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Saura   24 May 2021

Bank locker

If a person has donated his savings account/FD/Bank locker to a charity organization and if there has been no locker operation and rent of that bank locker hasn't been paid for a period of 3 years or more, can the bank take legal action and open that particular locker? 


 7 Replies

Rama chary Rachakonda (Secunderabad/Telangana state Highcourt practice watsapp no.9989324294 )     24 May 2021

Banks can open your lockers if it is not operated for more than a year. ... However, as per the bank's classification, if you fall in a lower risk category, the bank can give you more time. If you fall under the medium risk category, you will be sent a notice by the bank if the locker is not operated for more than 3 years.

1 Like

Saura Patil   24 May 2021

Got it. Thank you Sir 👍

Sankaranarayanan (Advocate)     25 May 2021

A person can donate his money and assets only and can not denote his account and locker. If the locker not been operated long interval then the banker issue notice to the locker user. If the situation raised to open then they have to follow  the legal  norms prescribed by the RBI .

1 Like

SIVARAMAPRASAD KAPPAGANTU (Retired Manager)     25 May 2021

A Depositor has given his amounts in his Deposits and contents in the Locker to a Charitable Organisation. Rent for the locker not paid. Banks have a lien on the amounts of the Depositor for recovery of the amounts due to them. After due process, the Locker shall be broke open in the presence of the Witnesses, and a list of the contents is made. Locker Rent is debited to the Customer's account and the net amount only shall be given along with the contents of the Locker to the Charitable Organisation.

1 Like

sneha jaiswal   25 May 2021

Hello, Greetings of the day!
For the query you posted, I would suggest that: 
A person can donate his money or assets only. He can’t donate his account or locker in the bank. If the locker has not been operated for a long interval of time or if you fail to pay the rent amount, then the bank can issue legal notice against the account holder or locker user. If in case, situation arises to open the locker then the guidelines prescribed by RBI will be followed by the bank. 
For better guidance, I will suggest you consult a sagacious lawyer.
Hope it helps
Sneha Jaiswal

Law Student 

1 Like

G.L.N. Prasad (Retired employee.)     25 May 2021

Bank's are having the right of "General Lien" on every deposit and security with them, and first, they will recovery arrears of locker rent and then permit the beneficiary/nominee to open the locker.  The nominee is not responsible for locker rent as he steps into the position only from the date on which the claim is settled.  Yes.  It is morally binding on such a nominee to settle locker rent first.  (In most of these cases, the lockers are always empty if the death is not sudden. and when there is no response to notices by the bank.  To avoid these issues, banks are keeping enough deposits as security for locker and the interest on that deposit has to be sufficient for locker rent per annum)

1 Like

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     25 May 2021

If you are using a bank locker, the regulations from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) requires you to operate it at least once a year or else your bank can open it.

However, if you fall in a lower risk category as per the bank’s classification, the bank can give you more time.

Banks classify its customers in different risk categories from low to high depending on various parameters such as financial or social status, nature of business activity, location of customers and their clients. Banks are required to carry out proper due diligence before allotting a locker to a person. However, there is a proper procedure that the bank needs to follow before opening the locker.

Please remember that a donor can donate money, wealth, property or any other thing which is his property that  can be donated  but the bank locker is not his property.

Hence the individual cannot donate the bank's property i.e., the locker to a trust to a third person.

He may donate the contents kept in the locker but he has to authorise the third party or trust with an authorisation letter or a general power of attorney deed to operate the bank locker.

If the bank locker is not operated for continuous and long period, then the bank can take action as per the guidelines of RBI.

The bank is required to send you a notice advising you to either operate the locker or surrender it.

It is required to ask for a written response from you about the reasons behind not operating the locker. If the reasons mentioned are genuine, that is, if you are a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) or you were not in the city due to transferable job or any other genuine reason, then the bank can allow you to continue with the locker facility.

If you fail to provide a proper explanation, the bank can cancel your allotment and allocate it to someone else even if you have been paying rent regularly but the haven’t operated the account in the prescribed time limit.

Banks need to draw up a procedure in consultation with their legal advisers for breaking open the lockers and taking stock of inventory," says the RBI regulations.


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