the SBI duly renewed. In the version it is contended by the opposite party that, on account of Diwali most of the days were general holidays during that period and both the Branches have different weekly offs, 25th and 28th October 2008 where the only available working days during that period and therefore the certificates could not be sent by courier to Padmanabhanagar of SBI before 30.10.2008. It is also contended by the opposite party that there was more pressure of work due to continuous holidays and it was a month end. If that is so, no fault could be found with the opposite party in not sending the certificates to Padmanabhanagar Branch of the SBI before 30.10.2008. It is not the case of the complainant that between 21.10.2008 and 30.10.2008 he wanted to convert the USD certificates and on account of not sending the certificates duly renewed he was deprived-off the same. The contention of the opposite party that on 23.10.2008 the complainant gave instructions to convert only one of the deposits and the same was done at the rate of Rs.49.51 per dollar on 24.10.2008 and that on 20.11.2008 the certificates were converted at the rate of Rs.50.255 dollar as requested by the complainant is not denied. This clearly goes to indicate that, between 21.10.2008 and 30.10.2008 the complainant had no intention to convert the USD certificates due to the decrease in the exchange rates and therefore on 20.11.2008 he got the certificates converted at the rate of Rs.50.255 per dollar and thereby he gained more than what he got on 24.10.2008. If that is so, the complainant has not sustained any loss on account of the delay in sending the certificates duly renewed to Padmanabhanagar Branch of the SBI. If the opposite party was unable to send the certificates before 30.10.2008 on account of continuous holidays and due to pressure of work, no fault could be found with the opposite party especially when the complainant has not sustained any loss on account of delay in sending the certificates to Padmanabhanagar branch of SBI. Therefore we hold that, the complainant has failed to make out any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party and as such, not entitled for the relief prayed for. In the result, we pass the following:-
7. The complaint is dismissed. No order as to costs.
8. Send a copy of this order to both the parties free of costs immediately.
9. Pronounced in the Open Forum on this 16th DAY OF MARCH 2009.