Banks can’t freeze accounts if KYC papers not submitted

Can service be suspended for failing to comply with the subsequent demands for KYC (Know Your Customer) ? This issue has been decided by the Gujarat high court in the case of State Bank of India, Chandkheda Branch & Anr v/s Ashvin Chaturbhai Parmar & Ors in Criminal Misc Appl No 5100 of 2012 decided on April 30 2012.

The court also held that in case of failure to comply with the KYC requirements, the bank would neither have the right to freeze the account, nor could it stop the cheque book or the ATM facility. However, the bank would have the right to close the account, but after following the due process. This means that due notice would first have to be given to the customer, and if the documents are not supplied despite the intimation and repeated efforts to procure the same, the issue would have to be referred to the competent authority at a higher level, who would have the power to order closure of the account.

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