State Bank of India and Syndicate Bank have been found “guilty of dereliction of duty” by a consumer forum here which directed them to pay Rs 45,000 to an account holder for losing a cheque deposited by him and encashing it in favour of someone else.
The account payee cheque, drawn on SBI, was deposited with Syndicate Bank where the complainant had an account, but the document was misplaced and later cleared as a bearer cheque by SBI, the South West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum noted in its order.
“The allegations of the complainant as against them (SBI and Syndicate Bank) thus stand proved that he had deposited the cheque in question with opposite party 1 (Syndicate Bank) and despite the cheque being account payee, the amount was not credited to his saving account…
“Having thoughtfully considered the material on record, we find that both the opposite parties (SBI and Syndicate Bank), in this case, are guilty of dereliction of duties,” the bench presided by Narendra Kumar told.
The forum directed the banks to pay Rs 25,000 for loss suffered by Delhi resident Om Prakash and Rs 20,000 as compensation to him.
Prakash, in his complaint, had said he had deposited the account payee cheque, drawn in his favour for Rs 25,000, with Syndicate Bank, but it was not credited to his account.
He later found that the cheque was misplaced by the bank and that the negotiable instrument was cleared as bearer cheque by SBI, Prakash had alleged.
While Syndicate Bank claimed in its defence that the cheque was never deposited with it, SBI contended that the cheque was converted to bearer by the drawee himself.
The forum, however, rejected the contentions saying as per deposit slip bearing stamp of Syndicate Bank, the cheque was deposited with it and added that as per handwriting expert, someone else had converted the cheque into bearer cheque from account payee.