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Benefit fund ordered to repay deposit with costs

K.T. Sangameswaran

Failure to repay amounts to deficiency in service, says consumer forum


  • Benefit Fund depositor is a consumer
  • It is the benefit fund's botheration to ensure recovery of loan amounts
  • Company did not refund three deposits totalling Rs. 80,000 even on maturity

    CHENNAI: The failure of a benefit fund to repay a deposit with interest on maturity amounts to deficiency in service, a District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has said.

    Allowing a complaint from a depositor against the Park Town Benefit Fund Ltd (PTBF), the forum directed the PTBF to refund the maturity amount of Rs. 80,000 with 18 per cent interest from the date of maturity and pay him Rs. 3000 as costs.

    In his complaint to the Tiruvallur District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Venugopal of Sengadu village said he had deposited Rs. 40,000 in different deposits between February and July 1999. The company did not refund three deposits with the interest on them totalling Rs. 80,000 even on maturity. He approached the opposite party many times and also issued legal notice, but did not get back the deposit. As the amount was not refunded, he could not marry off his daughter and was unable to meet the educational expenses of his other two children. The benefit fund's managing director, manager at Kodambakkam and the branch manager, Ambattur, were cited as the opposite parties.

    The first and second opposite parties submitted that the unfair acts made by some finance companies and `nidhis' had triggered panic among depositors. They came together and demanded the benefit fund to settle their claims in single payment. A Special Officer (SO) was appointed and he was settling the depositors' claims on seniority basis depending on the maturity dates. The complainant may be directed to approach the SO.

    In its order, the Forum Bench, comprising president P. Perumalappan and member K. Tamilselvi, referred to the opposite parties' contention that the complainant was not a "consumer" and said there were several pronouncements by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions that complainants in such cases were consumers and failure to repay the deposited amount with interest as promised would amount to deficiency in service.

    It was the opposite parties botheration to ensure recovery of loan amounts from borrowers.

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