When Ranjit Singh approached HDFC bank to get his Rs 1.5 lakh back,which he had deposited two years back in a fixed deposit scheme,he was told that his money was deposited in an insurance policy and could not be returned.
As the Mohali resident doesnt understand English,he failed to realise that he deposited the money in an insurance policy. Singh had relied completely on the handwritten fixed deposit slip with an official stamp which he had requested to be written in Punjabi. However,when he presented the documents,which he though were of a Fixed Deposit Receip account with a 10 per cent interest,he was turned down. Singh complained that he was kept in the dark and his funds were wrongly diverted in the insurance policy as he did not understand the language.
Making things worse,the bank did not even cancel the insurance policy claiming that the policy had lapsed as Singh had not paid the due premiums. An aggrieved Singh then filed a consumer complaint.
Slamming the contentions of HDFC Bank that Singh had purchased the insurance policy and filed the proposal form himself,the SAS Nagar Consumer Forum held it deficient in services and levied a penalty of Rs 10,000.
The forum directed the bank to refund the complainant an amount of Rs 1.5 lakh with interest as applicable on FDR account as per RBI guidelines as it had failed to produce any proposal form purportedly signed by the complainant. Taking into account the hand written Punjabi receipt of the fixed deposit signed by its employee,the bank was found indulging in unfair trade practices.