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Accounts of Blind Persons, Illiterate Persons and Pardanashin Women



Rajesh Goyal 


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A banker in branch daily comes across the problems relating to various types of Bank Accounts.   Some of the special category of  such accounts are  "Accounts of Blind Persons", "Accounts of Iliterate Persons (in rural areas it will be a routine matter) and Pardanashin Women accounts (again in Muslim dominated .   Most of the bankers are aware of the broad rules they have to keep in mind while dealing with minors, but they are ill informed of the legal provisions and the risks attached to such accounts.  In this article, I will try to explain some of the legal aspects which every bankers needs to keep in mind while handling such accounts.


Accounts of Blind Persons:


You need to remember that a blind person is fully competent to  enter into a contract like any other person. However, due to his physical disability, there can be a situation where he contests subsequently that the facts were misrepresented to him and-thereby try to avoid the contract. Therefore, signature or thumb impression of the blind person should be attested by an independent witness to the effect that all terms and conditions were properly explained to the blind person in his presence. Moreover, cash deposit and withdrawal by blind person should be handled by the officer of the bank. Cheque book can be issued only if the blind person can sign consistently.




Accounts of illiterate persons :


Once again I will like to remind the bankers that the  illiterate person is competent to contract like any other person.  However, he may contest subsequently that his consent was obtained by misrepresentation and thereby try to avoid the contract. Therefore, banks should get the same witnessed to the effect that the terms and condition of the bank were explained to the illiterate person in his own language and he signed the form after understanding in their presence.  Normally cheque book is not issued to illiterate depositor. However cheque book can be issued for making statutory payments post dated cheques for repayment of installments of loan. In such cases, the cheques will be crossed account payee and thumb impression of the illiterate depositor will be verified on such cheques at the of issue of cheque book by competent authority of the bank.




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Accounts of Pardanashin ladies:


 Let us first understand who is a Pardanashin lady?  A pardanashin lady is one who remain in complete seclusion and does not transact with people other than members of her family. Though Pardanashin lady is legally competent to enter into a contract, she may be able to able to avoid it on the pretext of undue influence and the onus of proving of influence is  on the bank. Therefore, bank should take extra care in this regards. Signature of pardanashin lady should be attested by her guardian if she is unmarried and by her husband if she is married. The signature may be attested by any other member of the family also. If she is illiterate she will not be issued cheque book and for every payment she will have to give the discharge in the presence of an independent witness. However, in case of literate Woman, cheque book will be issued and payment will be made on the basis of recorded signatures.



Accounts of Married women:


Some books still refer to accounts of married women as special accounts.   However, the times have changed and opening of accounts of married women is very very common and does not need any special mention.  The present banking practice shows that married women are no longer a special case.   A married Woman, being an independent person, is legally competent to enter into a contract and thus Banks can safely open account in her name after observing usual safeguards.



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