Apex consumer forum NCDRC has directed ICICI Bank to pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation to a customer for losing original sale-deed of his property which was deposited with the bank against a loan.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) also imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the bank as a "stern advice of caution".
Out of the cost of Rs 1 lakh imposed on the bank, Rs 50,000 has to be paid to the couple and the remaining to be deposited with the Consumer Legal Aid Account of the district forum, the commission said.
Alwar-resident Rajesh Khandelwal and his wife had taken a home loan of Rs 17.5 lakh from ICICI and deposited the original registered sale-deed of their flat with the bank which later lost it.
The commission, while upholding order of the Alwar District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, observed that the original registered sale-deed is a document and losing it can adversely affect the property.
"It may be noted that an original registered sale-deed is an important document, its loss adversely affects the property. Even if the document is reconstructed, a question still obtains on the property, and continues in perpetuity," NCDRC presiding member Dinesh Singh said.
The NCDRC, while rejecting the revision petition of the bank, also advised the bank to conduct an inquiry to fix responsibility for loss of the document.
"In addition, the bank, through its Chief Executive, is advised to conduct inquiry to fix responsibility for the loss of the original document of the Complainants as also to inculcate and imbibe systemic improvements to avert such deficiency in future qua consumers' in general," said the NCDRC.
The commission also noted that the bank should have apologised to the Khandelwals for losing the original document and should have "reconstructed" and given it back to the couple.
"By its (ICICI) own admission, it lost/misplaced the original document of the Complainants, it should have, on its own, in the normal wont of its functioning, got the document reconstructed, handed over the reconstructed document to the Complainants, with courtesy and apology, as also conducted an internal inquiry to fix responsibility as well as undertaken systemic improvements for future," the commission said.
The district consumer commission had last year directed the bank to pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation to the couple and against this order ICICI had moved the state commission which upheld the district forum's order.
Subsequently, ICICI moved the NCDRC against the state commission's order.
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