The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tales of honesty & indifference
- Rs 50000 bearer cheque returned

Siliguri, Oct. 26: Biswajit Roy had never seen Rs 50,000 in cash nor handled a cheque of the same amount.

But the 20-year-old did not flinch to return the bearer cheque and the chance to become richer by Rs 50,000. He had found the cheque lying near Kadamtala More in Jalpaiguri town on Wednesday.

Today, Biswajit, the son of a rickshaw-puller, took it to the State Bank of India’s Jalpaiguri branch, the drawee bank, to return it.

“I was on my way to office around 1.30pm when I saw the cheque lying on Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Road,” Biswajit said. “I returned home and my parents told me to return it promptly to the bank.”

For Biswajit, who earns Rs 1,000 a month from Gana Unnayan Parshad, a local NGO where he is a casual employee, there were no temptations.

“But there were others, who did not hesitate to ‘advise’ me against returning it. However, it never struck me to keep back what is not mine,” said Biswajit.

Yesterday being a holiday because of Lakshmi Puja, Biswajit went to the bank this morning.

Bank officials found the youth at their doorsteps, right after the main door opened at 10.30am. They heard his story, but asked Biswajit to keep the cheque with him until the drawer, who is from Sahidgarh in Mainaguri, arrived.

“We have no role to play in this. We cannot keep the cheque with us, since it is not ours. But we checked the account number and address of the person who has signed the cheque, otherwise known as the drawer, and have called him up,” said a bank official.

Biswajit said the bank has advised him to take a letter of receipt from the person who comes to claim the cheque, after proper identification.

The drawer has been told to bring identify proofs.

Biswajit lives in a hutment made of bamboo at Sanjoynagar Colony of the town. “We are relieved of the tension as he has now informed the bank,” said Sarathi, Biswajit’s mother who works as a maid.

Bank officials, who acknowledged Roy’s honesty, however, said they always are on the alert when dealing with a bearer’s cheque.

“Specially, when we are releasing bigger amounts across the counter. In case of any suspicion, there are provisions to verify the person’s identity,” an officer said.

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