ICCI bank pulled up for using musclemen for loan recovery

October 13th, 2008 - 10:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) Terming the act of sending recovery agents as “uncivilized”, a court here has directed ICCI Bank to pay Rs.20,000 in compensation to a consumer for sending musclemen to his home.The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission asked the bank to pay the compensation and Rs.2,000 as the cost of litigation to Rahul Sharma after he complained of getting threatening calls and having to face musclemen for the recovery of unpaid instalments of a house loan he had taken.

“In a democratic society governed by rule of law, any other method of recovery of dues from the person who had taken loan from the bank or financier is not permissible. Threatening calls on telephone to recover the amount due and using muscle power by sending musclemen to the house of the borrower is a highly uncivilised act,” commission president Justice J.D. Kapoor ruled.

The case dates to 2004, when Sharma took a home loan of Rs.450,000 from the bank. The loan amount was payable in 240 EMIs.

There was no problem till September 2005 but on Sep 19, the bank asked Rahul for cheques against the EMI as these could not be realized through the electronic clearing service (ECS).

Accordingly, he issued cheques of the required amount for consecutive months as directed by the bank.

But, in spite of making the full payment, the musclemen of the bank used to visit his house and threaten his family members in abusive language, Sharma said in his complaint.

The bank termed the complaint as frivolous and stated that since Sharma had failed to pay his instalments on time, the bank was well within its rights to recover its dues. The commission rejected the bank’s contention.

“The legal process may be slow but it is no excuse for employing musclemen. Such type of ‘instant justice’ cannot be permitted in a civilized society where there is effective rule of law. Otherwise, it would result in anarchy, that too, when the borrower retorts and uses force,” the commission observed.

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