A contractor has alleged that after he refused to pay a bribe to a bank, he was harassed so much that he had to close his account
While the Anna-led anti-corruption movement is grabbing headlines all over the country, a government official is claiming he was punished for his honesty. According to Pawan Jindal, a resident of Nangloi, he was harassed by Syndicate Bank officials for not giving them bribe to approve his loan. The victim said that later, when he tried to deposit money in his account, an official claimed he was carrying a fake Rs 500-note. Jindal also alleged he had to close his account due to harassment. Jindal had a saving account with the bank's Nangloi branch. Nearly two years ago, he applied for a loan of Rs 12 lakh.
"I wanted to mortgage my property against the loan. The then chief manager of the bank asked me to contact a lawyer, who used to live in Karol Bagh. I met her and she did not have any objection regarding my application. But a few other officials were reluctant and then they demanded a bribe of Rs 2 lakh to sanction the loan," said Jindal. The victim said that he refused to do so and had to take loan from his relatives.
On queue: The outlet of the bank in question at Nangloi. Pic/Mid Day
On August 19, Jindal went to the bank to deposit some cash. A bank official on the cash counter told him that one of his notes was fake. "Meanwhile, another official K S Kataria picked up an argument with me. They made marks on the note and said they will call the police. I tried to persuade them that the note was genuine but they were not ready to listen to me," he said. Jindal was also made to sign on a register. "I went to another bank with the note, where I was told it was genuine," he said.
Jindal said he was forced by the bank officials to close the account. He then complained to deputy commissioner of the police, west district, V Ranganathan regarding the incident. Pawan said the note is still in his possession.
The Other Side
The MiD DAY reporter contacted the bank, where chief manager of the branch, Dr. N Swaminathan, confirmed the incident but said they had doubts about the note. "We did not have a machine on that day to check the note. We never said it was counterfeit. Generally when we have a doubt, we send the note to the Note Bank Press and the customer is provided a receipt against this. If the Press confirms the note is genuine, we return the same amount against the receipt," said Swaminathan. When asked why the note was then returned to Jindal, Swaminathan said the complainant just grabbed the note and ran away.