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Consumer court penalizes bank for non-acceptance of travellers’ cheques
New Delhi [India], Dec 14 (ANI): A consumer court has penalized American Express Bank for non- acceptance of travellers’ cheques and directed it to pay compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the complainant.
Complainant Suresh Srivastava, Secretary-General of Indian Federation of UN Association had approached National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) stating that in his tenure as Secretary-General, travellers’ cheques worth US $ 6000 were purchased from Thomas Cook (India) Limited which were issued by American Express bank.
When the complainant, along with other members of the delegation reached Rio-de-Janeiro in the year 2012 and tried to convert the travellers’ cheques into Brazilian currency, the exchange or encashment was refused by all the banks and foreign exchange dealers. As a result, he had to face acute hardship due to want of funds in a foreign country, thousand miles away from his country.
Legal counsel of complainant, Advocate Vinayak Srivastava argued that the complainant along with other members of the delegation visited all the five referred banks and foreign exchange dealers, as well as the local branch of American Express Bank in Rio-de-Janeiro but, neither the travellers’ cheques were encashed nor was he provided travellers’ cheques of a lower denomination.
Later, in its written version, the Thomas Cook (India) Limited has admitted issuance of travellers’ cheque as well as the fact that it had provided the names of five banks/foreign exchange dealers when it was informed about all the difficulties being faced by the complainant in Rio-de-Janeiro.
Whereas American Express Bank in its reply had denied the allegation of the complainant that he had visited the banks/foreign exchange dealers’, names of which were provide to him by Thomas Cook (India) Limited.
It has also been denied that complainant had visited the local branch of American Express Bank for the purpose of encashment of travellers’ cheques.
After the conclusion of arguments of both sides, the court stated that “considering all the facts and circumstances of the case, American Express Bank is directed to pay a sum of Rs 3,00,000 as an all-inclusive compensation to the complainant within three months from the date of issue of the order, failing which the said compensation shall carry interest @ 9 per cent per annum from the date of institution of the complaint”. (ANI)