Mumbai: The state consumer commission, setting aside an order of a district commission, has directed the Standard Chartered Bank to give ₹90,100 to Worli -based RPG Enterprises Limited in a case related to forged cheque. RPG had lost the amount after the cheque was altered in someoneelse's name.
The state commission said that RPG could prove that there was deficiency in service by the bank by not compensating RPG. It directed that the bank additionally pay ₹35,000 towards litigation cost and an interest of 6% per annum on the forged amount since April 1999.
The order dated April 11 was passed by Justice SP Tavade, president and AZ Khwaja and judicial member of State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC).
RPG had filed an appeal after being dissatisfied with the judgement and order passed by district commission (South Mumbai) in June 2005. At the District Commission, RPG had stated that in March 1999, it drew a cheque of ₹3,100 in favour of one AEB Limited. It did not find the entry of the cheque in the statement. When RPG checked with the bank, an amount of ₹90,100 was encashed across the counter in favour of one M/s KP Engineering Company on the same cheque. RPG filed a police complaint. Nothing came out of the police investigation and it was alleged that the forged cheque was encashed without its contents being verified.
When a complaint was filed, the allegations were denied by the bank and it was contended that the FIR was lodged at a belated stage. The bank also stated that no bank employee was involved in the alleged forgery and on the face of it, there was no issue with the cheque. Since RPG could not prove deficiency in service, its complaint was rejected at the district commission.
cheque sent to handwriting expert
During the hearing at the state commission, RPG's advocate stated that the cheque in question was sent to a handwriting expert, who gave an opinion that the cheque was forged and the forgery was visible to the naked eye which the bank officers should have taken note of.
Relying on handwriting expert's opinion, the commission observed, “On going through the above conclusions of the handwriting expert, it is established that the writing of the cheque in words and figures were altered and the said alterations could be visible from the cheque." It stated that the bank has not denied that the cheque in question was altered and manipulated and forged. So, the officer of the bank had an opportunity to observe the cheque in question minutely before making payment of the same”
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