The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed ICICI Bank to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation for forcibly seizing a car from a loan defaulter. The bank has also been directed to pay Rs 5,000 as litigation costs.
The complainant,Praveer Goel,said he purchased a Maruti car from Joshi Autozone in 2004,by paying Rs 80,000 from his personal resources,in addition to raising a loan of Rs 1.5 lakh from ICICI Bank. While he claimed to have paid regular instalments,a notice regarding a cheque of Rs 2,715 being dishonoured was served to him following which,he paid the said amount vide another cheque.
A few days later,the complainant alleged that his car was taken away from outside his house when he was outside Chandigarh.
ICICI Bank,in its reply,pleaded that several cheques of the complainant were dishonoured and that the complainant had paid only nine installments till December 31,2005. While justifying their taking move,the bank stated that as per the agreement,the complainant is a defaulter and had failed to repay the entire loan amount.
The forum ruled the deficiency in service on part of the bank in forcibly acquiring the vehicle without any notice. The bank had no right to take away the car of the complainant for realisation of the outstanding amount. Such an act amounts to deficiency in service, the forum ruled.