Access to the safe deposit lockers / return of safe custody articles (with survivor / nominee clause)
If the sole locker hirer nominates a person, branches will give to such nominee access of the locker and liberty to remove the contents of the locker in the event of the death of the sole locker hirer. In case the locker was hired jointly with the instructions to operate it under joint signatures, and the locker hirer(s) nominates person(s), in the event of death of any of the locker hirers, the branch will give access of the locker and the liberty to remove the contents jointly to the survivor(s) and the nominee(s). In case the locker was hired jointly with survivorship clause and the hirers instructed that the access of the locker should be given over to ‘either or survivor’, ‘anyone or survivor’ or ‘former or survivor’ or according to any other survivorship clause, branches will follow the mandate in the event of the death of one or more of the locker-hirers. However, branches will take the following precautions before handing over the contents:
- Branches will exercise due care and caution in establishing the identity of the survivor(s) / nominee (s) and the fact of death of the locker hirer by obtaining appropriate documentary evidence;
- Branches will make diligent effort to find out if there is any order from a competent court restraining the branch from giving access to the locker of the deceased; and
- Branches will make it clear to the survivor(s) / nominee (s) that access to locker / safe custody articles is given to them only as a trustee of the legal heirs of the deceased locker hirer i.e., such access given to him shall not affect the right or claim which any person may have against the survivor(s) / nominee (s) to whom the access is given.
Similar procedure will be followed for return of articles placed in the safe custody of the branches. The facility of nomination is not available in case of deposit of safe custody articles by more than one person.
Access to the safe deposit lockers / return of safe custody articles (without survivor / nominee clause)
With regard to lockers which are not having the nomination facility or where the joint hirers had not given any mandate that the access may be given to one or more of the survivors by a clear survivorship clause, legal heir/s / legal representative of the deceased locker hirer should furnish required particulars & documents (as per the branch requirement) for giving access to legal heir/s / legal representative of the deceased locker hirer. Similar procedure will be followed for the articles under safe custody of the bank.
Branches will follow the provisions of Section 45ZC to 45ZF of the Banking Regulation act, 1949 and the Banking Companies (Nomination) Rules, 1985 and the relevant provisions of Indian Contract Act and Indian Succession Act.
Branches will also prepare an inventory before returning articles left in safe custody / before permitting removal of the contents of a safe deposit locker.
Further, in case the nominee(s) / survivor(s) / legal heir(s) wishes to continue with the locker, they may enter into a fresh contract with nominee(s) / survivor(s) / legal heir(s) and also adhere to KYC norms in respect of the nominee(s) / legal heir(s). Branches will not required to open sealed / closed packets left with them for safe custody or found in locker while releasing them to the nominee(s) and surviving locker hirers / depositor of safe custody articles.