New Delhi (Anish Yande): The Supreme Court has directed the Reserve Bank of India to formulate new rules for lockers in Indian banks. The apex court has deemed that the current management system of locker systems in banks is inadequate to expected security standards. Supreme Court has issued directions to devise a uniform and unified system for locker systems for banks across the country to follow.
Supreme Court directs RBI to frame new rules:
On Friday, February 19, the apex court had stated that the current management of bank lockers is affected by a lack of uniformity in rules. The court directed RBI to bring in new guidelines within six months.
The court stated that banks are mistaken to not secure lockers citing they have no knowledge of the contents of a locker. 'In as much as we are the highest court of the country, we cannot allow the litigation between the bank and locker holders to continue in this vein' the Supreme Court observed.
Supreme Court has acknowledged that the Reserve Bank of India had issued directions in 2007, which imposed duty of care for the protection of bank lockers and mandating transparency through the locker holder.
Locker system in banks:
The apex court has noted that the locker system in India is transforming to electronically operated lockers from the previous system of dual keys. However, the court has noted that the customer may not be able to control the operation of electronically operated lockers if they do not have the technical knowledge to operate them.
Supreme Court made the observation while hearing a case of the Kolkata branch of the United Bank of India. The case was filed by Amitabha Dasgupta, a customer at the United Bank of India. He claimed that his locker was broken into after the bank claimed that the customer had not paid his dues. Dasgupta claimed that the bank only two ornaments were returned to him, out of seven deposited ornaments.
He filed a complaint in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission against the bank. Dasgupta requested a return of all the ornaments in the locker or a compensation of Rs 3 lakh for the cost of jewellery.
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