Chennai: Bank told to pay Rs 1.70 lakh for jewelries missing from locker

She kept the jewellery in the locker and would occasionally take it from the locker for festival for important functions.

Chennai: The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum, Chennai (South) has directed a nationalised bank to pay a compensation of Rs 1.70 lakh to a woman for missing 7.29 kgs of silver jewellery from a locker maintained in the bank in the city.

In the petition, Lakshmi Jayaraman of R.A. Puram submitted that she was having a locker facility at the Indian Bank branch on Eldams Road from November 2005.

As her daughter and son-in-law live abroad, she kept the jewellery in the locker and would occasionally take it from the locker for festival for important functions.

In view of Deepavali festival, she went to the bank for taking some silver items on October 19, 2006 and she found a lot of silver articles were missing from one of her lockers. However, all the jewellery kept in another locker remains safe and intact.

She said, “I was in a state of severe shock and did not know how to handle the issue.”

She lodged a complaint with the Chief Manager about missing articles. However, the Chief Manager refused to believe her and after persuasion, the officials accepted the complainant. She noted that articles weighing 7.29 kgs were missing.

The bank officials sent a reply stating that they were unable to accept any claim for the loss of contents in the locker.

In the petition, she said that the action of the bank officials, amounts to deficiency in service, which caused her mental agony and hardship. Hence, she sought direction to the Chief Manager and CMD of Indian Bank to pay a compensation of '2.50 lakh towards missing jewellery, for causing mental agony and for deficiency in service.

In its reply, Indian Bank denied the allegation. They said they sent her detailed a reply on November 9, 2006, stating that the locker was operated only by her.

Therefore, the contents of the locker were known only to her and she keeps the keys of the locker. The bank shall not accept any claim for the alleged loss. The bank had not committed any negligence or deficiency in service.

The bench comprising President M. Mony, members K. Amala and Dr T. Paul Rajasekaran, said considering the facts and circumstances, this forum is of the considered view that Chief Manager and CMD are jointly and severally liable to pay a sum of '1.50 lakh towards the value of silver jewellery and a compensation of '15,000 for causing her mental agony and cost of '.5,000.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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