July 25, 2019

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules That Bank Must Compensate Customer If It Loses His Check

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has effectively ruled that a bank must compensate a customer if it loses his bank check.

Recently, the NCDRC dismissed a revision petition filed by the Bank of Baroda after it found the bank guilty of having lost its customer's check and held it liable to pay an amount to the customer, which is worth the lost check.

Earlier, the Bank of Baroda had stated that a bank check deposited by one of its customers who was the respondent, was dishonored and sent to his registered address along with a check return memo by registered post.

The bank had claimed that there was no deficiency in its services since its customer’s bank check was returned undelivered.

Yet, the customer who is the respondent alleged that the bank had failed to return his check despite persistent follow up and even visiting the bank in person.

Later, a district consumer disputes commission partly allowed his complaint and the Gujarat state consumer disputes commission directed the bank to pay the full amount of Rs 3,60,000 worth the check to the customer.

The Bank of Baroda filed a revision petition against the order of the Gujarat state consumer disputes commission under Section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

However, the NCDRC found out that while the dishonored check was returned unserved from the customer’s registered address, it was never delivered to him on any later occasion as well.

On the contrary, the NCDRC also found that the Bank of Baroda had actually lost the check due to which the customer lost his right to file a case under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

Therefore, the NCDRC refused to interfere with the state consumer disputes commission of Gujarat’s order after taking into account the Bank of Baroda’s failure to return its customer’s check as well as the legal hassles caused to him.

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