Consumer forum tells postal dept to pay Rs 24.91 lakh

Mumbai: The state consumer dispute redressal commission on December 6 directed the central department of posts and its Mumbai unit to repay Rs 24.91 lakh as compensation to a retired army colonel, Narendra Nath Suri
Col Suri’s money kept in a recurring account to the tune of Rs 24.91 lakh was illegally withdrawn by a postal agent in August 2013. The commission also asked the department to pay him another Rs 1 lakh for the ‘mental agony’ caused to him and Rs 10, 000 to cover his litigation costs. 

The commission also warned the post office that if it fails to pay money within one month, the post office will have to pay 9 per cent per annum interest to the complainant. In the month of May 2014 and in the month of November 2014 Col Suri had received information that there are some irregularities in his accounts. The officers informed Col Suri that their accounts are properly maintained and correct balances are shown in their accounts.

Col Suri learnt that fake accounts were opened in his name, his wife and son’s name in the PO and 50 per cent funds from his recurring account were diverted to the fake accounts and withdrawn in cash between August 22 and 26, 2013.

The commission held that PO agent Umesh Doshi had Col Suri’s passbook and chequebook and that he had taken undue advantage to divert the funds.

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