ICICI Bank Ltd has been asked by an apex consumer commission to pay a compensation of over Rs. one lakh to a Punjab-based family for charging interest on home loan at much higher rates, saying it was “negligent in rendering services”.
National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), presided by Justice V K Jain, asked the bank to pay Rs. 1.05 lakh to Dutta family, residents of Mohali, who had availed the loan from the bank in 2005.
“Since admittedly, the bank charged interest higher…it was clearly negligent in rendering services to complainants and, therefore, the order passed by the state commission does not call for any interference,” the bench said.
Dattas had availed the home loan of Rs. 13, 35,100 from the bank in 2005 and further an additional loan of Rs. three lakh.
In their complaint, they had said that instead of charging interest at the agreed rate, the bank had charged the same at much higher rate.
Aggrieved by this, they filed a complaint before district consumer forum, alleging deficiency in the service provided to them by the bank.
The bank, however, had contended before the forum that the loan was sanctioned on the floating rate of interest, which could be enhanced as per the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India and in accordance with the agreement between the parties.
The forum, however, had directed bank to charge interest from the complainant at the previous rate. Being aggrieved by the forum’s order, the bank filed an appeal before the Chandigarh State Consumer Commission.
The state commission though permitted the bank to vary the rate but held that it had enhanced it on wrong parameters and asked the bank to pay Rs. one lakh to the complainant, along with cost of litigation amounting to Rs. 5,000.
Thereafter, the bank approached NCDRC against the state commission’s order.