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ICICI Bank pulled up for 'goondaism'

Source: PTI
October 13, 2005 19:34 IST
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Taking strong exception to the ICICI Bank's use of goondas against a defaulter to recover a two-wheeler financed by it, a consumer court has asked the bank to refund him the entire cost of the vehicle and Rs 20,000 as compensation.

"The fact leaves us aghast at the manner of functioning and goondaism in which the bank is involved for a petty amount of Rs 1,889... such attitude is deplorable and sends chills down the spine", Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (North) president K K Chopra, members N Mittal and S C Jain said.

Dheeraj Jain had got his scooter financed from the ICICI Bank. On February 12, this year he got an overdue payment notice from the bank giving him seven days' time to pay the outstanding amount of Rs 1,889.

But just two days later, Jain was stopped while travelling on his scooter by four persons near Mori Gate Bus Terminus and was told to hand over the vehicle to them as he had failed to make the payment on time.

They even pointed a pistol at him when he tried to resist, forcing him to give in to their demand. The bank later sold the vehicle. The bank argued that they had taken peaceful possession of the vehicle "after due intimation to the complainant as he was irregular in remitting the monthly instalments".

But the court found out that the records proved otherwise. "The bank had the option to recover dues through legal means. They have no legal right to snatch the vehicle in such a manner which amounts to robbery," the court said.

As the vehicle was already sold, the Forum directed the bank to refund Rs 32,205 paid till then by the complainant towards the loan besides ordering a compensation of Rs 20,000 and Rs 1000 as the cost of litigation.

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