LAHORE: A consumer court on Monday issued a notice to Standard Chartered Bank for February 22 in a suit seeking payment of Rs1.5 million in damages for allegedly rendering substandard services.
According to the petition filed in the Consumer Court by Rainbow Travels (Pvt) Ltd, the travel agency – that buys tickets from airlines on credit and sells to clients on commission – had an account in the bank branch located at LDA Plaza.
The complainant said that the agency had issued two different cheques, one to Shaheen Airlines and other to Continental Travels. However on December 20, 2010 when the airlines tried to cash their cheques, they were returned with comments, “Blocked/Activation Required”. The complainant said that the two had been declared dishonoured on unfair, false and paradoxical grounds. Several transactions had been made before and were made after the incident. The complainant said that when contacted, the bank staff stated that the account had been blocked because the company had not notified the bank about the change of address and director.
The complainant told the court that the bank had been notified about the change of address as well as director on February 11, 2009.
He also said that it was the responsibility of the bank staff to inform the complainant about the dishonouring of the cheques. “However, I came to know about this incident through Continental Travels, who refused to do any further business with us,” submitted the complainant. He stated that Shaheen Airlines had also shown reluctance to work with Rainbow Travels in future.
The complainant submitted that he had visited the bank several times to draw the respondent’s attention towards what had happened and later served the bank with a legal notice but the bank had not responded.
The complainant requested the court that the respondent be made to pay Rs1.5 million in actual damages along with Rs1 million special damages for loss of business, Rs1 million exemplary damages for mental agony, Rs1 million for loss of goodwill and another Rs1 million for inconvenience caused to the complainant.
The judge issued a notice to the bank for February 22.
When contacted, Imran Malik, the Standard Chartered Bank LDA Plaza branch manager, said that if the bank had dishonoured the cheques, there must be a solid reason for it. “The bank did receive a legal notice regarding the matter. It was referred to the department concerned,” he told The Express Tribune. He declined to comment any further.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2011.
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