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NHRC notice to Central Bank of India over harassment of a beneficiary of education loan
The National Human Rights Commission has issued a show cause notice to the Chairman, Central Bank of India on why it should not recommend monetary relief of Rs 1 lakh to the beneficiary of an education loan, who was not a defaulter but still faced insult and harassment.

The Manjoor Branch of the bank in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu displayed her as well as her father's photographs captioning them wrongly as 'missing' and 'defaulters'.

Threatening telephonic calls were also made to her ailing father. The Commission's show cause notice follows the admittance of error by the bank. The bank has been given six weeks time to respond.

The report submitted to the Commission by the bank says that due to erroneous data entry in the system the victim's loan account was wrongly classified as 'Non-Performing Asset' (NPA). It was also found that the publication of her as well as her father's photographs was against the advice issued by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India to all the banks that names and photographs of the students, who are unable to repay education loan or where there is a delay in the repayment thereof, should not be published. 

Mr Justice D Murugesan, Member, NHRC, while issuing the show cause notice, has observed that the display of photographs of the victim and her father in notice board is a violation of their right to live with dignity, which is recognized as dereliction of Article 21 of the Constitution as well as human rights.

The victim had taken an education loan for Rs 2 lakh from the Manjoor Branch of Central Bank of India to pursue her BE degree course. She completed the course in 2013 and according to the model IVA Scheme, the first repayment had to commence from July, 2014 as per the moratorium. 

The moratorium included study period and a year after that to start the process of repaying the loan in 120 installments. She had paid half of the loan amount in the first month itself after the moratorium. She said that the coercive methods adopted by the bank that too against the established norms of education loan repayment amounted to violation of human rights.

The Commission had taken cognizance of the matter on the basis of a complaint in the matter on the 13th July, 2015 and called for reports from the concerned authorities. Allegedly, the ailing father of the victim had died due to shock after receiving threatening telephone calls from the bank.

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