Court asks Citibank to compensate for harassment


New Delhi : Ticking off Citibank for “unfair trade practice”, the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed it to pay Rs.50,000 compensation to a Citibank credit card holder for harassment and agony.

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Justice J.D. Kapoor said that despite no proof of any transaction on his credit card, the bank regularly harassed the consumer and sent huge bills and also included his name in the defaulter’s list.

Holding that including the consumer’s name in the defaulter’s list “is unfair trade practice”, the court said: “It is defamatory as the bank has no business to take its disputes to other banks and tell them that he is a defaulter and don’t give him loan.”

The court also issued instructions to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other banks not to reject loan to the consumer on these grounds.

The case pertains to a consumer Bijay Kumar Dash, who was lured by the Citibank agents to get a credit card made. Though there was no transaction on his credit card, the bank billed him for Rs.27,000 as membership fee for a club.

Thereafter, the bank kept sending hefty bills along with the accumulated interest and eventually Rs.1,30,000 was billed to him.

Dash reached a settlement amount and paid the money. However, the bank put his name in the defaulter’s list and sent messages to other banks to blacklist him for sanctioning loans.