GUWAHATI, April 1 � In a significant verdict, the Court of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Assam, has directed the State Bank of India (SBI) authorities to pay an amount of Rs 23,85,600 to Prakash Chandra Medhi and Heemalata Medhi of Guwahati for the loss of their ornaments/jewellery that had been kept in a locker of the SBI Panbazar main branch.
The couple moved the consumer court after an intimation from the bank on October 7, 2010, that their locker was �open� with all the ornaments/jewellery missing. Prior to moving the court, they made several representations to the SBI authorities seeking redressal of their grievance, but found the authorities to be un-responsive.
The court heard both parties and after being satisfied that the complainants had a genuine case, which reflected gross negligence on the part of the bank authorities, directed the latter to pay Rs 23,85,600 � the amount being the value of the lost ornaments/jewellery.
In addition, the court also awarded an amount of Rs 1 lakh to the couple for the mental agony and harassment caused to them following the developments. The court further asked the bank authorities to pay interest upon the amount of Rs 23,85,600 at the rate of six per cent per annum from the date of filing of the complaint till it was realised.
��the bank authorities were peacefully sitting over the matter�they unsuccessfully tried to cast the blame upon the complainants. This is unfortunate and not a healthy sign in respect of a leading bank of the country,� the court observed in its verdict.
Advocate UJ Saikia appeared for the complainants, while advocate KK Dey appeared for the SBI.