Axis Bank has been directed to pay Rs 5.61 lakh for misplacing cheque of Hadapsar-based building construction contractor Nilesh Pokar by the Pune district consumer court,
On May 2, 2008 Pokar had deposited a cheque for the amount of Rs 4,94,350 for encashment in his account at Axis Bank’s Baner.
On checking his account he found the cheque amount was not credited to his account therefore he gave a written complaint to the bank on May 17. Pokar informed, "Initially, the bank gave me in writing that I had an 'un-authorized' counter-foil of the cheque. Later on the bank changed its stand and again sent me a letter stating that the cheque was misplaced by their officials". He said, "The bank had received the cheque and I had the counter foil with me, which later helped in filing a petition against the bank".
Besides this bank had also informed him that the cheque was sent by Andhra Bank, Ghole road branch and Pune People's Co-operative Bank -Model Colony had also cleared the same.
Pokar’s counsel Rohan Nahar in court said, it shows clear-cut negligence on part of the bank. He added, “As Pokar had not received the cheque amount even after a year of the incident, we pleaded before the court to not just refund the amount but also pay him 12 per cent interest rate from May 4, 2008 till the bank repays the amount along with a compensation of Rs 10,000".
On the contrary, the legal counsel representing Axis bank as per the order appeared before the court only twice to get time to file a written statement from the Bank's side. After that the counsel on behalf of the bank did not appear before the court.
Sulabha Joshi and Pradip Gaikwad of consumer court panel issued orders to that the bank has to refund the cheque amount with past and future interest at nine per cent per annum from May 6 till paying the amount (approximately Rs 5.61 lakh). The order issued also stated that as the cheque was not encashed in favor of Pokar and 'therefore apparently there is deficiency in service'. Pokar informed, "While the bank has to make the payment within two months from receiving the order, I have not yet received the money after one month of issuing the order".