Squash player Dipika Pallikal sues Axis Bank

Squash player Dipika Pallikal sues Axis Bank

Indian squash star and Arjuna awardee Dipika Pallikal has sued Axis Bank Limited seeking Rs 10 lakh as compensation for the 'humiliation' and 'loss of reputation' she suffered during one of her overseas trips in 2011 after her debit card declined a transaction despite sufficient balance in her account.

The bank in its reply to her complaints denied negligence on their side and instead questioned her "mental toughness to be a world champion" and alleged she was unprofessional.

Pallikal has claimed that she faced embarrassment in Rotterdam, Netherlands in November 2011 when her debit card transactions for 490 Euros to settle her bill while checking out from a hotel failed repeatedly.

She had alleged that players from other countries passed snide remarks on her credit-worthiness as well as about India. She immediately contacted her mother, whose communication to the bank's executive was unhelpful. Later, she had managed to use another debit card to settle the bill, she said.

The squash player had said she was 'traumatised' over the incident and was unable to perform in later tournaments.

In a similar incident in December that year, Pallikal had deposited Rs one lakh cash prize received from Union Sports Minister, but the bank returned it saying "not drawn on us".
A series of mails was sent to the bank, which later admitted the cheque was returned due to a 'technical error'.

Pallikal then filed a complaint before the District Consumer Redressal Forum, South (Chennai) last year, seeking Rs 10 lakh as compensation.

The bank had denied charges of having caused mental agony to the player, saying: "The very fact that the complainant is not able to take the slightest disturbance would prove that she lacks the requisite mental toughness of a world champion. She is only making excuses for her non-performance and it is unfortunate and unethical to allege criminal acts on the bank for technical failure that took place in a foreign soil on which the bank has no control."

When the suit came up for final hearing last week, the Chennai (South) District Consumer Redressal Forum, comprising president V Gopal and member L Deenadayalan adjourned the hearing to October 4.

Pallikal was conferred the Arjuna Award by President Pranab Mukherjee in 2012.

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