Leenata Dhamankar has successfully fought against the negligence of the mighty State Bank of India (SBI) in the safekeeping of her property title deeds. Ms Dhamankar had taken a housing loan in 2000 for purchasing two flats in a housing society in Chembur (Mumbai). The title documents were deposited with SBI as collateral security and had to be returned upon repayment of the loan. Considering the value of the flat, Ms Dhamankar was also sanctioned an education loan in 2003 against the same title documents.
After making all payments and clearing the entire loan amount, Ms Dhamankar sought release of the entrusted title documents. After considerable correspondence and several follow-up visits, the Bank gave her certified copies of the title deeds obtained from the sub-registrar’s office which were incomplete. In the absence of the title documents, Ms Dhamankar was unable to sell her flat and relocate to her native place. Aggrieved, she filed a complaint before the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (MSCDRC) seeking compensation for the harassment. She sought return of the original title deed or compensation of Rs93 lakh for the loss due to her inability to sell the flat.
The MSCDRC order held the Bank liable to pay compensation of Rs3 lakh, along with 12% interest from the date of filing the complaint till payment. Ms Dhamankar was also awarded Rs1 lakh for mental agony and harassment and Rs50,000 towards litigation cost. The Bank was directed to comply with the order within 45 days.