When judge offered Rs.500 to settle a money dispute


New Delhi : It was a dispute over a paltry amount of Rs.500 between a bank and a customer. And a judge at a special court here Sunday offered the money from his own pocket to setle the case, but in vain.

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Jaan Mohammed had taken a personal loan of Rs.36,000 from the ICICI Bank but defaulted after paying some instalments initially.

The case was one among around 400 cases taken up at the special Lok Adalat organised by the Delhi Legal Services Authority to settle money related disputes between banks and its customers.

The ICICI Bank expressed its willingness to accept Rs.7,000 as final payment from Mohammed. But he resisted, saying he would not pay more than Rs.6,500.

The presiding officer, in a bid to settle the dispute and reduce at least by one case the huge backlog of litigations in his court, offered Rs.500 to Jaan Mohammed.

But he refused to take the help and said he was ready to settle the case in a trial court.

“In money matters, one cannot force any party to accept a given amount proposed by the opposite party,” said a judicial officer who was handling one such Lok Adalat at Patiala House Courts complex.

“The decision should be reached wilfully. These cases took lot of time as customers in some cases do not agree even to pay back the principal amount, which is unfair for banks to accept. As a result, pendency of such cases grow up every day,” the official said.

At least 297 cases of private banks were listed for the day. From these 240 were settled. And 89 from 96 cases of public sector banks were settled in the special court.