Bank asked to pay Rs.50,000 for not returning dishonoured cheque

July 21st, 2008 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) In an unprecedented order, a consumer court here Monday ruled that banks have to return a dishonoured cheque within 14 days to a person who has a savings account with it even if the consumer has a minimum balance in his account. The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission headed by Justice J.D. Kapoor said: “The collecting bank has to pay interest on the amount of the cheque drawn on its own outstation branch or on those of other banks and sent for collection, if it is not credited to the customer’s account and not returned to the customer within a period of 14 days from the date of their lodgement.”

Justice Kapoor asked the erring bank, Corporation Bank, to pay the customer Rs.50,000 for not returning the dishonoured cheque. He also referred to the customer service guidelines under ‘Dishonoured Instruments’, which provide that banks should ensure that dishonoured instruments are returned, dispatched to the customer within 24 hours.

In the present case, V.V.S. Ramakrishna, who had a savings bank account with Corporation Bank, deposited a cheque for Rs.900,000 which was sent for clearance after six days. The cheque was dishonoured after about 15 days, but the bank kept it for three long months.

Though Ramakrishna sought direction to the bank for payment of Rs.1.9 million, including the cheque amount, the commission awarded the compensation according to the interest rate that prevailed.

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