AN UPDATE- (1st February, 2016- One working day later)
ICICI MF resolved the issue rather quickly. Pranav Merchant, their head of Customer Care, stepped in and resolved the issue. The signature mismatch seems to have been one of those unforeseen and unfortunate machine errors. Pranav and his team were on the wire and resolved the issue before the day was over. Thanks, Pranav and your team.
Maybe it is good to learn our lessons- As a mutual fund, go that extra mile when it comes to refusing a request on technical ground.
Submitted redemption request for a known person from a couple of schemes of ICICI.
Next day a mail saying that request bounced as ‘signature’ differs. Yes, the account with ICICI MF was opened in 1999 and the person concerned is 60+.
Now, submit a fresh redemption form with signature attested by the bankers. CAMS advises me that even if attested, ICICI will REFUSE. They will first ask you to update your new signature, after having verified your old signature etc.. In short, they will try and see that you can never redeem.
Went to the branch of ICICI MF. They said that signature is different. Said it will be, given a gap of 17 years. And now that I have given a bank attestation, should it not be easy? The bank mandate is in place and that is not being changed. So you know that the redemption is going to the person who rightfully is the owner.
The guy at the front desk was polite but helpless. He said that he will accept my redemption request, but very likely that the MF will bounce it.
Beware, with ICICI, you are going to be at their mercy, even if it relates to any product. It could be a fixed deposit placed with the bank. After all, it is a culture issue. And of course, now there is no question of trusting ICICI.