South II


MR. MUKESH GUPTA - Complainant(s)


M/S. CANARA BANK - Opp.Party(s)

01 Mar 2023


Udyog Sadan Qutub Institutional Area New Delhi-16
Complaint Case No. CC/207/2012
( Date of Filing : 28 May 2012 )
  Raj Kumar Chauhan PRESIDENT
  Dr. Rajender Dhar MEMBER
  Ritu Garodia MEMBER
Dated : 01 Mar 2023
Final Order / Judgement



UdyogSadan, C – 22 & 23, Institutional Area

(Behind Qutub Hotel)

New Delhi – 110016


    Case No.207/2012




SECTOR- 35,​  FARIDABAD, HARYANA                                 …..COMPLAINANT





112, J.C. ROAD,







NEW DELHI 110019




NEW DELHI - 110014 .                                       …..RESPONDENTS


Date of Institution-28.05.2012

Date of Order-01.03.2023




The brief facts as stated in complaint are that complainant has a saving bank account number 0390101082503 with OP1 at their local branch i.e. OP2. 

          It is alleged that complainant was approached by a person namely Mr. Arvind Kumar on 15.6.2010 through telephonic conversation who purported himself to be team leader with city bank and offered personal loan to complainant. On 16.6.2010 the said Mr. Arvind Kumar sent his executive Mr. Naveen Sharma to the office of the complainant to collect the documents required for processing the personal loan.  The complainant provided him the following documents:-

  1. A copy of Pan Card
  2. A copy of Voter Identity Card
  3. A copy of the Passport
  4. Salary slips for the month of March, April, May 2010
  5. Photocopy of the Bank Passbook (A/c No. 0390101082503) Canara Bank, Nehru Place, New Delhi
  6. Income Tax Returns for the year 2009-10 & 2008-09
  7. Photocopy of form 16 for the year 2009-2010.
  8. 2 Passport size photographs (one self attested on the front)
  9. 3 Cheques of Canara Bank (A/c No. 82503)
  1. Cheque No. 755121- in favour of Citibank, signed & cancelled.
  2. Cheque No. 755122- Company Blank and Unsigned.
  3. Cheque No. 755123- completely Blank and Unsigned.


The said executive reassured the complainant that a loan would be sanctioned. On 18.6.2010, the complainant to his shock found out that Rs. 90,000/- and Rs. 48,000/- has been withdrawn from his account vide check No. 755123 and 755122 respectively. On further inquiries, the complainant found that Rs. 90,000/- was withdrawn on cheque no. 755123 on 17.6.2010  at 13:19 hours by someone who had signed as Tarun Gupta on the back of cheque without submitting his ID proof and Rs. 48,000/- was withdrawn on cheque no. 755122 by someone who has signed as Sumit Jain on the back of the cheque without submitting his ID proof. Immediately, the complainant gave an application to OP2 for stopping payment of other cheque.       

          The complainant lodged a police complaint on 23.6.2010. After inquiry, it was found that the mobile numbers provided by presenters of cheques i.e. Tarun Gupta and Sumit Jain were obtained by submitting false numbers.

The complainant sent a notice to OP1 about this fraud on 15.9.2010. The senior manager of OP2 reverted by e-mail dated 16.9.2010 stating that the matter is engaging their attention stating that the cheques were honoured as per the apparent tenor. On 21.9.2010, OP1 sent a letter dated 15.9.2010 informing the complainant that the matter had been taken up.

          The complainant submits that the bank is supposed to keep people’s money safe and secure. It is alleged that the OP Bank should have installed CCTV as it deals with public money, saving deposits and other valuables.  It is further alleged that the banker should have verified the signature at the time of encashment of the cheques while giving the money to unknown persons. The bankers should have retained a photocopy of the person who came to collect the cash. The complainant alleges that the bank had a duty to meticulously cross check the signatures and bank officials were responsible for clearing the forged cheques. The complainant prays for refund of Rs. 1,38,000/- with interest @12% p.a. , a sum of Rs. 2,00,000/- for negligence and harassment and Rs. 25,000/- towards legal expense.

OP in its reply has stated that the loss has been caused to complainant because blank cheques were handed over by the complainant to unknown persons. After receiving the complaint, the matter was sent to hand writing expert. OP has filed the copy of the report of the handwriting expert.

OP has stated that it has taken all the precautions while dealing with the customers. OP further submits that precautions as per banking norms were taken during encashment and no extra efforts can be put for any transaction until and unless request has been made by the customers of the bank. OP has clarified that bank officials have taken necessary precautions for passing the cheques and no irregularity or fraud has been caused by OP staff. It is specified that cheques in question were not forged but mis-handled by the complainant. OP prays for dismissal of complaint. The complainant has filed evidence by way of affidavit and exhibited the following documents:-

  1. Copy of visiting card is exhibited as Ex. CW1/1.
  2. Copy of visiting registers is exhibited as Ex.CW1/2.
  3. Copy of cancelled cheque is exhibited as Ex.CW1/3.
  4. Copy of blank cheques is exhibited as Ex. CW1/4 and CW1/5.
  5. Copy of passbook is exhibited as Ex. CW1/6.
  6. Copy of application for stopping the payment is exhibited as Ex. CW1/7.
  7. Copy of police complaint is exhibited as Ex.CW1/8.
  8. Copy of legal notice and postal receipt is exhibited as Ex. CW1/9 and CW1/10.
  9. Copy of e-mail is exhibited as Ex.CW1/11.
  10.  Copy of master circular of RBIis exhibited as Ex. CW1/12.


OP1 has filed evidence by way of affidavit of Mr. Pratik Bhatia, Manager Canara Bank. He states that on receipt of complaint by the complainant the cheques were immediately sent for comparison of signature to CFSL, Shimla, HP. The report is annexed with the reply.

The Commission has considered the rival contention of both the parties and heard the arguments at length. It is admitted by both the parties that cheque No. 755122 and 755123 were handed over by the complainant to an unknown person. These two cheques were encashed on 17.6.2010. Admittedly, cheque No. 755123 for Rs. 90,000/- was encashed by one Tarun Gupta and cheque No. 755122 for Rs. 48,000/- was encashed by one Mr. Sumit Jain.

The complainant became aware of the said fraud on 18.6.2010 and gave an application for stop payment of the third cheque.  A police complaint for the same was made on 23.6.2010. OP on receiving that complaint sends the cheques to Central Forensic Science Laboratory for examination of the said cheques. The report dated 1.12.2010 is as follows:-

The documents of this case have been carefully and thoroughly examined.

2. Inter-se comparison of the red enclosed signatures stamped and marked Q1 and Q2 reveals similarities in their dimensions and when the test of superimposition is applied they superimpose on each other which is not possible in two hand written genuine signatures.

3. Inter-se comparison of the red enclosed signatures stamped and marked Q3 and Q4 reveals similarities in their dimensions and when the test of superimposition is applied they superimpose on each other which is not possible in two hand written genuine signatures.

From the report it can be seen that the signature on the cheques cannot be genuine. The above said report reveals that signature on the disputed cheque and specimen signature were super imposed on each other and hence not possible in two hand written genuine cheques. It can be inferred that one signature was scanned which was not discovered at the time of encashment of the disputed cheques by the bank official. OP has harped on the fact that all necessary precautions has been taken at the time of encashment but failed to give details of these precautions. OP has not submitted any procedure / checklist / guidelines to be followed by bank official for encashment of self-cheques or the specific procedural guidelines followed by this branch of the bank at the time of encashment of the disputed cheques.

Hon’ble Supreme Court in Canara Bank vs Canara Sales Corporation & Ors citations: 1987 AIR 1603, 1987 SCR (2)1138 decided on 22 April, 1987 has observed that “The relationship between the customer of a bank and the bank is that of a creditor and debtor. When a cheque which presented for encashment contains a forged signature the bank has no authority to make payment against such a cheque. The bank would be acting against law in debiting the customer with the amounts covered by such cheques. When a customer demands payment for the amount covered by such cheques. the bank would be liable to pay the amount to the customer. The bank can succeed in denying payment only when it establishes that the customer is disentitled to make a claim either on account of adoption. estoppel or ratification. The principle of law regarding this aspect is as follows:

When a cheque duly signed by a customer is presented before a bank with whom he has an account there is a mandate on the bank to pay the amount covered by. the cheque. However.if the signature on the cheque is not genuine. there is no mandate on the bank to pay. The bank, when it makes payment on such a cheque, cannot resist the claim of the customer with the defence of negligence on his part such as leaving the cheque book carelessly so that third parties would easily get hold of it. This is because a document in cheque form, on which the customer's name as drawer is forged, is a mere nullity. The bank can succeed only when it establishes adoption or estoppel.

Hon’ble National Commission in N. Venkannavs Andhra Bank:I (2006) CPJ 132 NC decided on 11 January, 2005 has observed that:-

9.The question is: Does it absolve a banker from making payment to a wrong person by rushing to clear the payment on the basis of a forged withdrawal form? It is no more in dispute that the withdrawal form was not signed by the complainant in terms of the report of the Director, Forensic Science Laboratory. The fact that the petitioner had not kept his passbook in a safe custody might have contributed to the deficiency in service on the part of the Bank official in not meticulously comparing with the signatures of the complainant. One would also not be oblivious about minor changes in signatures which do occur time and again between the signatures of the same person made at different times and the specimen signatures, signature on the withdrawal form and the cheque. It may also be true that to a limited extent the Bank could not be held to be guilty of negligence simply because an ultraviolet ray lamp was not kept in the branch and the cheque in question could not be subjected under the ultraviolet ray lamp. Despite this, we feel that the Bank official must not rush to clear the payment just on seeing the pass book and, therefore, the District Forum was absolutely right in holding the Bank responsible in view of precedents in this regard.

10.  In Bhagwan Das v. Creet (1903) 31 Cal, 249. It was held: "The banker's obligation is to honour his customer's cheque. To that end he is bound to know his customer's handwriting. If in any way he is deceived without the instrumentality of his customer, he must himself abide by the loss." In the case of L. Pirbhu Dayal v. Jwala Bank , the money was paid by the Bank on presentation of a forged cheque (withdrawal form as is the case in the present matter), the Bank was held liable to pay for the loss suffered.

11. In Dawood v. Firm PereinanChetty AIR 1924 Rang. 264, it was held that the money paid by Bank under a forged cheque could not be debited to the customer merely on the ground that the customer was negligent to this extent that he allowed his cheque book to remain unlocked.”

From the aforesaid discussion, it is clear that banks are liable to reimburse their customers if any payment is made on any cheque not duly signed by the account holder.

Thus, we hold OP guilty of deficiency in service and direct it.:-

  1. Refund Rs. 1,38,000/- with interest @ 9% p.a. from the date of wrongful withdrawal till date of realisation.
  2. Payment of Rs. 30,000/- as compensation for mental harassment and physical inconveniences.
  3. Payment of Rs. 5,000/- towards litigation expenses.


The order to be complied within 30 days from the date of uploading of order failing which it will carry an interest of @12% p.a. from the date of order till payment.



           MEMBER                      MEMBER                        PRESIDENT




[ Raj Kumar Chauhan]
[ Dr. Rajender Dhar]
[ Ritu Garodia]

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