Bank locker not allowed to be opened

Management Consultant & Social Activist

My father has a locker in State Bank of India.He died in 2000 intestate.The locker was named for operation by my two brothers either or jointly who stayed with him in Jodhpur. After his death , i filed a division suit in fast track court Jodhpur for settlement of title and distribution of all properties of my deceased father and deceased mother.

I was plaintiff and made all my siblings (5) respondents and also two banks Rajasthan Cooperative Bank (holding some FDs) and SBI holding locker containing jewellery of my mother and wife of one of my brothers.


The preliminary decree was passed by court in 2009 and after i filed for final decree it was passed in 2012 september.The lawyers of SBI was always attending court.

The final decree was passed based on family settlement reached between all six heirs i.e. myself and other five represented by me elder brother.This settlement was made part of decree by court and disposal was under Lok Adalat  Act.


Although no authorities caused nay problem including property6 registrar and rajasthan Bank but SBI officers are creating problem and not allowing us to operate locker even after 4 months of final decree on plea that their adviser has asked for letter of administration.WE# kept meeting bank manager and he called us for opening locker with two designated persons in decree and also many one brother who was made operating person by my father.


But  he changed stand and refused to allow operation.


Even though bank was a party to suit and attended both preliminary and final decree and have copy with them they are  refusing to allow us to open in compliance with arrangement given in decree.The order is absolutely clear as to who are owners of property in locker, property details and who will open locker and how distribution will be done.


What action we can take.It is pure harassment even after lapse of 12 years of death of my father.First court delays and now bureaucratic tactics of SBI officials.


W#hat is law and legal position why the court decree is not complied by bank. Why they again want letter of administration when every thing is clearly mentioned in decree and also they were party to case. Can we claim compensation for dna and delay too? The matter is serious as the bank officials are acting in typical arrogant and babu style and have negative attitude. I met DGM office in Jaipur but they referred back to local AGM office and no result.


It is always better to transact in writing and obtain proper acknowledgment under seal and signature.

You may narrate all the incidents ( date wise with name, designation ,department ,address of all bank employees met by you alongwith your companions who met them) to Nodal Officer of the bank and Chairman, CGM, of the bank, and  demand them to beg apology in writing and allow you to open the locker at once.

You may also raise RTI asking them to confirm the recipet of decision of the court, and action taken by the bank to inform you to come and open the locker and to supply you the certified copies of all communications sent to you along with POD, and reason why the locker is not allowd to be opened.



Management Consultant & Social Activist

On 29 th december after wasting our visits two times, i confronted the bank manager anbd handed him a written request to let me operate locker alongwith my brother authorised in decree.

Then he gave me a letter first tiome that some payment of locker rent was due.This was just a point to add since we had already diocussed that when we come to open locker cash deposit will be m,ade as per calculations of bank and we shall vacate locker. IT was added merely to cerate babudom type list of objections.

Then he wrote that letter of administration has not be provided.


The issue is lettr of administrration is under succession act and is obtained  by heir when locker owner dies. But in our case alreadya court has issued decree in division suit and how and who will operate locker is clearly mentioned.Still bank insists on letter of administration and wasting our time. Bank was party to suit and their lawyer was present ion argumenbts before issue of final decree.

The decree was issued  finally  in september 2011.


I am seeking to clear the legal position in such a issue and if we can demand compensation for every day delay from date of decree of court. Even when a division suit decree is already exisitng bya district court can bank still ask for letter of administration.If yes why it was not given to us in writing earlier and why we were made to take rounds. What is probem with bank to allow us to opperate locker.? On date of decree no injunction or legal bar remianed against the locker.


You have posted that:

-Proceedings in the court and subsequent decision of the court is clear and in the decision court has not left any point to be cleared. Bank and its BM has received the copy of the decison and after the decison bank has neither communicated any demand to you in writing nor has raised any demand on your first visit to the bank.

-BM has asked for some rent on the date when you handed over a written communication and you are willing to pay the rent., and vacate the locker.

-BM had verbally quoted some advice by some advisor of the BM. This advisor is not above Court of law.

It seems to have become a practice and tradition with the banks that when ever some approach in contradiction to RBI norms is adopted BM etc state verbally and even in writing their HO/advisor have advised them to do so. Recently a BM of nationalised stated in writing lien on FD is created and FD is retained by bank for issue of locker as per the instructions of HO, and now the same BM is apologising and releasing the FD by instructions on his ownor by orders of his bosses or HO.

First you may cover all of your representations in person, on phone, in writing to each and every bank employee and build record in your favor. You may also clarify that bank has failed to clear its stand to you and is now unneccessarily creating more hurdles to cover its deficiencies, even after a clear verdict and instructons by a court of law.

If you can establisg deficiency on part of the bank/BM you can claim compensation. A competent and experienced consumer court lawyer can help you.

At the same time you may evaluate the option of getting releif from Chairman of the bank citing your family's long association with the bank and the patronage and business your family has given to the bank and thus if the high and good offices grant you relief that shall substantiate your claim on deficiency and harassment by BM.You can also evaluate approaching RBI, IBA, BCSBI etc.

Kindly look into the attahcment.

Attached File : 127800605 rbi guidelines on operation of locker.pdf downloaded 181 times
Management Consultant & Social Activist

Dear sir

While I will take appropriate action against errant,corrupt and arrogant bank offcials of SBI in due course and seek damages for harrasment and illegally stoopping operation of locker  in absence of any statutory/legal injunction as on date, I want to seek opinion as to requirement of letter of administration as saught by SBI despite they being party to my division suit and final decree having been passed by a district  judge level court in which clear directiuons and decalarations are there as to what is in locker, who will open and operatye it and how asstes will be distrtibuted.the lawyer of SBI was present in court when arguments took place and final decree was issued by hoble court.

The court is not allwoing us to operate locker as per decree and instead using delaying tactics and now asking for letter4 of administration also. Is this legally tenable and required. The delay part is another issue and so also their misbehaviour and harassment.


Deceased depositors policy of the bank should be referred to.It is felt that it is either court order or letter of administration. In your case you have an explicit and clear court order but the BM is asking for letter of administration even after receiving clear court order.

However you may obtain "Deceased Depositors  Policy" of the bank and and RBI and seek an advice from your lawyer on the above. If the bank does not supply the same you can approach citizens charter, grievance redressal of the bank. As per BCSBI rule 8.8 ( attached) Bank shall supply "complete details of the rules and the procedures applicable for the safe deposit lockers and also safe deposit of valuables."

Therefore Chairman of the bank/Nodal Officer may be in a position to grant you the relief. BM might have given some adverse comments or must have felt some dispute amongst the claimants. Thru RTI you may avail copies of all communication exchanged in your matter.

"in the event of death of an account holder(s) or locker holder(s), the Bank can release the account proceeds or contents of the locker to the nominee(s) without insisting upon a Succession Certificate, Letter of Administration or Court Order."

In case of Indian Bank " the bank will release the contents of locker to the legal heirs against indemnity on the lines as applicable to deposit accounts."

As per RBI( enclosed) "banks are advised to adopt generally the foregoing approach, mutatis mutandis, as indicated for the deposit accounts. Detailed guidelines in this regard are, however, being issued separately." RBI has mentioned that banks shall make the process less torturous.

Kindly look into the attachment.

Attached File : 341473611 bcsbi 1266234434182 code of banks aug09.pdf, 341473611 deceased-depositors-policy.pdf, 341473611 indian bank policy deposit 11 12.pdf downloaded 402 times

Kindly look into the attachment.and

Attached File : 341473611 rbi 64668.pdf downloaded 132 times
Management Consultant & Social Activist

Thanks but I wnt to be more specifically advised by an expert legal practitioner member on this forum.

All above mentioned circulars etc have  no meaning once a proper civil decree in division  suit filed by me has been issued by a diustrcit judge.SBI was party in case and attended  proceedings thorugh their advocate.Letter of administration or probate is a similar document serving same purpose.The civil decree is superior  order in my view.If bank had any objection why they did not argue before court while it was passing final decree.


In fact in my opinion bank is  doing contempt of the court by not accepting the decree and allowing designated persons in ecree to operate the locker..


In decree our family settlement  is a part admitted under lok adalat act proceedings and it clearly lays down who is  now to open locker, what is in the locker and how it is to be distributed.


So what is problem with this bank officials.


It appears it is sheer bureaucracy ,brainless functioning and arrognace. These codes mentioned above are framed in interst of customers.Courteous and prompt and tramsparent sevice is crux of all this.Where is this seen?.


Do we need leetr of administration again when a decree is already passed? what is difference

Since  september SBI is blocking our locker.Do we get entitled for compensation .

Who is binding authority in banking system to whom we can approach for proper directions to bank and to proviode us with  various reliefs?


Kindly advise specific points




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