This is a discussion on The State Bank of India, Main Bazar Paonta Sahib within the Judgments forums, part of the General Discussions category; -H.P. STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION, SHIMLA Appeal No. 243/2008. Date of Decision 6.5.2009. Smt. Sakeena wife of late Shri ...
-H.P. STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION, SHIMLA
Appeal No. 243/2008.
Date of Decision 6.5.2009.
Smt. Sakeena wife of late Shri Nathu R/o Ward No. 4,
Paonta Sahib, District Sirmaur, HP.
The State Bank of India, Main Bazar Paonta Sahib,
District Sirmaur, HP through its Branch Manager.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Arun Kumar Goel, President.
Hon’ble Mrs. Saroj Sharma, Member.
Hon’ble Mr. Chander Shekher Sharma, Member.
Whether Approved for reporting? No.
For the Appellant. None though represented by Mr. Deepak Kaushal
For the Respondent. Mr. Ashok Tyagi, Advocate vice
Mr. Anand Sharma, Advocate.
O R D E R:
Justice Arun Kumar Goel (Retd.) President (Oral)
Appellant filed Complaint No. 91/2005 before the District Forum Sirmaur at Nahan for deficiency in service on the part of the respondent. According to appellant, her husband late Shri Nathu Khan was having a saving bank account No. 228 in the Paonta Sahib Branch of the respondent. It was converted into a joint of both, i.e. the appellant as well as her late husband Shri Nathu Khan. He died on 9.10.1988. Further according to the appellant there was balance of Rs. 40,000/- on the date of the death of her husband and she had not withdrawn the same, because money may be required by her at the time of some urgency.
2. In the month of May, 2005 she went to withdraw the amount when she was informed by the bank official, that there was no balance in her account and when she tried to further enquire, she was befooled by the bank staff. She was also assured by the bank staff, that they will look into the matter and inform her. She was regularly visiting the bank thereafter, but she was not made aware of her balance amount. Thus she got legal notice issued Annexure A through her counsel and was called upon by the bank vide Annexure B whereby her lawyer was asked to depute the appellant with passbook and deposit receipt etc. alongwith death certificate in original copy of late Sh. Nathu Khan, so that necessary formalities could be done within time. Thereafter when needful was not done by the respondent, she preferred complaint as according to her she is a poor and old lady and was thus unable to daily go to the bank. Further according to her the money had been misappropriated by the bank officials, to which she was legally entitled to.
3. When put to notice stand of the respondent was, that the complaint was barred by limitation and in the face of the facts detailed in the complaint, matter did not fall within the purview of Consumer Protection Act, 1986, therefore it is liable to be dismissed. While admitting that account No. 228 was got jointly in his own name as well as in the name of appellant (either or survivor), needful was done and on 8.12.1987, and second passbook was issued to the said account holder as per record. Regarding balance amount, stand of the bank was that only Rs. 32308.75 paise was in deposit at the relevant point of time., i.e. when Nathu Khan died. On 7.11.1988 appellant disclosed the death of her husband and produced the death certificate referred to para 2 and withdrew the entire amount on that very day i.e. 7.11.1988 and consequently account was closed by the bank. While admitting that the appellant approached the bank officials in May or June, 2005 alongwith first passbook, she was informed that she had already withdrawn the amount from her account on 7.11.1988 and thus the account stood closed. Appellant failed to produce second passbook issued by the bank in continuation of the first passbook on 7.11.88. It was stated that she had visited only once in May/June, 2005 and her stand that she was visiting the bank regularly was denied. Receipt of notice of Annexure A and B issuance of passbook by the bank was admitted. She was asked to produce the second pass book issued on 8.12.87 in continuation of the first passbook, which she failed to produce.
4. In this background appellant filed her affidavit in support of her claim made in the complaint, whereas respondent filed affidavit of Shri. S.N. Kapoor its Branch Manager at its Paonta Sahib Branch to controvert the affidavit of appellant. While reiterating its stand as set out in its reply while contesting the complaint, particularly regarding appellant having withdrawn the entire amount on 7.11.88 and having closed the account, it has further been stated that as per bank rules the same stood closed. So far vouchers were concerned, those are destroyed after some time. Only ledger sheets, SS cards and application for conversion of account from single to joint were available. It is further stated in the affidavit of Branch Manager that it may be possible that the appellant about 20 years after the death of her husband found her passbook which was the first passbook and started claiming amount in its basis. It was reiterated that after having visited once only the bank in May/June, 2005 she failed to produce the second passbook issued on 8.12.87 and that she had already withdrawn the entire amount on 7.11.88 that was lying in saving bank account No. 228 being maintained by appellant and her late husband Nathu Khan, therefore she was not entitled to any amount. In this background District Forum below has dismissed the complaint, hence this appeal.
5. Case of the appellant is solely based on passbook issued on 11.5.1966 in favour of her husband. Last entry in this is of October, 1987. In the ledger sheet filed by the respondent alongwith its defence, amongst other things it is mentioned, that it was payable to former or survivor and it is further mentioned that second passbook issued on 8.12.87. A perusal of this ledger sheet shows that on 7.12.88 Rs. 32,308.75 was the balance which was withdrawn and thus account was closed on this very date as per bank and balance was paid in cash to survivor Smt. Sakeena. Amongst other things she has mentioned in her affidavit that she was not issued duplicate passbook and being a Mohammedan by religion and as per custom she was supposed to maintain Iddat for about 3 months and 10 days. During this period as a widow, she could not go out of her house and was debarred from meeting a male, therefore she tried to show that on 7.11.88, just only 20 days after the death of her husband she could not have gone to bank as per custom and thus the plea of the bank regarding her having withdrawn the amount was wrong.
6. In the circumstances of this case, we are of the view that we have no reason to disbelieve, muchless discard the record of the bank regarding withdrawal of the amount by the appellant on 7.11.88 and having closed the account. Above all there is no reason for the bank to fabricate the ledger sheet. Its copy clearly established that account was converted to former (i.e. late Shri Nathu Khan) or survivor, i.e. the present appellant and second passbook was issued on 8.12.1987. And with the withdrawal of the entire amount on 7.11.1988 the account stood closed. Vouchers etc. were destroyed as per bank rules regarding retention of record as per Circular dated 16.6.1998 placed on record by the respondent.
7. We are unable to appreciate the stand of the appellant, when she approached the bank after 20 years after the death of her husband. Here her pleading that the appellant did not withdraw the amount earlier because it may come handy to her in case of urgency. And when she went to the bank in the year 2005 there was some urgency which forced her to approach the bank authorities for withdrawal of the amount. Thus we are of the view that the appellant wanted to take undue advantage of the passbook dated 11.5.1966 having been issued in favour of husband of the appellant. As already noted its last entry is of October, 1987 whereas account was converted as joint payable to former or survivor as per ledger sheet. Former named person is Nathu Khan and survivor is Sakeena. It clearly mentions of the second passbook having been issued. This lends credence to the stand of the respondent bank that after having come across the first passbook, appellant tried to take undue advantage of it despite having closed the account after withdrawing the entire amount lying in deposit when the account was closed on 7.11.88 by her.
8. It may not be out of place to mention here, that on an overall examination of the entire case as noted hereinabove, we are of the view that the order passed by the District Forum below suffers from no infirmity which may call for interference in this case. Even from the grounds of appeal no case is made out for interference with the order of the District Forum below. In fact grounds are nothing, but repetition of what is stated in the complaint. How and for what reasons the impugned order is bad, there is nothing new set out in the grounds of appeal on behalf of the appellant. This is an additional factor in support of the view that we have taken in this order.
9. No other point is urged.
In view of the aforesaid discussion we find no merit in this appeal which is accordingly dismissed, leaving the parties to bear their own costs.
Learned counsel for the respondent has undertaken to collect copy of this order from the Court Secretary free of cost as per rules and the office is directed to send copy of this order to the appellant in the like manner.
6th May, 2009. (Justice Arun Kumar Goel) Retd.
(Chander Shekher Sharma)