consumers beware!
Checks and balances
The RBI has specific guidelines about depositing cheques in drop-box facility. Any anomaly can be reported to the RBI or the Ombudsman 
Pushpa Girimaji

A couple of times, my bank had misplaced the cheque deposited by me in the drop box and I had a lot of difficulty in obtaining another cheque from the issuer. So I now prefer to hand over the cheque to the person-in-charge and get an acknowledgement. But the bank refuses to accept it. What can I do?

Please remind the bank that your insistence on handing over the cheque to the person at the counter and seeking an acknowledgement stems from their negligence in the past, resulting in much inconvenience to you.

More important, you must tell them that their refusal to accept the cheque at the counter runs contrary to the instructions of the Reserve Bank of India, which has clearly said that (a) customers should not be compelled to drop cheques in ‘drop boxes’; (b) they should be given the option of either dropping the cheques in the drop box or tendering it at the counters and getting an acknowledgement; and (c) consumers should be made aware of this option so that they can make an informed choice.

The RBI, in its circular of December 18, 2006, addressed to all scheduled commercial banks and of December 28, 2006, addressed to all primary urban cooperative banks, also says that banks should display a message giving consumers this option and it should be in English, Hindi and the regional language.

Again in an ‘FAQ’ on ‘Collection of instruments’ on its website (updated up to 16-6-2014) the RBI emphasizes that banks are required to provide both cheque drop-box facility and the acknowledgement facility at their collection counters. "No bank branch can refuse to give an acknowledgement to the customer if the latter asks for the same while tendering cheque for collection at the bank branch’s counter", says the RBI. You can access this through the link:

If the bank still does not comply, lodge a complaint with the Reserve Bank of India. You can also complain to the banking ombudsman on this issue.

Last month, I deposited a cheque of the value of Rs 65,000 in the drop box. When the money was not credited to my account, I made enquiries and finally came to know that the money has been fraudulently deposited in some other account. How do I proceed?

I hope you have the details of the cheque such as the cheque number, the date of issue, name of the issuer, etc. Lodge a complaint with the police, giving these details. Also write a formal complaint to the bank, demanding that they make good your loss. Whatever explanation the bank wants to give, tell them to give it in writing and keep it safe. If the bank does not deposit into your account, the money lost by you as a result of their negligence, lodge a complaint with the banking ombudsman. You can do so online:

A somewhat similar complaint was handled by the Banking Ombudsman, where the cheque drop box was broken open and the contents stolen. The cheques were then altered and credited to the account of the fraudster in another bank. So in this case, the Ombudsmen held all the three banks guilty of deficiency in service-the first one for not providing adequate security to the drop box, the paying bank for overlooking the material alterations made in the cheque, which were quite conspicuous and the third bank for not complying with the KYC (Know your customer) guidelines in respect of the fraudster, while opening his account. All three were asked to share the loss of Rs 83,278 in equal proportions and make good the amount to the complainant.(Annual report on the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2012-2013, Exemplary cases dealt by the BO)