|Consumer court flays delay in transferring account|
CHENNAI : The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ordered the postal department to pay compensation of Rs.1000 for mental agony and Rs.1000 as costs to a depositor for the delay in transferring an account from one post office to another.
Setting aside a district forum's order, the Commission Bench comprising the President, Justice K. Sampath and Member Pon.Gunasekaran, questioned why a transfer application given in one post office should take more than a month to get to another post office.
V. Chinnaswamy of Arumbakkam complained to the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chennai (South) that he deposited Rs.3.12 lakh in the Monthly Income Scheme in Arumbakkam Post Office.
In May 2005, one month prior to the maturity date, he submitted an application seeking transfer of his account to Nanganallur post office. But the application was not sent even after the maturity of the deposit.
He represented the matter to the authorities, and the application reached Nanganallur post office a week after the maturity date. Because of this, the interest entitlement date was shifted to another date. He said he suffered enormous mental and physical strain, and because of the delay, he lost an interest of Rs.502.
The Postmaster General, Anna Salai, Postmasters of Park Town HPO and Arumbakkam post office were cited as defendants. The Postmaster-General submitted that the complainant's contention there was a huge delay in transferring the account was not correct. Interest had been paid as per rules.
The district forum held there was no deficiency in service, against which the complainant went on appeal. The Commission said the transfer may have involved the intervention of many post offices.
Nevertheless, the complainant's money never left the department. The complainant had applied for transfer long before maturity . Had the account been transferred before maturity, the depositor would have renewed the account, if rules permitted, or reinvested the amount from the maturity date.
He would not have lost the interest of Rs.502. It was only because the postal department transferred the account after the maturity date, did a problem arise for the complainant. This amounted to service deficiency. The Commission ruled that the postal department should also pay the complainant the interest of Rs.502.
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