HDFC Bank told to pay Rs 5.2 lakh for misplacing cheque

HDFC Bank told to pay Rs 5.2 lakh for misplacing cheque

HDFC Bank has been directed by a consumer forum here to pay Rs 5.2 lakh to one of its account holders for misplacing a cheque deposited by him and causing him a loss of Rs 5 lakh.

The East District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum on the basis of the bank's admission that the cheque was pilfered by someone while being sent to another branch for clearing said the account holder cannot be penalised for the negligence of HDFC and held it liable to pay him the amount.

"It is discerned, (from the bank's submissions) that the cheque in question deposited by complainant was got misplaced at opposite party's (HDFC) end and they are liable to either credit the amount to complainant or return the cheque.

"As such we find the bank is liable to pay the amount of cheque," a bench headed by N A Zaidi said and directed the bank to pay Delhi resident Naveen Kumar Rs 5 lakh, in place of the misplaced cheque, along with Rs 20,000 as litigation cost.

Kumar in his complaint had said that he had deposited a cheque of Rs 5 lakh in his HDFC account on November 16, 2011 which was not credited to his account but to someone else and alleged that the bank had cheated him.

HDFC Bank in its defence had refuted the allegation and contended that the cheque which was drawn on Kotak Mahindra Bank was pilfered by unknown persons while being sent for clearing through a courier company.

HDFC had also said that when it initiated enquiries, it found that the cheque was cleared and encashed in favour of some other Naveen Kumar having an account in Indus Bank.

It had further said that a police complaint had been filed and the matter was being investigated by the cops and the same was communicated to the complainant.

The forum rejected the bank's contentions saying Kumar "cannot be penalised for negligence committed by bank or its agents as he has no control over them. It is for the bank to take action against their defaulting employees/agents and to get the losses indemnified".

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