Availing Banking service comes under Consumer Protection Act: Supreme Court

Person availing banking service being ‘consumer’ under Consumer Protection Act was upheld by the Supreme Court through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE D. Y. Chandrachud in the case of Arun Bhatiya v. HDFC and Ors.(Civil Appeal Nos 5204-5205 of 2022 )

FACTS OF THE CASE: Brief facts of the case are as follows; In the present case, The case resulted from two decisions made by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in 2019 that rejected the appellant’s requests for reviews of decisions made by the SCDRC in Lucknow. In order to drop the case, the NCDRC had relied on a note provided by the appellant’s attorney. In 2016 at a branch of the respondent bank, HDFC, in Agra, the appellant and his father opened a joint Fixed Deposit (FD) account for a total of 75 lakh rupees. Given a 7.5% interest rate, the FD’s value at maturity was 77 lakh rupees. The appellant and his father instructed the bank in writing to extend their joint FD for an additional ten days while maintaining their joint style of operation.

JUDGEMENT: After reviewing the submissions of both sides, the Hon’ble Court  ruled that because the appellant had not asserted any claim or claimed any dispute against his father, the SCDRC had no basis for sending him to a civil court to pursue his claim. The Court argued that the bank erred in assuming the same when the problem was a lack of service. The NCDRC should have heard the review, the top court ruled, as the appellant had acknowledged that he had not asked his counsel to withdraw the appeal. As a result, the appeals were granted, and the NCDRC was instructed to resolve the appeal on its merits within four months.

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Judgement reviewed by – Abhinav Paul Mathew

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