Banks Will Pay For Loss Of Items In Locker? Electronic Lockers For All? RBI’s New Locker Policy Being Created

Supreme Court on Friday said that banks cannot simply wash off their hands as far as loss of items in locker in concerned and hence directed RBI and given a period of three months to lay down steps to be taken with respect to locker facility management by banks.

As both domestic and international economic transactions within the country have increased multiple folds, banks have become an integral and important part of common man’s life, said bench headed by Justices M. M Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran.

And since we are moving towards a cashless economy steadily, increasingly people are wary of keeping their liquid assets at home. Hence the demand for locker services has skyrocketed. Also, due to technological advances, we are moving from dual key operated lockers to electronically operated lockers.

Though customers have partial access to the locker through passwords or ATM pin, etc due to lack of control knowhow there is the possibility that miscreants may manipulate the technologies used in these systems to gain access, said the bench.

Customers At The Mercy Of Banks

Due to this, for the protection of their assets ustomer is completely at the mercy of the bank and hence banks which claim they bear no liability towards their customers for the operation of the lockerwhich cannot wash off their hands.

The prime reason that people resort to banks is the feeling that their assets are being properly taken care of.
The court said that not only the relevant provisions of the Consumer Protection Act are violated but also it harms the reputation of economy as well as the investor confidence.

Comprehensive Directions From RBI Needed In 6 Months

Hence, to prevent banks from imposing unilateral and unfair terms on the consumers, it is necessary that the RBI lays down comprehensive directionswithin six months from the date of this judgment when it comes to locker facility/safe deposit facility management.

The judgment came on an appeal filed by Kolkata native Amitabha Dasgupta against an order of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

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