Lokeshwar Prasad, President:
1. The present appeal, filed by the appellant, under Section 15 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (hereinafter referred to as âthe Act) is directed against order dated 2nd June, 1995, passed by District Forum-I, in Complaint Case No. 1789/93, entitled Shri C.B. Aggarwal v. The Manager, Central Bank of India, Janakpuri, New Delhi.
2. The facts, relevant for the disposal of the present appeal, lie in a narrow compass. The appellant had filed a complaint under Section 12 of the Act before the District Forum and, in that complaint, the main grievance of the appellant was regarding non-payment of proper interest by the respondent. It was stated by the appellant that in response to an advertisement given by the respondent in the press in April, 1992, regarding Stock Investment Scheme, the appellant visited the Janakpuri, New Delhi Branch of the respondent Bank and on 2.5.1992, opened a Savings Bank Account, for the purpose of obtaining Stock Investments under the Stock Invests (SI) Scheme, which was made operational by the respondent w.e.f. 1.5.1992, by initially depositing a sum of Rs. 35,000/-. Subsequently, in the above said account further deposits were made by the appellant. The grievance of the appellant in the complaint was that on the sum which was lying deposited in the above said account, the appellant should have been given interest @ 12% instead of 6% allowed by the respondent. The appellant, in the complaint, also claimed a sum of Rs. one lac as compensation and the cost of litigation.
3. The claim of the appellant in the District Forum was resisted by the respondent and the stand taken by the respondent in the District Forum was that since the deposits in question were made by the appellant in his Savings Bank Account, the respondent Bank paid interest @ 6% i.e. at the saving bank rate. It was stated on behalf of the respondent Bank that the whole scheme and the fact that the prevalent rate of interest was 6% p.a. was explained to the appellant by the Officers of the respondent Bank at the time of opening the above mentioned account by the appellant on 7.5.1992.
4. The District Forum, vide impugned order, has held that there was no deficiency in service on the part of the respondent Bank and on the basis of the above finding has dismissed the complaint filed by the appellant with costs.
5. Feeling aggrieved, the appellant has preferred the present appeal, before this Commission under Section 15 of the Act. Notice of the appeal was issued to the respondent, who has entered appearance through its Advocate.
6. We have heard the appellant and the learned Counsel for the respondent at length and have also carefully gone through the material on record. During the course of arguments, the main thrust of the appellant was that as the amount deposited by him with the respondent Bank was to remain with the respondent Bank under the Scheme for a fixed term, the respondent bank should have allowed interest on the amount, so deposited by him, being allowed by it on time deposits. On the other hand, it was stated by the learned Counsel for the respondent that under the scheme, floated by the respondent it was entirely at the option of the appellant whether to open a Savings Bank Account or to open a Current Account or to open a Time Deposit Account (Fixed Deposit Account) at the time of opening the account with the respondent Bank for the purpose of issue of Stock Investment for investing in shares/debentures of various companies and as the appellant chose to open a Savings Bank Account with the appellant, he was entitled only to interest as applicable to the Savings Bank Account deposits, which at the relevant time was 6% p.a. It was further stated by him that the appellant had opened a Time Deposit Account by mentioning the said fact in the Account Opening Form and also by mentioning the time (period) for which he intended to keep his money in the Time Deposit, in that event, the appellant would have been legally entitled to reecive higher rate of interest, depending on the duration of the time deposit as per the policy of the respondent Bank, which is based on the directions issued by the Reserve Bank of India from time to time. It was further stated by him that the details of the Scheme and the above facts were explained to the appellant by the Officers of the respondent Bank at the time when the appellant opened the Savings Bank Account with the respondent Bank, in the above said Scheme on 7.5.1992. It is not in dispute that the account opened by the appellant under the above said scheme of the respondent on 7.5.1992 was a Savings Bank Account. It is also not in dispute that the prevalent rate of interest on deposits in Savings Bank Account was 6% p.a. The appellant is not an illiterate or a semi-literate person. He is a retired Class-I Officer and it cannot reasonably be believed that without fully understanding the Scheme and the various pros and cons he opened the account with the respondent Bank on 7.5.1992. In the given facts, the learned District Forum was fully justified in holding that there was no deficiency in service on the part of the respondent. The impugned order, in our opinion suffers from no infirmity so as to call for any interference by this Commission in exercise of its appellate powers. The present appeal, filed by the appellant, is, therefore, without any substance. Accordingly, the same is dismissed with no order as to costs.