Indian bank fined 50,000,000 for breaking and entering locker

Hyderabad: Indian Bank has been fined Rs 50,000 by the District Consumer Dispute Redress Commission for failing to follow proper protocol before opening a locker belonging to a couple who failed to pay their bill monthly rent.

The bank was ordered to pay the plaintiff Rs 50,000 along with litigation and record breaking costs.

A couple by the name of Indumathi and Rammohan have filed suit against the Indian Bank branch at Karan Trading Center, Secunderabad, demanding compensation of five lakhs for ‘mental agony’ after discovering that their lockers had been opened and emptied by the bank.

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They told the court that rental fees were paid until 2018, after which the couple traveled to the United States and were unable to make payments due to the pandemic.

The bank said their attempts to contact the couple were unsuccessful as the address provided was incorrect and the phone number unreachable. The plaintiffs said they received no notification from the bank about the locker being closed.

The court said the bank must notify locker tenants through a physical letter, email and SMS alert to the registered email id and mobile number. If the letter is returned undelivered or if the tenant of the locker cannot be found, the bank must publish a public notice in two daily newspapers and allow sufficient time for a response.

As the plaintiffs were elderly, the court ordered the bank to duly compensate the couple.

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