This is a discussion on ICICI Bank Limited, Regd. Office at ICICI Tower, Bandra-Kurla within the Judgments forums, part of the General Discussions category; DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, LUDHIANA. Complaint no. 462 of 2.8.2007. Date of Order 26.3.2009. R.S. Sethi s/o Sh. Gurcharan ...
DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, LUDHIANA.
Complaint no. 462 of 2.8.2007. Date of Order 26.3.2009.
R.S. Sethi s/o Sh. Gurcharan Singh r/o 898, Phase-2, Urban Estate, Focal Point, Jamalpur, Ludhiana.
1- ICICI Bank, Credit Card Divn. SCO No.1, Feroze Gandhi Market, Ludhiana through its Branch Manager.
2- ICICI Bank Limited, Regd. Office at ICICI Tower, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai through its Manager. (Given up)
COMPLAINT UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986.
Sh. T.N. Vaidya, President.
Sh. Rajesh Kumar, Member.
Present: Sh. M.P. Singh Gogia Adv. for complainant.
Sh. Alok Mohindra Adv. for opposite party no.1.
Opposite party no.2 given up.
O R D E R
T.N. VAIDYA, PRESIDENT:
1- Grouse of the complainant in this complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, is that despite clearing all dues qua his credit card bearing no.4477464507076002 obtained from opposite party, which he got cancelled, opposite party have been sending illegal bills qua that card to him. Though he never got his credit card activated. Such plea is raised by the complainant on allegations that he was never interested to get himself insured through insurance company of the opposite party, qua which had intimated them in writing. But opposite party had been sending bills qua his credit card illegally, causing mental tension and harassment to him. Such act of opposite party is claimed amounting to deficiency in service and failed to withdraw the demands raised in his credit card bills, claiming insurance premium etc. despite the fact that he never applied and took insurance policy, nor used the credit card. For such deficiency in service, causing harassment and tension to him, has claimed compensation of Rs.1 lac from opposite party.
2- Opposite party in their reply, pleaded that complaint is not maintainable, as there is zero balance in the account of the complainant and as such, there as no threat to the complainant from their side, for recovery of any amount. Complainant has indulged in frivolous litigation. There is no deficiency of service on their part. Further pleaded that statement was made before this Fora by manager of the opposite party bank that there is zero balance in the account of the complainant and nothing is due from him towards them and no demand was ever raised against the complainant. The complainant had got activated his credit on 17.2.2005. Further averred that services were provided to the complainant at his request. No illegality was committed by them. Entries in account of the complainant, were reversed and nothing is due outstanding from him at the stage.
3- Parties adduced evidence in support of their claims and stood heard through their respective counsels.
4- At the time of arguments, ld. counsel for opposite party also filed an application for additional evidence, to produce on record, documents as Ex.RX, to show that complainant himself in writing, had applied for insurance coverage while obtaining credit card facility from them. But we feel that this application deserves dismissal, because the record, if any, qua such application of the opposite party, was already in their possession, which they failed to file alongwith written statement or at the time of their evidence. Moreover, opposite party have not pleaded by way of defence in their original reply that insurance facility was provided to the complainant, on the strength of his own request in writing in the application. Rather defence taken is that such facility of insurance could be granted on personal request or conveyed telephonically. No such plea was taken earlier, as sought to be proved now. Therefore, if application allowed, would amount to providing opportunity to opposite party, to take different and inconsistent stand from their original pleading. Consequently, application rejected.
5- Now adverting to the grouse of the complainant whether he was harassed by opposite party. Complainant claimed that:
(i) He never got the credit card activated, nor ever used the same and despite it, opposite party had been sending him bills.
(ii) Next grievance is that opposite party of their own started claiming premium for insurance from credit card account of the complainant, though he never sought any such insurance.
6- The record shows that assistant manager of the bank on 17.4.2008, had stated in the Fora that credit card account was activated on 17.2.2005. But no record produced that such activated card was ever used by the complainant or he effected purchases by using his credit card so provided by opposite party.
7- Complainant in support of his allegations and plea, has filed own affidavit Ex.CW1/A and statement of account Ex.C1 to Ex.C6 for the months of August, 2006; September, 2006; October, 2006; November, 2006; January, 2007 and February, 2007 respectively. Date of aforesaid bills is 11th of each month. First bill Ex.C1 shows a sum of Rs.20643/- due from the complainant and all entries are either of EMI principal or interest and service tax. In Ex.C2, a sum of Rs.22027.90 is shown due on account of late payment of service tax, interest charges etc. Vide Ex.C3, a sum of Rs.23433/- and vide Ex.C4, Rs.24913/- were claimed. In these bills also, there is no entry that any purchases were effected by the complainant by using his credit card. The entries pertain to late payment charges, service tax, interest charges etc.
8- Thereafter, in Ex.C5 bill dated 11th January, 2007, insurance premium was added to the account of the complainant. Complainant vide communication dated 22.8.2006, had conveyed opposite party that he was not interested in their insurance company and that in monthly statements, he is being charged for such policy and that he would not pay anything qua his card. The record also contain letter dated 13th March, 2006 of opposite party that insurance premium of Rs.4122/- has been converted to EMI transaction. Then complainant was compelled to serve legal notice Ex.C7 dated 25.4.2007 posted through postal receipt Ex.C8, on the opposite party that they have violated his right, by claiming insurance premium, which insurance he had never sought and that had already got his credit card cancelled. Also there is a letter dated 27.12.2006 from ICICI Lombard Gen. Insuance Co. addressed to the complainant that insurance policy of the complainant and his family, stands cancelled.
9- All these sequences of events show that complainant had never used his credit card and also never sought insurance coverage from opposite party through its sister concern ICICI Lombard Gen. Ins. Co., but opposite party of their own, provided insurance, without request of the complainant and started claiming premium from his credit card bills. They also converted insurance premium as EMI charges. Reply of opposite party clearly satisfies us that nothing is due from the complainant qua use of credit card and there is zero balance against it. But conduct of opposite party shows that despite having no claim against the complainant, they by their own act, compelled him to issue legal notice and then come to this Fora, to save himself from harassment of the opposite party. Therefore, such conduct of opposite party, consequently would amount to resorting to unfair trade practice, by providing a facility by charging a consumer, without his request and of their own accord.
10- As a result, we allow this complaint and sequel, for such harassment caused to the complainant, opposite party ordered to pay compensation of Rs.5000/- and litigation costs of Rs.2000/- to the complainant within 45 days of receipt of copy of order, which be made available to the parties free of costs. File be completed and consigned.
Announced on 26.3.2009. T.N. Vaidya, President.
Rajesh Kumar, Member.