Nallasopara-based Jayprakash R Kushwaha had applied for a home loan from the Bank of Baroda (BoB) on 8 February 2007. Based on documents submitted by him, BoB issued a pre-sanction letter to Mr Kushwaha. Using the pre-sanction letter, Mr Kushwaha executed the agreement for sale with Rahul Lokhande, the seller, and paid Rs.87,000 as margin money to the Bank. BoB transferred the home loan file of Mr Kushwaha to its Saki Naka branch in Andheri.
As per instructions from the Bank, Mr Kushwaha visited the Saki Naka branch and submitted all documents, including an NOC and a share certificate obtained from New Neil Aangan CHS Ltd. However, even after submitting all required documents, the Bank did not issue a cheque for loan disbursement. On enquiry, Mr Kushwaha was told that his file was missing and the loan would be disbursed as soon as the file was found.
However, no loan was disbursed to Mr Kushwaha despite repeated reminders and visits to the branch. He then sent two legal notices and filed a complaint before the Thane district consumer complaint redressal forum against BoB.
What bank said?
During the hearing before the district forum, the Bank contended that the NOC submitted by Mr Kushwaha was false and fabricated as it did not bear the signatures of the president or the secretary of the housing society which was informed to them by the chairman and secretary of New Neil Aangan CHS. It also claimed that Mr Lokhande, the seller, was not authorised to execute the agreement for sale in respect of the flat. Hence, the title of the flat was not clear and the loan could not be given to Mr Kushwaha, the Bank said.
What District Forum said?
The district forum said that the bank did not work diligently and conducted all the loan related process very late. Thus, the forum ordered bank to provide Rs.1 lac compensation to the customer.
Bank of Baroda challenged the ruling before the Maharashtra state consumer disputes redressal commission. On 24 April 2017, the state commission dismissed the appeal, saying, “(the) Bank had not responded to Mr Kushwaha on the pretext that house loan file of complainant is missing. Under such circumstances, we are of the opinion that there was deficiency in service given by the Bank to Mr Kushwaha and hence he is entitled to get compensation from the Bank alongwith costs of litigation.”
After this, BoB filed an appeal before the national commission. After hearing both sides, the NCDRC observed that irrespective of the question of whether or not the NOC was actually fabricated, it was the duty of the Bank to inform Mr Kushwaha promptly that the same was not acceptable in view of the information purportedly gathered from the chairman and secretary of New Neil Aangan CHS.
The commission that it was bank’s fault that it did not inform customer in time that documents were fake. If bank had informed customer on time, then the customer would have cancelled loan or found out any other way of procuring genuine document.
Had Mr Kushwaha been informed about this fact, he could have either rebutted the same, or resorted to any other method to secure a genuine certificate, if the same delivered to him was found to be false, fabricated or unauthorised.National Commission Order
Thus, BoB has to pay Rs. 1 lac compensation to the customer.
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