June 22nd, 2015
At some point, we all have fallen prey to frauds by some company or the other. Yet most of us are too scared to file a case in the consumer forum, apprehending all the harassments and extra expenditures we might have to go through. Meet Rajesh Sakre, a commoner who didn’t have money to get a lawyer but had the courage and faith to stand up for his rights and bring the wrongdoer to justice.
Rajesh Sakre is a tea vendor, who faced injustice from the State Bank of India (SBI) in December 2011. This case was regarding a sum of Rs. 9,200/- that was debited from his account without his knowledge. Sakre raised a question against this to the bank, because he never withdrew this amount from his bank account.
According to Sakre, he had Rs. 20,000/- in his bank account on 23rd December 2011. He had withdrawn a sum of Rs. 10,800/- on the same day. When he returned to the bank two days later to withdraw more cash, he was shocked to see that his account showed zero balance. This meant that the remaining balance was missing from his account, due to negligence or some error committed by the bank. On his complaint, he was only blamed for negligence, and the officers at Hamidia Road Branch of the SBI took no responsibility for this matter.
After this, Sakre a resident of Shabri Nagar in Bhopal had sent a written complaint to the SBI, Mumbai Headquarter. It was when he didn’t receive any answer from the SBI that he moved to the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF) with his complaint.
The consumer forum listened to his plea, but the bank kept on saying that Sakre had only withdrawn the cash from the bank. Though, the bank failed to produce any evidence for the same. In addition, it also failed to present CCTV footage after the consumer forum asked for it. It was a tough fight for Rajesh Sakre, who has studied only till 5th standard in school. He had to be present for the court’s hearing over a dozen of times, but he didn’t accept defeat and stood for what was the truth. He said, it was his right, how could he let it go?
Although, he didn’t have enough money to get a lawyer to fight his case, he kept on speaking for himself to the magistrate in the court. He maintained his stand, and it was his win when the DCDRF on June 16, directed the largest bank of India, the SBI- to return the sum of Rs. 9,200/- with a 6% rate of interest within 2 months. In addition, SBI shall pay him Rs. 10,000/- for mental distress that he faced during that time, with additional Rs. 2,000/- for fighting the legal matters.
The Logical Indian community applauds the positive spirit shown by Rajesh Sakre, who stood for what was right and didn’t lose his faith in himself.