Consumer Forum orders fine against ICICI

ICICI Bank is the largest private banks in India, and caters to a large number of people in terms of banking accounts, loans, etc. However, there have been many cases in the past where the bank has been penalized for harassing a person (do a search in Google and you will find many such cases); and it is not only ICICI, but many other banks who have been fined for such behavior. Such harassment by banks has started attracting the attention of the RBI and courts (more so, the various consumer forums), who have started fining the banks and using harsh language against the banks. Refer the details of this case (delivered in end-April 2008):

LUCKNOW: In a major judgement, the district consumer forum (DCF) here has directed the ICICI Bank to pay Rs 5 lakh as “exemplary compensation” to Dr AS Pradhan, a city-based doctor, for subjecting him to severe mental torture by forcing him to repay a loan which was never disbursed to him. Pradhan had applied for a Rs three lakh loan in the ICICI Bank in November 2003 for purchasing a second hand car.
He was asked to pay margin money of Rs 10,000 and complete the formalities with a promise that the loan would be sanctioned in a month. But as the sanctioning of loan got delayed, the person from whom Pradhan was supposed to purchase the car sold it off to another party.

And you can guess the rest. The bank did not disburse the money to the Doctor, but still had the gall to demand the money. In the end, the Doctor was forced to pay the money to the bank. It is only the consumer court that came to his help and gave him relief. At some point of time, the court systems in India are going to start ordering criminal charges where force has been used, and that will be an even bigger public relations disaster for the various banks.
They have to face a legal and judicial system that slows down recovery of their debt, but using force is not an answer. Additionally, doing it in a mistaken case is even worse.

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