Old No.14, Karpagam Garden, Complainant
6th Cross Street, Adayar,
Chennai – 600 020.
Bank of Baroda,
Represented by its Senior Manager, Opposite Party
R.K. Nagar Branch,
Chennai – 600 028.
The complainant had deposited outstation cheque for Rs.1,50,000/- with the opposite party bank on 20.03.2006 and the cheque was honoured on 18.04.2006. On enquiry at the I.C.I.C.I Bank, Bangalore regarding the clearance of the cheque which was drawn on that bank, he was informed that the cheque for Rs.1,50,000/- was cleared from the account of Mr. Ovia Kumaran who issued cheque for Rs.1,50,000/- on 28.03.2006. He issued cheuqe for Rs.28,384/- dated 21.03.2006 in favour of the Life Insurance Corporation of India to pay the premium for Insurance Policy.
But, the Life Insurance Corporation of India by letter dated 20.04.2006 returned the cheque for “ Insufficient Funds “ and the policy get cancelled. Because of the lethargic attitude of the opposite party, he lost Golden Jubliee Policy worth Rs.2,00,000/-. The opposite party took 30 days to honour the cheuqe and collected Rs.461/- as commission. Hence, there is deficiency in service on the side of the opposite party. Therefore, the complainant filed this complaint for refund of rs.461/- being the charges collected by the opposite party and to pay compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- for deficiency in service and cost of the complaint.
2. The opposite party field version and contended inter alia that the complainant had deposited an outstation cheque for Rs.1,50,000/-drawn in ICICI Bank, Bangalore on 20.03.2006 in his account for collection. The cheque was sent for clearance through the national clearinghouse. The opposite party received the proceeds of the cheque on 18.04.2006 and the amount was credited in his account on the date itself. The delay in clearance of the cheque was not due to any fault or deficiency on the part of the opposite party.
During that period the employees of State Bank of India were on strike. The delay in the realization of the proceeds was due to the facts beyond the control of the opposite party. Even according to the complainant, the cheque was cleared on 28.03.2006 and he issued cheque for Rs.28,384/-dated 21.03.2006. Since no sufficient fund was available, the cheque was dishonoured. There is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party.
3. Proof Affidavits have been filed by both the complainant and the opposite party. Exhibits A1 to A8 were marked on the side of the complainant. Exhibit B1 was marked on the side of the opposite party.
4. The points that arise for consideration are as follows:
1) Whether there is any deficiency in service on the part of
the opposite party.
2) To what relief the complainant is entitled to?
5. Point No.1: Admittedly, the complainant had deposited a cheque for Rs.1,50,000/- drawn on ICICI Bank, Bangalore, in the opposite party bank on 20.03.2006 in his account for collection. But, the cheque was cleared on 28.03.2006 but it was credited on 18.04.2006 by the opposite party bank. The complainant issued cheque in the name of LIC of India on 21.03.2006 which was presented for collection on 05.04.2006. Since there is no amount in the account of the complainant the cheque was returned for “insufficient funds”. The complainant alleges deficiency in service because of the opposite party took 30 days for crediting the cheque amount in his account. The opposite party would submit that the cheque was sent through collecting agency and the delay was caused by the clearinghouse and not by the opposite party and the delay was beyond their control. Though the cheque dated 21.03.2006 was issued by the complainant without sufficient funds on that date in his account which was sent for collection to the opposite party and presented only on 05.04.2006. Admittedly, the cheque was cleared at Bangalore on 28.03.2006 but it was credited only on 18.04.2006.
The delay on the part of the opposite party in crediting the cheque amount in the complaint’s account. The act of the opposite party amounts to deficiency in service. The cause of the delay offered by the opposite party that it was beyond their control is unacceptable. It is the duty of the opposite party bank to credit the collection amount into the account of the complainant at least within a week. Exhibits B1 and A8 are the statements issued by the opposite party which would show that the cheque amount of Rs.1,50,000/- was credited in the account of the complainant only on 18.04.2006 after debiting Rs.461/- as commission. The long delay in credit the cheque amount by the opposite party amounts to deficiency in service.
6. Point No.2: In the result, the complaint is allowed. The opposite party is directed to pay commission of Rs.461/- to the complainant and to pay an amount of Rs.25,000/- as compensation for mental agony and Rs.2000/- as cost of the complaint within six weeks from the date of receipt of copy of this order, failing which the amount shall carry interest at the rate of 9% per annum till the date of payment.