The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has been harshly critical of the HDFC Bank over the non-activation of a customer’s debit card when he was abroad.

The apex consumer protection body went as far as to say that the bank had “no love and respect for India’ because it had allowed the country’s honour to be put at stake by its ‘callous behaviour’.

Chandigarh residents Mohinderjit Singh Sethi and his wife Rajmohini Sethi submitted that they had opened a joint account with the bank, and deposited Rs. 1.5 lakh in the account. They were issued a debit card with the assurance that it would be operational in foreign countries.

However, later, when the couple went to Bangkok and subsequently to Singapore, they found that the card was not operational. When they contacted the bank manger, they were told that because of a minor discrepancy in the birth-date of Rajmohini Sethi, the card could not be made functional.

The NCDRC noted that it was the bounden duty of the Bank and the Manager to ensure that the card was made functional, knowing that the couple was ‘trapped’ in foreign countries. No action was taken for ten days, it said, and commented that “This shows negligence, inaction and passivity on the part of the bank.”

The bank and the branch manager, however denied the allegations and claimed that the papers submitted by the couple were not complete.

Slapping HDFC with a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to be paid to the couple, NCDRC directed the bank to deduct at least Rs 50,000 from the manager’s salary towards this amount


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