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Govt bank refuses to honour cheque till Aadhaar no linked

Govt bank refuses to honour cheque till Aadhaar no linked

06 Dec 2017 No comment 13 hits

Panaji: Despite a Supreme Court directive asking banks not to coerce customers into linking their Aadhaar card with their bank accounts, Bank of India, Saligao branch, has been refusing to undertake financial transactions until customers sign a declaration, said customers of the branch. The Saligao branch allegedly refused to encash a cheque for a senior citizen because the account was not linked to the Aadhaar card.

"The manager refused to honour the bearer cheque. This is pure harassment of customers," Mario Mascarenhas, 65, said. "The manager asked me to close all my accounts with the bank."

The incident occurred on Friday when Mascarenhas' son approached the Saligao branch to withdraw money through a cheque. The teller refused to process the cheque and asked the boy to speak to the branch manager. The branch manager also refused to process the transaction until the bank account was linked to the Aadhaar number.

The senior citizen said that he was forced to personally go to the bank to withdraw the money. "The branch manager asked me to sign a declaration that I don't have an Aadhaar card but I refused," he added.

The Supreme Court had asked banks not to put undue pressure on customers to link their Aadhaar number with bank accounts.

When REPORTERS contacted various officials of Bank of India, bank officials said that they were unaware of the specific case but they promised to help resolve such incidents. They did confirm that customers were being asked to sign a declaration in order to prevent legal difficulties later.

"In case, anybody who doesn't have an Aadhaar card or who doesn't want to link the account to Aadhaar, we are asking them to sign a declaration to try and pre-empt a backlash on January 1 when the account will get deactivated," Bank of India zonal manager Prashant Naik said.

Bankers have stated that on an average anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 bank accounts in branches are not linked with Aadhaar and these could be deactivated on January 1. Activating all those accounts could take as much as 10 days for banks and banks want to avoid the rush.


Saligao VP, residents question BoI over Aadhar issue

Saligao: The Saligao sarpanch, panchayat members and villagers on Sunday protested against the staff of Bank of India's Saligao branch after the bank officials allegedly "coerced and frightened consumers" over the last few weeks to link their Aadhar card to their bank account.

In a press release issued by the Concerned Citizens of Saligao, villagers stated that the protest was triggered by the latest incident when branch manager Ashwini Naidu allegedly refused to honour a cheque presented by a customer, Suhail Kiran, and had demanded that he first link his aadhaar card to his bank account. Villagers alleged that Naidu was urging them to either link their aadhar cards to their bank accounts or else sign a declaration stating 'I do not wish to submit my aadhar number for linking it in your bank'. Kiran refused to do so, saying that there was no Supreme Court ruling on it as yet.

With Saligao residents raising a protest, Naidu met Saligao sarpanch Lafira Gomes at the Saligao panchayat on Sunday. Also present at the meeting were panchayat members Lucas Remedios, Dayanand Kudnekar, ex-sarpanch Eknath Oraskar and affected villagers.

'At the meeting, the sarpanch impressed upon the bank manager that she had no right to deny consumers of BOI's Saligao branch their money from their own accounts. They told her that the Aadhaar card was not mandatory till midnight of December 31, 2017, and that bank staff should neither be frightening nor forcing consumers to link their accounts to the card,' the press release stated.


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Source: Govt bank refuses to honour cheque till Aadhaar no linked

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