District Consumer Protection Forum, Srinagar has directed J&K Bank to pay Rs 40,000 compensation to a complainant whose cheque was dishonoured in a business unit of the bank.
Mushtaq Ahmad Wani of Mirabad, Batamaloo had filed a complaint before the Forum in 2009, alleging that the cheque issued by him to a person was dishonoured by J&K Bank Batamaloo branch on the grounds of insufficient balance.
However, he had pleaded that he had sufficient balance in his saving bank account and "dishounring on a false pretext of insufficiency of funds caused extreme humiliation, pain, agony and financial loss to him."
In its detailed order, the forum presided over by Muhammad Ashraf Malik, Principal District and Sessions Judge examined the evidence and witnesses, and found bank guilty of 'deficiency of service'.
The Forum said that a close examination of the materials and evidences would discern that according to complainant at the time of issuance of cheque on 29 July 2011 in favour of the drawee, balance in the Saving Bank Account was sufficient for encasing the cheque.
"All circumstances taken together would clearly suggest that the action on the part of the bank is unjustified and tantamount to unfair trade practice as also the deficiency in service on the part of opposite party. The complainant would suffer extreme mental pain, agony, harassment and financial loss for such unjustified action by the OP Bank," it said.
It said that law is well settled that object of Consumer Protection Act, 1987 is to provide for better protection of the interests of the consumer and, as such, to settle the consumer disputes quickly in a summary proceeding to ward off the perplexities of an aggrieved consumer by seeking a remedy in the form of a regular civil suit.
While holding the bank guilty of deficient in service, the Forum directed it to pay Rs 40,000 as compensation for mental pain, agony and harassment; Rs 9,000 as litigation charges to the complainant.
It added that the order shall be complied within one month from the date of receipt of its certified copy, failing which the amounts shall carry interest at ten percent from the date of default till actual payment or realisation.