New Delhi: The ICICI Bank has been ordered by a consumer forum here to pay over Rs 2.14 lakh to one of its account holders for causing him financial loss by selling his shares pledged with it at lower price without his consent.
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum gave the order on the plea by Janakpuri resident, Bhoodev Singh, who said the shares he had pledged with the bank for opening a security current account were sold without his approval.
Singh said the shares were sold by the ICICI Bank for a sum of Rs 3,64,288 while they were worth Rs 5,63,724 and caused him a financial loss of over Rs 1.99 lakh.
"The act of selling of shares by the bank, particularly in the given circumstances, cannot be held to be as per law and according to the principle of natural justice.
"The act of the bank has caused not only financial losses as claimed by the complainant but the complainant suffered harassment, pain and mental agony," the forum said.
In its reply, the ICICI Bank had said that Singh was told that the bank would be at liberty to sell the pledged shares if his account remained overdrawn. As his account was overdrawn since September 2008, his shares were sold.
The bench, presided over by B B Chaudhary, said it was the duty of the bank to serve a notice on Singh demanding payment of overdue amount and if he did not pay the same, then the bank could have sold the shares.
"Pay to the complainant (Singh) a sum of Rs 1,99,436, a sum of Rs 10,000 as compensation for harassment and a sum of Rs 5,000 as litigation charges," it said while holding that he had suffered a loss of over Rs 1.99 lakh as his shares were sold for a lesser value and without his consent.