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Post office to pay for not informing consumer on rules

The District Consumer Forum has asked the Director Postal Services and Chief Post Master of Sector 17,Chandigarh to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation...

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh |
February 26, 2009 1:06:50 am

The District Consumer Forum has asked the Director Postal Services and Chief Post Master of Sector 17,Chandigarh to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation for causing harassment to a customer after he was delayed information on the rules of maintaining two Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) accounts.

The post office has also been directed to overhaul the account and pay the balance amount of interest that they had earlier refused to pay. In addition,the post office has also been directed to pay the bonus of Rs 30,000 which the complainant is entitled to on the date of maturity of the MIS account.

The complainant,Yog Raj Vij,said in his complaint that in February 2002,he opened an account and named his wife as the nominee following which he deposited Rs 3 lakh in the account. The rate of interest permissible at that time was 9.5 per cent per annum.

After a month,he opened another joint MIS account with his wife and deposited Rs 3 lakh after naming his son as the nominee of both the joint holders.

After his wife died in October 2002,the complainant informed the concerned officials and the first account was duly rectified with his son being substituted as the nominee. The records for the second account was,however,not rectified and no intimation or information was allegedly given to the complainant about the rules that mandate the joint MIS account to be treated as a single account and the amount deposited in both the accounts to be treated together as a single account.

The complainant averred that for the next five years till April 2007,the postal authorities continued to deposit and credit the amount of interest in respect of the second MIS account,but thereafter,the payment of interest was stopped. On enquiry,the complainant was told that he already had an MIS account in his name,in which he had deposited Rs 3 lakh. Claiming that he was never informed of the rules,the complainant moved the consumer forum.

The post office,in its reply,said the depositor may open more than one account subject to the condition that deposits in the MIS accounts taken together shall not exceed Rs 3 lakh in a single account or Rs 6 lakh in a joint account. The irregularity of excess deposit in the MIS accounts came to the notice of the post office in May 2007 and necessary action to refund Rs 1.5 lakh was taken,contended the post office authorities while adding that the depositor was “verbally informed”.

The forum said that the complainant was never informed of the irregularity in the MIS accounts.

“If informed in time,the complainant could have withdrawn the excess amount and utilised it in some other beneficial investment schemes,” ruled the forum.

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