HYDERABAD: The case in which a nationalised bank was ordered to pay compensation to one of its customers after his cheque got encashed by someone else proves that even the cheque drop boxes in banks are not safe.The District Consumer Forum passed the order after a businessman found that his cheque was stolen and encashed by a miscreant.The negligence shown by State Bank of India (SBI) in failing to safeguard the drop box and Punjab National Bank (PNB) in recognising a forged cheque presented by the miscreant was taken up before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-III, Hyderabad, by the businessman.
The two banks were directed to pay back `95,197 at 12 per cent interest along with `40,000 towards mental agony caused, and `5,000 towards court charges.The complainant, Krishna Kamalesh, provides car rental service to travel agencies. He dropped a cheque of `1,25,197 at SBI bank on RP road on January 29, 2016. After five days, he realised that the amount was not credited and approached the bank who in turn asked him to check with his client if the amount was debited. When his client confirmed that the amount was debited, but to another’s bank account, the complainant lodged a police complaint.
The police examined CCTV footage placed inside the bank and saw that P Vishal Kumar, an Aadhar Card technician, took the cheque after breaking open the drop box. He eventually forged the cheque and encashed the cheque. Police arrested the accused, recovered `30,000 and handed over the amount to Kamalesh. However, Kamalesh dragged the two banks to the forum for their slackness.
The forum directed the banks to jointly take responsibility.