Plea for account details after 28 yrs hopelessly time-barred: National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) dismissed the revision petition of Jharkhand resident Shiv Bachan Jha against the state commission’s order refusing to direct Central Bank of India to give him his father’s account details.

The apex consumer commission has rejected a man’s plea seeking details of his father’s bank account 28 years after his death, saying the bank could not be held deficient in service as the request was “hopelessly time-barred”.  The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) dismissed the revision petition of Jharkhand resident Shiv Bachan Jha against the state commission’s order refusing to direct Central Bank of India to give him his father’s account details.

“After a lapse of almost 28 years, the petitioner cannot hold the respondent (bank) guilty of deficiency of service if the record is not available,” NCDRC Presiding Member Rekha Gupta said.  According to the complaint filed by Jha, his father, who passed away in 1984, used to maintain a savings account with the bank.  Jha found the passbook in August 2011 which showed that the account had a balance of Rs 35,000. It prompted him to approach the bank to know the status of the account.  The bank refused to provide details.

The bank had told the district forum that the petitioner was not a consumer. It had also said the case was filed 28 years after the death of the account holder and the bank was not required to preserve records for such a long time. The district forum, however, had directed the bank to give updated information to Jha and to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation and Rs 10,000 as costs.  The state commission, however, had set aside the district forum order and denied relief to Jha after which he moved the apex consumer commission.

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