'Dipika episode will affect Axis Bank reputation'

'Dipika episode will affect Axis Bank reputation'

Ridiculous stand and it will have an impact on its reputation, feel a cross section of people at the Axis Bank's stand in a consumer court case against Arjuna awardee and squash champion Dipika Pallikal.

"A sportsperson will not be able to compete in the international area and bring laurels to the country if he/she is not mentally tough," chess grandmaster R.B.Ramesh told IANS here Monday.

"The in-born personality trait will always get reflected in a person's game and not vice versa. Any sports champion is really mentally tough. But getting panicky in a difficult situation is different. When a rabid dog is about to bite a person, his first instinct will be to run and that does not mean he is not mentally tough," Ramesh added.

According to him, Axis Bank is trying to defend its mistake by casting aspersions on a noted sports personality.

Pallikal has sued Axis Bank for humiliation and loss of reputation after her debit card transaction did not go through despite having sufficient balance in her account at a Rotterdam hotel in 2011.

On learning about it, players from other countries made some bad remarks about her creditworthiness and also about India.

Fortunately Pallikal had DCB Bank's debit card and paid the hotel with that.

Soon after that incident, the Axis Bank did not credit Pallikal's account with the Rs.100,000 cheque she had deposited.

The Axis Bank returned the cheque to her with remark `not drawn on us'. The cheque was issued by the Indian government for her achievement in the sporting arena and making the country proud.

After a lot of communication, Axis Bank finally credited the amount, saying the instrument was returned due to technical error.

Upset at the callous attitude of Axis Bank, Pallikal filed a case in the consumer court here in 2012.

In its affidavit, Axis Bank said: "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."

The Axis Bank attributed the debit card transaction failure to an act of god.

Disputing the bank's contention, psychological counselor Brinda Jayaraman told IANS: "In my view, the girl is very much resilient. She has the mental toughness to use another bank's card. There is nothing wrong for a young girl who is in a foreign country to call her mother and talk about a problem and get an advice."

Commenting on the probable impact that Axis Bank might face because of the case, Ramanujam Sridhar, CEO of Brand Comm, a brand consulting company, told IANS over phone: "The biggest challenge will be due to the social media. Hundreds of people will post their experience about Axis Bank and also with the other banks. It will have a ripple effect on the reputation of bank(s)."

He wondered how Axis Bank headed by a woman (Shikha Sharma) could treat an accomplished sports personality and a young girl like this.

"Axis Bank seems to have no idea as to what its customer is going through. It could have turned the adverse situation into a positive one but failed. The affidavit smacks of arrogance," Sridhar remarked.

Ecohing him, S.Sujatha, a former Tamil Nadu women's chess champion, told IANS: "How can a bank say that Pallikal lacks mental toughness? She had the alertness to use DCB Bank's debit card. A person's basic characteristic will always get reflected in the game."

"It is a debit card and it should work. It is ridiculous for the bank to term its customer as lacking mental toughness," S.Saroja, coordinator, Citizen, Consumer and Civic Action Group (CAG), told IANS.

The Mumbai-based Axis Bank did not respond to calls and emails of IANS.

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