Accounts with survivor/ nominee clause
1. In the case of deposit accounts where the depositor had utilised the nomination facility and made a valid nomination or where the account was opened with the survivorship clause (“either or survivor”, or “anyone or survivor”, or “former or survivor” or “latter or survivor”), the payment of the balance in the deposit account to the survivor(s)/nominee of a deceased deposit account holder represents a valid discharge of the bank’s liability provided:
(a) He/She establish the identity of the survivor(s) / nominee and the fact of death of the account holder, through appropriate documentary evidence.
(b) there is no order from the competent court restraining the bank from making the payment from the account of the deceased; and
(c) the survivor(s) / nominee would be receiving the payment from the bank as a trustee of the legal heirs of the deceased depositor, i.e., such payment to him shall not affect the right or claim which any person may have against the survivor(s) / nominee to whom the payment is made.
2. It may be noted that since payment made to the survivor(s) / nominee, subject to the foregoing conditions, would constitute a full discharge of the bank’s liability, insistence on production of legal representation is superfluous and unwarranted and only serves to cause entirely avoidable inconvenience to the survivor(s) / nominee and would, therefore, invite serious supervisory disapproval. In such case, therefore, while making payment to the survivor(s) / nominee of the deceased depositor, the banks are advised to desist from insisting on production of succession certificate, letter of administration or probate, etc., or obtain any bond of indemnity or surety from the survivor(s)/nominee, irrespective of the amount standing to the credit of the deceased account holder.
Accounts without the survivor/ nominee clause
In case where the deceased depositor had not made any nomination or for the accounts other than those styled as “either or survivor” (such as single or jointly operated accounts), bank is having a simplified procedure for repayment to legal heir(s) of the depositor keeping in view the imperative need to avoid inconvenience and undue hardship to the common person. In this context, subject to our minimum threshold limit, for the balance in the account of the deceased depositors, up to which claims in respect of the deceased depositors could be settled without insisting on production of any documentation other than a letter of indemnity.
Premature Termination of term deposit accounts
(i) In case of term deposits with “Either or Survivor” or “Former or Survivor” mandate, premature withdrawal of the deposit by the surviving joint depositor on the death of the other is permitted, only if, there is a joint mandate from the joint depositors to this effect.
(ii) The joint deposit holders may be permitted to give the mandate either at the time of placing fixed deposit or anytime subsequently during the term /tenure of the deposit. If such a mandate is obtained, banks can allow premature withdrawal of term /fixed deposits by the surviving depositor without seeking the concurrence of the legal heirs of the deceased joint deposit holder. Such premature withdrawal would not attract any penal charge.
SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS IN RESPECT OF MISSING PERSONS
The Bank follows the following system in case a claim is received from a nominee / legal heirs for settlement of claim in respect of missing persons is as under:
The settlement of claims in respect of missing persons would be governed by the provisions of Section 107 / 108 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Section 107 deals with presumption of continuance and Section 108 deals with presumption of death. As per the provisions of Section 108 of the Indian Evidence Act, presumption of death can be raised only after a lapse of seven years from the date of his/her being reported missing. As such, the nominee / legal heirs have to raise an express presumption of death of the subscriber under Section 107/108 of the Indian Evidence Act before a competent court. If the court presumes that he/she is dead, then the claim in respect of a missing person can be settled on the basis of the same.