HC intervention helps Ashok Amritraj get back FDs

CHENNAI: The intervention of the Madras High Court has made it possible for Ashok Amritraj, brother of former tennis star Vijay Amritraj, to get back Rs 6.35 crore placed in seven Fixed Deposits (FDs) in a nationalized bank for a year, besides interest.
Justice N Kirubakaran slammed a city branch of Canara Bank for “falsehood, suppressing material facts and attempting to mislead and prevent the court from rendering justice properly” and slapped it with exemplary cost of Rs 50,000 payable to the Chief Justice Relief Fund within two weeks from the date of receipt of the order.
Stating that the bank, which was expected to place facts before the court, should not be allowed to go scot-free, he said the exemplary costs was a deterrent measure.
“Otherwise, for every mistake committed by the bank officials, the depositors would be denied of their amounts, which will not be in the interest of public.”
“If this could happen to a celebrity like the petitioner, what would be the fate of a layman depositor?” the Judge said.
Amritraj submitted he had deposited Rs 6.35 crore on August 8, 2010, in the banks as FDs for a year through his authorized manager Anis A Abid. The Bank had issued six receipts for Rs 95 lakh each and one for Rs 65 lakh.
The deposit was to mature on August 13, 2011, and he was to receive a total amount of Rs 6.80 crore.
Amritraj said he was made to run from pillar to post when he approached the bank through Abid for the amount due to him on maturity of the FDs.
He sent two letters to the bank and, after receiving no response, issued a notice dated August 31.
Despite a communication from RBI through the office of Banking Ombudsman, no step was taken by the bank to make the payment, he said. Hence the present petition. -PTI

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