Andhra Bank Asked to Pay Rs50,000 Compensation with 6% Interest for Failed ECS
Moneylife Digital Team 26 May 2023
The Krishna district consumer disputes redressal commission directed Andhra Bank (now Union Bank of India) to pay a compensation of Rs50,000 with 6% interest for failed electronic clearing service (ECS) and then levying cheque bounce and inward ECS charges from a customer. 
 
In an order on Tuesday, the bench of Chiranjeevi Nelapudi (president), K Sasi Kala and A Venkata Ramana (both members) says, " Andhra Bank failed to give proper service to the complainant even though having sufficient funds in his saving bank (SB) account on the particular day, moreover, they were charged without his default. Therefore, the complainant is entitled to compensation towards mental agony and failure to provide proper service."
 
"It is clearly reviled that Andhra Bank illegally charged cheque bounce and ECS inward charges even though the Complainant having sufficient funds it amounts to unfair trade practice as well as deficiency of service on the part of Andhra Bank," the district commission says.
 
Agiripalli-based Naga Raju Duppula has an SB account in Andhra Bank. For a money transfer of Rs18,767 on the 4th of every month to DCB Bank, he had given ECS instruction to Andhra Bank. However, on 4 June 2017, the ECS was declined by Andhra Bank, citing insufficient funds. However, Mr Naga Raju had a balance of Rs21,316 in his account on that day. 
 
On 6 June 2017, Andhra Bank imposed ECS inward return charges of Rs100 and Rs15 on his account. Mr Naga Raju filed several complaints with Andhra Bank but did not receive any response. He then filed a complaint before the consumer commission. 
 
In its contention before the district commission, Andhra Bank says all allegations in Mr Naga Raju's complaint are false, frivolous, vexatious and incorrect and invented only for filing a false case. 
 
Perusing all documents on record, the Bench observed that the ECS was declined by Andhra Bank, saying insufficient funds for ECS even though Mr Naga Raju's account have sufficient funds on 4 June 2017 as per his account statement passbook. 
 
The counsel for Andhra Bank submitted that the ECS was declined due to a technical error and there was neither negligence nor deficiency of service on its part. 
 
However, the Bench stated, "...Andhra Bank has not filed any proof to show that it was suffering technical problem on the alleged date or any other day."
 
On the other hand, Mr Naga Raju had submitted all relevant documents to support his claim.
 
Holding Andhra Bank responsible for deficiency in service and not providing proper service to its customer, the district commission asked it to pay Rs50,000 compensation with 6% interest from the date of complaint towards mental agony caused to Mr Naga Raju. It also directed Andhra Bank to pay Rs5,000 litigation cost within 45 days.
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