SC directs RBI to frame new bank locker regulations in 6 months

New Delhi: Holding that banks cannot wash off their hands towards their customers for the operation of lockers, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to lay down regulations within six months mandating the steps to be taken by banks with respect to locker facility management.

A bench comprising Justices M.M Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran said with the advent of globalization, banking institutions have acquired a very significant role in the life of the common man as both domestic and international economic transactions within the country have increased multiple folds.

The Supreme Court said people are hesitant to keep their liquid assets at home as "we are steadily moving towards a cashless economy."

"Thus, as is evident from the rising demand for such services, lockers have become an essential service provided by every banking institution. Such services may be availed of by citizens as well as by foreign nationals," the bench said.

Moreover, due to rapid gains in technology, "we are now transitioning from dual key­operated lockers to electronically operated lockers," the Supreme Court said.

In the electronically operated lockers, though the customer may have partial access to the locker through passwords or ATM pin, etc., they are unlikely to possess the technological know­how to control the operation of such lockers, the bench said.

"On the other hand, there is the possibility that miscreants may manipulate the technologies used in these systems to gain access to the lockers without the customers' knowledge or consent," it said. Asianet Online