Judgment & Order
Complainant Forid Ahmed Laskar has brought this case stating the facts that the complainant is a poor rural agriculturist having Savings Account with the O.P. No. 1 bank for transaction of wages for works under MGNREGA . That in the year 2012 the complainant applied for Kishan Credit Card Loan ( in short KCC loan) through the O.P. No.-1 but received no information either from the bank or from the concerned department in respect of sanctioning of any loan by the O.P. No.-1 and also no amount was deposited or credited in the savings bank account of the complainant at any point of time. Subsequently in the month of January’2017 the complainant went to the office of O.P. No.-1 for updating his bank passbook but the O.P. No.-1 refused to update his bank passbook stating that his account had been closed . At that time the O.P. No.-1 , however, informed him that a loan was sanctioned and disbursed on 13/08/2013 but supplied no information as to loan account number. Subsequently, the O.P. No.-1 informed him on 11/08/2017 that on 19/02/2013 a loan amount of Rs.24,500/- was disbursed through the loan account but supplied no other information. Though the complainant submitted representation on 09/03/2016 but the O.P. did not provide any written information as to the details of loan account. As a result, the complainant was compelled to issue notice to the O.P. on 30/09/2016 through his engaged lawyer but no action was taken rather the O.Ps. closed the transaction in the S/B account No.73200100011051 and as such the implementing authority of the MGNREGA is not providing any employment to the
complainant on the plea that the complainant has no bank account. According to the complainant, misappropriation of Rs.24,500/- was done by showing the sanctioning and disbursing of the amount as loan behind his back keeping him in darkness. The complainant has ,therefore, prayed for awarding compensation of Rs. 50,000/- ( Rupees fifty thousand ) only for losses suffered by the complainant due to the illegal activities of the O.Ps., for cost of the proceeding and for giving direction to the O.P. to reactivate the Savings Bank account of the complainant and for restraining the O.Ps. from withdrawing or debiting any amount from the account of the complainant.
The O.P. Nos 1&2 contested the case by filing written objection stating, interalia, that there is no cause of action for filing this case, that the complaint is not maintainable , that the case is barred by the law of limitation, that the case is bad for defect of parties etc. According to the O.ps. , S/B account No.- 7320010011051 with the O.P. No.-1 was opened by the complainant on 12/11/2011. The complainant applied for Kishan Credit Card Loan and accordingly on 15/09/2012 an amount of Rs.24,500/- ( Rs. Twenty four thousand five hundred ) only was sanctioned by the O.P. No.-1 . On the same date the O.P. also handed over the loan sanction letter to the complainant. It is stated that on 15/09/2012 the complainant also executed loan documents and the sanctioning of Rs.24,500/- as KCC loan was within the knowledge of the complainant. Out of the said sanctioned amount a sum of Rs.12,000/- was disbursed on 19/02/2013 and the remaining Rs.12,500/- was disbursed on 22/02/2013 by crediting the same in the loan account no. 7320250002677 standing in the name of the complainant. The complainant himself withdrew the said amounts in cash from the O.P. No.-1 bank by putting signature on the withdrawal slips. As such the sanctioning and disbursing of KCC loan was fully in the knowledge of the complainant but he neglected to repay the same as per terms and conditions of loan. Further version of the O.Ps. is that the S/B account of the complainant has not been closed. But as the account was dormant so the same could not be updated when the complainant asked for the same. It has been denied by the O.Ps. that on 15/12/2015 Rs.700/- was debited from the S/B account of the complainant against the outstanding liability of his loan account. Under the circumstances the O.Ps. have prayed for dismissal of the case.
In support of the case the evidence on affidavit of the complainant as PW-1 has been furnished alongwith some exhibited documents. On the other hand from the side of O.P. evidence on affidavit of Sri Bimal Sarma, the Branch Manager of the O.P. No.-1 Branch has been submitted in the case along with some exhibited documents. Both parties also submitted written argument in the case. Also heard oral argument put forward by learned counsel. Perused the entire evidence on record. Let us now discuss the evidence below.
PW-1 , the complainant, has stated in his evidence the same facts narrated in the complaint petition. According to PW-1, he is a poor agriculturist and job card holder under MGNREGA scheme. He has also got a Savings Bank account with the O.P. No.-1 i.e., Assam Gramin Bikash Bank, Barjatrapur branch . In the year 2012 he applied for Kishan Credit Card Loan ( in short KCC loan) but received no information either from the bank or from the concerned department in respect of sanctioning of any loan. PW-1 has further averred that in the month of January, 2017 he went to the bank for updating his S/B account but he was informed that his account had been closed and refused to update. However it has been claimed by PW-1 that on that day he was informed orally that a loan had been sanctioned to him on 13/08/2013 and subsequently on 11/08/2017 he was informed in writing that on 19/03/2013 a loan of Rs.24,500/- was disbursed through loan account no.-7320250002677. PW-1 has further stated that as he was not furnished details information of his loan account so he was compelled to issue notice through his lawyer but thereafter also no action was taken by the O.Ps. rather they closed the S/B account of the complainant. It has been alleged by PW-1 that misappropriation of Rs. 24,500/- had been done only by showing the sanctioning and disbursement of the loan amount behind his back and keeping him in darkness. PW-1 has submitted his S/B passbook as Ext.-1 . He has also submitted the xerox copy of pleader’s notice as Annexure-2. On the other hand, the evidence of DW-1 goes to show that the complainant has got a Savings Bank account with the O.P. bank and he also applied for Kishan Credit Card loan . But though the complainant has alleged that keeping him in darkness loan amount was sanctioned and disbursed, the evidence of DW is that on the day of sanctioning of KCC loan of Rs. 24,500/- to the complainant on 15/09/2012 the loan sanction letter was also handed over to him and the complainant accepted the same by putting endorsement therein. Also on the same day the complainant executed various loan documents in favour of the O.P. for availing the said loan facility. According to the DW, out of the said loan an amount of Rs. 12,000/- was disbursed on 19/02/2013 and the remaining amount of Rs. 12,500/- was disbursed on 22/02/2013 by crediting the same in the loan account standing in the name of the complainant and also the complainant himself withdrew the said amounts in cash by putting his signatures on the relevant withdrawal slips. As such, it has been claimed by the DW in his evidence that the complainant had full knowledge about the said sanctioning of loan and disbursement of the same.
Again though the complainant has alleged that the O.P. closed his Savings Bank account and did not update his account book but the version of the DW is that the S/B account of the complainant has not been closed till date and it could not be updated when the complainant asked for the same as the account was dormant. According to DW, at no point of time the O.Ps. committed any disservice to the complainant. Ext.-B certified copy of statement of loan account standing in the name of the complainant supports the claim of the O.P. regarding sanctioning of loan and its disbursement.
It has been claimed by the complainant in the case that he did not receive the KCC loan which was allegedly sanctioned in his name. But the DW in his evidence has specifically stated that the complainant himself withdrew the loan amount sanctioned to him by putting his signature on the withdrawal slips. It may be mentioned here that in the present case the O.Ps. also filed a counter claim petition and in support of the said counter claim submitted evidence on affidavit alongwith some exhibited documents including Ext.-5 & 6 withdrawal slips. It reveals from those exhibited withdrawal slips that Ext.-5 is in respect of withdrawal of loan amount of Rs.12,500/- and Ext.-6 is in respect of loan amount of Rs. 10,800/-. Though the case record discloses the sanction of loan of Rs.24,500/- but from the O.P. side withdrawal slips of Rs. 23,300/- only have been submitted. It is the case of the complainant that keeping him in darkness the loan amount was sanctioned and disbursed. During the course of argument the learned counsel appearing for the complainant also submitted that the signatures appearing in Exts.-5 & 6 in the name of the complainant were not signed by the complainant himself. But in the present case the complainant side has not taken any steps for examination of those signatures appearing in the name of the complainant by any handwriting expert. In Ext.-5 there is signature of Forid Ahmed Laskar while Ext.-6 contains the signature of Forid Uddin Laskar. In other loan documents the name of the loanee/applicant has been written as Forid Ahmed Laskar and not as Forid Uddin Laskar. On the other hand from Ext.-1 Savings passbook and from Annexure- 1 & 2 submitted by the complainant it reveals that the complainant writes his name as Forid Ahmed Laskar. The complaint petition also discloses the name of the complainant as Forid Ahmed Laskar. Again if we compare the signature of Forid Ahmed Laskar appearing in Ext.-5 withdrawal slip with the admitted signatures of the complainant appearing in Annexure-1&2 and in the complaint petition then we do not find major dissimilarity. But if we compare in bare eye the signature Forid Uddin Laskar appearing in Ext.-6 withdrawal slip with the admitted signatures of the complainant as well as with the signatures appearing in the exhibited loan documents in the name of the complainant then hardly we find any similarity. So from the above discussions it is found and hold that only the withdrawal of loan amount of Rs.12,500/- by the complainant vide Ext.-5 withdrawal slip dated 22/02/2013 has been proved in the case .
Again though in the present case the O.Ps. have filed a counter claim petition praying for giving direction to the complainant to repay the loan amount but the complainant has vehemently objected the said petition stating that the same is not maintainable. However in the present case the status of the O.Ps. do not appear to be that of a consumer. Under the circumstances the counter claim petition of the O.Ps. cannot be considered and the same is rejected.
In view of the above, it is found that there has been deficiency in service by the O.Ps towards the Complainant and as a result the Complainant had to suffer. Under the circumstances and also upon consideration of the materials on record, it is ordered that the O.Ps cannot recover the loan amount more than Rs.12,500/- (Rupees Twelve Thousand Five Hundred) only from the complainant. However, the O.P. is entitled to recover interest if any, on the said amount. It is further ordered that the O.P. Bank shall also pay an amount of Rs.3,000/- (Rupees Three Thousand) and Rs.2,000/- (Rupees Two Thousand) only to the complainant towards compensation for sufferance and towards cost of the proceeding respectively.
With the above relief the case of the Complainant stands partly allowed on contest and counterclaim stands/rejected. Supply free certified copy of Judgment to the parties.
Given under the hand and seal of the District Commission on this 29th day of December,2021.