New Delhi: HDFC Bank has sent nearly 250 summons through e-mail and WhatsApp to customers who evade compliance and hopes to settle cases faster by adopting the newer methods of communication.
"HDFC Bank is pursuing with various courts in the country to take up digital means of communication which include issuing notices, summons, through e-mails and WhatsApp which will help in faster disposal of the cases," a bank official said.
The official said over 60 lakh cheque bounce cases are pending in the country and HDFC Bank has taken a lead by requesting the courts to use digital means to issue summons. "We have been sending summons through e-mail, on WhatsApp. In many cases, we have seen that customers deny having received any summon at all if sent through post.
"It also happens that people change residence more often but their e-mail IDs and mobile phone number do not change in general, so we thought this is an effective means of communication," the official said.
The bank has been adopting this method after a Supreme Court appointed amicus curiae recommended closure of proceedings in all cheque bounce cases through digital means. The offence falls under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act which defines and amend the law relating to promissory notes, bills of exchange and cheques.
HDFC Bank has sent nearly 250 summons through digital means so far and hopes to settle the cases falling under the Act in a speedy manner, said the official. The summons sent digitally so far by the bank are mainly concentrated in Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh.
A few cases are related to accounts in Delhi, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir. Majority of these summons have been sent on e-mail, a significant on WhatsApp while others have been sent on both platforms.
Sending digital summon assumes significance as the pending cheque bounce cases in various lower courts is clogging the criminal justice system, the bank official said. There are over 1.93 crore criminal cases pending across the country, as per the latest data of National Judicial Data Grid.