The Thane District Consumer Complaint Reddressal Forum has directed a cooperative credit society to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to its account holder, besides returning his matured fixed deposits.
The credit society, which is facing financial issues, had argued that since an administrator had been appointed to run its operations, it is not liable to return the deposits of the account holder.
However, the forum president M Y Mankar, in his order passed recently observed that the society is bound to pay back the fixed deposit along with interest irrespective of whether an administrator has been appointed or not.
The case relates to one Arun Ganpat Karale, a resident of Yashodhan Nagar in Thane, who had kept his money in the fixed deposit scheme of the Sukh Shanti Co-operative Credit Society Ltd in 2008-09. Upon maturity, he was liable to get Rs 1,11,375, including the principal amount. He had also kept Rs 28,404 in the savings account of the society. However, when he went to claim it, the society refused to pay anything to him.
Karale then approached the forum stating that despite his repeated requests, the credit society had refused to pay Rs 1,39,779. The complainant then sought a refund of the amount with 18 per cent interest, totaling to Rs 1,94,184, besides a compensation of Rs 25,000 and cost of complaint of Rs 15,000.
However, the administrator, appointed under Section 78 of the Maharashtra Co operative Societies Act, filed his reply turning down all the claims of the complainant.
The complaint had been filed in October 2011, whereas the administrator had been appointed in March that year.
The credit society administrator argued that since the complaint was filed after he took charge of the troubled society, he was not liable to pay the maturity amount.
“The deposits made by the complainant pertained to the period prior to his appointment as administrator, hence, the claims made by the complainant do not relate to him,” the administrator said.
It was further stated that the administrator does not have an authority to take policy decisions on such issues.
However, the forum in its order said, “It appears from the available records that the complainant was denied his accumulated sum right from September 3, 2010, due to acute financial shortage of the opposite party, occurred due to fraudulent acts of the members of the managing body, which ultimately resulted in to the appointment of administrator to run its operations.”
But the administrator is legally bound to discharge his functions in relations to the complainant’s present claim also, it further said.
“The legitimate claim of the complainant requesting to pay the sum under his fixed deposit account and balance at credit in his savings bank account, is denied on irrelevant, irregular and unlawful grounds and contrary to mutual contract,” the forum noted in its order.
It also asked the society administrator to pay compensation towards the loss of interest, mental agony and cost of litigation, within 40 days, or else pay a 10 per cent interest per annum till the total amount, including the maturity value, is realised.