Failure to preserve a cheque holds the bank accountable to compensate the customer: NCDRC
In the instant case the Bank of Baroda and ors. vs. Chitrodiya Bababuji Divanji , the petitioners claimed that the cheque deposited by the respondent was bounced and hence was sent back to the registered address of the respondent along with cheque return memo by registered postal services. Thus there was no deficiency on the part of the bank authorities. However respondent claimed that the bank never returned the dishonored cheque , instead it was the respondent who constantly pleaded the bank to return the cheque to him , all his actions were in vain and hence it was the bank’s fault.
The District and State commission allowed the complaint of the respondent and directed the court to pay the full amaount of the cheque since it was liable to preseve the document. Grieved by the above mentioned decision the Bank authorities filled a revision petition under Section 2 (b) of the Consumer Protection Act 1986.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission dismissed the petition of the bank and held the authorities liable to pay the full amount of Rs. 3,60.000 given on the cheque. The dismissal was based on the findings of the NCDRC that the bank authorities lost the cheque of the customer and deprived him of his right to file a case under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act 1881. NDCRC refused to interfere with the order of the State commission since the respondent has suffered a legal injury due to the negligence of the petitioners and hence he is liable to be compensated.