While the big and wilful defaulters and scamsters manage to get away, all rules and regulations seem to have been made for small savers and borrowers only.
Penny wise and pound foolish! This saying seems more appropriate when we see the functioning of our banks. If not, then how would you describe the current system whereby while the big and wilful defaulters and scamsters manage to get away, all rules and regulations seem to have been made for small savers and borrowers only. Not only this, several cases of bank customers or small borrowers being harassed by bank agents, staff or by the banks themselves have also come to light.
In a peculiar case, a co-operative bank is now said to have refused to return someone’s pledged gold, citing Re 1 default. According to a PTI report, citing a default of Re 1 in repayment of a loan, the Pallavaram branch of the Kancheepuram Central Cooperative Bank in Tamil Nadu has refused to return to its customer 138 grams of gold jewels – worth around Rs 3.50 lakh – pledged for the loan. This has prompted the customer, C Kumar, to move the Madras High Court for relief.
In a petition, Kumar has submitted that for the past 5 years he has been running from pillar to post to get back the gold jewels from the said co-operative bank. He, therefore, has requested the high court to give a direction to the bank to return the jewels to him.
Kumar informed the court that on April 6, 2010, he had taken a loan of Rs 1.23 lakh from the co-operative bank by pledging 131 grams of gold jewellery. Later he also took 2 fresh loans of Rs 1.65 lakh by pledging a total of 138 grams of gold. Kumar claims to have closed the first loan on March 28, 2011, by settling the amount along with interest and redeemed the 131 grams of jewels, the PTI report said.
Kumar claims that he repaid the 2 other loans also soon thereafter. However, the bank refused to return the gold jewels, citing a balance of Re 1 in each of the loans.
Strangely, when Kumar offered to make the pending payment of Re 1 for each account, the bank refused to accept it and also refused to release the jewels.
Now having recorded the submissions of the petitioner’s (Kumar’s) counsel M Sathyan recently, Justice T Raja is reported to have directed the government advocate to get instructions from the authorities within 2 weeks.
Kumar has also submitted in his petition that he even has doubts about the safety of his gold jewels. Now what happens in this case, remains to be seen!