Delhi Consumer Commission fined ICICI bank a whopping fine of Rs 50 lakh for employing “goons” to recover loan and deplored the practice of the banks intimidating consumers to pay the installments. In the significant judgement, the Commission deprecated the “audacity and impunity” with which the banks have been effecting forcible possession of vehicles and ordered ICICI also to pay Rs 5 lakh to a consumer, who was mercilessly beaten by the recovery agents while they snatched a loaned car from him.
“No civilised society governed by rule of law can brook such kind of conduct,” the Commission’s President Justice J D Kapoor said, adding the violent methods adopted by the recovery agents were serious violation of “human rights”. Holding the ICICI Bank guilty of “unfair trade practice,” the Commission termed such miscreants as “yahoos” and said they are boorish and a brutal lout, who care a fig for legal and judicial authorities, including the Supreme Court. While taking to task the leading bank, it vented its anger on ICICI for flouting the apex court’s direction that restrained all the financial institutions from employing musclemen to recover a loan amount or possession of a vehicle.
The Commission, also comprising Member Rumnita Mittal, issued notices to the Collection Manager of ICICI and the CEO of the recovery agency, seeking their explanations over blatant violation of the direction of the highest court of the nation. Its strong worded order came recently while hearing a complaint by Tapan Bose, whose loaned car was taken away by some recovery agents after beating up his friend’s son with iron rods on January eight, leading to serious injuries on his skull and other parts of the body.