The Scapegoat

I was heading Lucknow branch then. In the course of business, like any other bank, we also used to issue bank guarantees.

A bank guarantee in effect guarantees a sum of money to the beneficiary that bank will pay the amount if the applicant doesn’t fulfill the obligations outlined in the contract within the period of validity.

A contractor (applicant) came to us with request to issue a bank guarantee in favour of Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) (the beneficiary) for Rs fifteen lac. After completing formalities of taking collateral, commission etc, guarantee was issued in normal course for one year.

After completion of one year, we received an intimation from BSEB that the guarantee has been invoked by them and demanded the amount. But there was a discrepancy in the copy of the guarantee they had forwarded along with the notice of invocation.

The date of expiry appeared to be overwritten. As per our record, the validity period had already expired, while it was one year ahead as per the forwarded copy. We asked the contractor, and he confirmed that his bank guarantee had expired, as his work had been completed.

I went to the office of BSEB to have the first hand information and met the officer concerned with request to show the original bank guarantee issued by us, as we had to verify that it was in their possession. He obliged me, but the the date was overwritten, as suspected by us. It was easily discernible.

I coolly told him that this was the case of forgery made either by his office or the contractor, “Bank is not in the picture now. The validity period has already expired and the bank is discharged from its liability. You now take up the case with the contractor. We’ll confirm that this is not the guarantee we had issued.”

He got angry with me stating that he should not have shown the documents.

But we never received another communication from them. Later we came to know that the officer concerned couldn’t take action against the contractor for his non-compliance in time and to save his own skin, used this trick. But he was probably not aware that it was difficult to make the bank a scapegoat for his own omission or commission.


–Kaushal Kishore

23 Comments

  1. Thank you, Kaushal, for writing about the oldest human problem of looking for somebody else to blame for our misdeeds. It started with Adam and Eve blaming the snake for being expelled from Paradise. We now see it daily in Kremlin’s statements blaming others for their aggression.
    Their treat about using the nuclear deterrent reminds me of the visionary prediction of Albert Einstein, who wrote:
    “I don’t know what weapons will be used in World War III, but World War IV will be fought with stones and sticks.”

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joanna for your thoughtful remarks. This world is full of contradictions. What is correct at one place is not considered good at another place. In India, white dress is not worn on auspicious occasions, but in India itself, there are people, who do so. Yes, I’m in full agreement with the statement of Albert Einstein. Indian environmentalist, Rajendra Singh has however predicted that the next world war will be fought over water.

      Like

  2. Thank you so much Kaushal ji for sharing your experience.
    See then! Unethical practices are being adopted by contractors, buisness man and other institutions.
    The Authorities and machinaries are also involved in some cases to help corruption.
    I can understand the situation.
    I have faced some other problems related to Land and other Government installations for Air Traffic Services.
    That was a horrific period in one of my postings.
    From your posts, i can guess what was your situation.
    Nice narrative
    Regards 🙏🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you, Arun ji that unethical practices are prevalent in almost every aspect of society. That’s why, such places have become breeding grounds for corruption. But then, we can’t change the world. What we can do is to keep ourselves and our practices as clean as possible, because that’s in our hands. Thank you for reading and sharing your beautiful reflections 🙏💐

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I do agree with you. we can do our level best by keeping ourselves alert and honest. Sometime we have to show our boldness. Thank you so much for sharing a kind post. Let people know the situations[ hakikat]
        Regards.🙏😊

        Liked by 1 person

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