The East District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum noted that the bank acted "irresponsibly" by raising the illegal demand and putting the name of the complainant in CIBIL's defaulters list which in turn resulted in denial of housing loan to him apart from tarnishing his reputation.

"The admission of respondent (SBI) leaves no room for doubt that the demand was illegally raised. The complainant's reputation has been tarnished by the illegal act of respondent by putting his name on the list of Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL) which has resulted into denial of housing loan to him. The respondent bank and its officials have acted irresponsibly,” a bench presided by NA Zaidi said.

"No amount of money can bring back the injury caused to reputation. It takes years to establish credibility and image in the society. Taking all the facts and circumstances into consideration we award a compensation of Rs 1,00,000 to the complainant," the bench added.

The forum has also asked the SBI chairman to take action against the officials responsible for the miseries suffered by the complainant, Delhi resident Neeraj Oswal, and the amount paid as compensation be recovered from their salary.

Oswal in his complaint had contended that despite not having applied for a credit card from SBI, its officials sent a legal notice to him, initially demanding Rs 91,743.59 which was later increased to Rs 3,78,363.

He had replied to the bank that he did not have a SBI credit card, despite which he received threatening calls from recovery agents, he alleged. The bank then added his name to the defaulters list of CIBIL which resulted in denial of his housing loan from another bank.

SBI, while admitting its mistake in raising the illegal demand, had sought that the complaint be dismissed as Oswal's name had been cleared from CIBIL's list and a no dues certificate had also been issued to him.


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