Pension is for Survival and can’t be Attached/Withheld by Bank- NCDRC

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March 05, 2019

Case name: Chief Manager, State Bank of India & ors. v. Manika Sarkar

The Petitioner in the case was aggrieved by the order passed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (State Commission), whereby

The Complainant is widow of a defence personnel and post death of her husband, she was receiving pension in her account, jointly held with her son. Later the Petitioner Bank froze the Respondent’s Account, since her son was charged with misappropriation of money.

Hence, Complaint was filed by the Respondent under Consumer Protection Act, 1986 alleging deficiency in service by the Petitioner Bank.

The State Commission in the case upheld District Forum’s order, whereby the Forum allowed Respondent’s prayer for injunction holding that the pension amount is meant for survival of the pension holder, which cannot be attached or withheld by any one.

Also read Important Judgments on Consumer Protection Act, 1986

The National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) upheld State Commission’s order in view of the following observations in the case:

That the Respondent was a customer of the Petitioner as she was having a joint account in the Petitioner’s Bank, where her pension was regularly deposited. The Petitioner was a service provider. The Petitioner Bank froze her account and wrongly denied her access to her pension, which amounted to deficiency in service. She, thus, filed a consumer complaint.

That it is clear from the evidence available on record as well from the Orders of the lower Fora, that no fault was committed by the Respondent. She cannot be made suffer, only due to the reason that she was having a Joint Account with her son, who had allegedly committed an offence. The Petitioner Bank had no reason to withhold Pension.