Consumer forum asks bank to compensate Mumbai doctor for losing her cheque of Rs 93,299

Updated: Dec 19, 2016, 09:01 IST | Sailee Dhayalkar

Consumer forum directs bank to compensate Dr Urmila Dhupkar, a Parel resident, for losing her cheque of nearly Rs 90,000, because of which she lost the opportunity to rent a place for opening her clinic


Representational pic

A city doctor who lost nearly Rs 90,000 a couple of years ago due to the carelessness of the bank where she had deposited the cheque has finally got relief. The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Central Mumbai has directed Bank of India’s Parel branch to compensate Dr Urmila Dhupkar, a Parel resident, for losing her cheque of Rs 93,299, because of which she lost the opportunity to rent a place for opening her clinic.

Cheques and balance
The cheque drawn on State Bank of India at Masjid branch on October 14, 2015, had been issued by the postal authorities for KVP repayment. It was put for clearance on October 16, 2015. But when Dhupkar visited the bank on October 24, 2015, to get her passbook updated, the branch manager informed her that the cheque had been lost.

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On November 6, 2015, Dhupkar wrote to the manager, informing them about the non-clearance of the cheque. The bank then replied vide its letter dated November 10, 2015, to get a duplicate cheque from the post office for making stop payment of the lost one. Accordingly, she wrote to the post office; it, however, refused to do so for three months till the expiry of the previous cheque.

Not entitled?
In her complaint to the forum, Dhupkar said that because of the bank’s fault, she lost the opportunity of renting a place for her new clinic, as she could not pay the requisite deposit to the property owner.

The Bank of India then filed its written statement, admitting to the deposit, and subsequent loss, of the cheque. It, however, contended that the mere deposit of a cheque does not entitle the complainant to claim the amount from the bank until the cheque is cleared, and that there was no RBI regulation (regarding this) as claimed by the complainant.

The court order
Judge BS Wasekar and member HK Bhaise, while passing the order, noted, “In the ordinary course of business, it was necessary to credit the cheque amount on the third day of deposit. The cheque was deposited on October 14, 2015; therefore, it was necessary to credit the amount on October 16, 2015. In this case, the amount was credited in the account of the complainant on March 2, 2016. Also, no proper reason was given by the opponent (the bank) for the loss of the cheque. It shows negligence on its part.”

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“Dhupkar received the principal amount; she is entitled for interest on it for the period from the date of deposit till the credit... We think interest at the rate of 9% will be reasonable,” they added.

The court also asked the bank to give Rs 10,000 as compensation towards her mental agony along with another Rs 10,000 for her court expenses.

Rs 20k
Compensation towards mental agony and court costs the bank has been asked to pay

9%
Rate of interest applied on the cheque amount Oct ’15-Mar ’16 that the bank must pay

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