Hyderabad: The Hyderabad consumer dispute forum directed the State Bank of India’s Malakpet branch to pay Rs. 1,05,000 to a customer for causing him mental agony after it failed to stop fraudulent transactions from his account.

In September 2018, Rs. 6 lakh was withdrawn from B.Mohan Raj’s account through unauthorised fraudulent online transactions. The complainant, who is a resident of Chanderghat, had complained to the bank about the same. The police had registered an FIR following complaints from the bank.

Mr. Raj had requested the bank to block his credit card and take necessary preventive measures. However, in October 2018 Rs. 58,500 was fraudulently transferred from his account. “The bank did not safeguard my account and allowed online fraudulent withdrawals/transactions from my account. It amounts to negligence and deficiency in service,” Mr. Raj said.

The complainant sent a legal notice to the bank in March 2019 demanding Rs. 6,64,500 be credited to his account. However, the bank took no action despite the legal notice. When a complaint about the same was lodged with the Reserve Bank of India, still no amount was credited to Mr. Raj’s account.

Meanwhile, the bank said that the fraudulent transactions were due to disclosure of ATM details and OTPs to unknown persons by the complainant. The complainant approached the bank after three days of the first alleged fraudulent transfer, it said, adding it had asked the complainant to block the debit card through his registered mobile. The bank claimed that in case of fraudulent online transactions, there was no deficiency in service on its part.

After examining the facts and documents provided by Mr. Raj and the bank, the forum said, “The occurrence of first fraudulent transfer of Rs. 6 lakh is due to the disclosure of ATM debit card details and OTPs generated in the registered mobile by the complainant himself. For this, there is no negligence from the bank. But, the bank didn’t initiate any action after the first fraudulent transaction and credited the amount of Rs. 58,500 which was again withdrawn by the fraudsters. This amounts to sheer and deliberate negligence on its part and apparent deficiency in service. It is an omission of the duty on the part of the bank.”

The forum said the bank is liable to credit the complainant’s account with Rs. 58,500 and 9 per cent interest from the date of complaint. The forum also directed the bank to pay Rs. 1 lakh as compensation to Mr. Raj for causing him mental agony and Rs. 5,000 towards the cost of litigation.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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