Canara Bank wrongly attaches senior citizen's property, draws Delhi high court ire
The Delhi High Court on Friday lambasted officials of Canara Bank for attaching properties of another person, a senior citizen at that, instead of the loan defaulter's. In a case of supposed mistaken identity, the bank ended up attaching properties of V K Bhatnagar, a resident of Sainik Farm, New Delhi instead of V K Bhatnagar a resident of Lucknow.
A bench of the Delhi High Court comprising Acting Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anil Kumar Chawla came down heavily upon Canara bank officials for relying completely on information offered by a private detective agency. A branch of the Canara Bank situated at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh had extended financial facilities to four persons including one, VK Bhatnagar from Lucknow. When the borrower defaulted loans, the bank began its recovery process including property attachment.
The bank relied on a private detective agency for information and passed on the same information to the recovery officer. DRT Lucknow issued a notice of attachment to the wrong the VK Bhatnagar. Upon receiving the notice, the petition contended that it was a case of mistaken identity and that he had never been involved in any transactions with the Canara Bank. Turning a deaf ear to his pleas, the bank not only moved to attach properties but made announcements of the attachment on loudspeakers causing humiliation to the petitioner.
When his petition to DRT Lucknow brought no relief, the petition approached the Delhi High Court. While the bank defended its actions in the DRT, it admitted that a 'mistake' had been committed before the Delhi High Court. The court ordered the discharge of the property while asking Canara bank authorities to probe why title documents of the property were not scrutinised before initiating attachment.
"The acts of the bank cannot be touted as a mistake but is a deliberate act which they have stood by even after they were put to notice that they had illegally attached the petitioner's property," the court held. The bank was asked to pay a compensation of Rs 2.6 lakh to the petitioner.