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Union Bank of India, Punjab v/s Surinder Kumar Arora & Another

Company & Directors' Information:- BANK OF PUNJAB LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = L65110CH1994PLC014639

Company & Directors' Information:- J N ARORA AND COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1983PTC015868

Company & Directors' Information:- THE INDIA COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999TN1919PTC000911

Company & Directors' Information:- S L ARORA AND CO PRIVATE LTD [Active] CIN = U74899DL1987PTC029562

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIA CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65990MH1941PTC003461

Company & Directors' Information:- ARORA & CO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51909WB1941PTC010395

    Revision Petition No. 1994 of 2019

    Decided On, 22 November 2019

    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC


    For the Petitioner: O.P. Gaggar, Sachindra Karu, Advocates. For the Respondents: ---------

Judgment Text

The complainants/ respondent made certain deposits with the petitioner Bank. The deposits were made on 12.12.2011 for a period of five years. The fixed deposit receipts issued to the complainants provided for payment of interest @ 10.9% per annum. However, on maturity of the fixed deposits, the complainants were informed that as per the circular applicable at the relevant time, the interest payable to them was 10.50% per annum in respect of FDs of less than Rs.1.00 crore and 10.25% per annum in respect of FDs of more than Rs.1.00 crore. Since the bank did not pay the interest to them as per the rates recorded in the FDs, the complainant approached the concerned District Forum by way of consumer complaint seeking difference in the amount of interest.

2. The complainant was resisted by the petitioner Bank primarily on the ground that even the offer giving the benefit of additional interest payable to ex-employees and senior citizens, the interest as per the circular issued by the Bank at the relevant time was only 10.25% in respect of FDs above Rs.1.00 crore and Rs.10.50% per annum in respect of FDs below Rs.1.00 crore.

3. The District Forum having allowed the consumer complaint, the petitioner bank approached the State Commission by way of an appeal. The said appeal having been dismissed, the petitioner Bank is before this Commission.

4. The submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that there was a bonafide mistake in the matter, since, the interest rate applicable on the date of deposit was not updated in the system of the Bank, which led to higher rate being recorded in the FDs. He also submitted that the Bank should not be penalised for the said bonafide mistake on its part.

5. It is an admitted decision that the hard copies of the fixed deposit receipts were issued to the complainants as per the system of the petitioner Bank which showed the same rate of interest which were recorded on the FDs.

6. In the facts and circumstances of the case, the view taken by the fora below does not call for any interference of this Commission in exercise of its revisional jurisdictional. Had the prevailing rate of interest been made known to the complainant at the time when the deposits were made, it is quite possible that the may not have kept the deposits with the petitioner Bank and might have kept in a Bank offering higher rate of interest, though the possibility of the complainants making deposits at that applicable rate also cannot be ruled out. However, the Bank was under an obligation to inform the correct rate of interest to the depositors. That having not being done and the bank contrarily undertook to pay the interest @ 10.50 per annum, there is no reasons to allow the petitioner Bank to back out of the said contractual obligation.

7. During the course of the hearing, I specifically asked the learned counsel as to whether the mistake regarding the rate of interest was conveyed to the complainant at any point of time before the FDs matured. The learned counsel fairly submits that though the mistake was detected soon after the FDs were issued, it was not conveyed to the complainant before the FDs were matured. This is yet another deficiency on the part of the petitioner Bank i

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n rendering the services, as soon as the alleged bonafide mistake ought to have been conveyed to the complainant soon after it was detected with an option them to shift the FDs to another bank, if they so desired. 8. For the reasons stated above, I find no merit in the present revision petition, accordingly, the same is dismissed with no order as to cost.