Hyderabad: Indian Bank fined 50K for breaking open locker

Hyderabad: The Indian Bank was fined Rs 50,000 by the district consumer dispute redressal commission for not following due protocol before breaking open a locker belonging to a couple who failed to pay their monthly rent.

The bank was directed to pay the complainant a sum of Rs 50,000 along with litigation and locker breakage charges.

A couple by the names of Indumathi and Rammohan filed charges against the Indian Bank branch in Karan Trading Centre, Secunderabad, demanding compensation of five lakhs for “mental agony” after they found that their lockers had been broken open and cleared out by the bank.

They told the court that the rental dues were paid till 2018, following which the couple went to the USA and could not make payments because of the pandemic.

The bank stated that their attempts to communicate with the couple were not fruitful, with the provided address being incorrect and the phone number unreachable. The complainants said that they received no intimation from the bank about the closure of the locker.

The court stated that the bank has to notify locker-hirers through a physical letter, email and
SMS alert to the registered email id and mobile phone number. If the letter is returned undelivered or the locker-hirer is not traceable, the bank should issue a public notice in two newspaper dailies and provide sufficient time for a response.

In view of the complainants being senior citizens, the court ordered the bank to duly compensate the couple.