Thane: Bank asked to pay a customer who lost Rs 75,000 in fraud
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After a driver employed with the Thane Municipal Corporation’s Education department had lost Rs. 75,000 from his salary account with Canara Bank in four days due to suspicious transactions and was left with Rs. 256.70 in his account, a Thane consumer commission has asked the bank to deposit the amount in his account and pay the interest since the time the money vanished in 2011-12.

The commission also asked the bank to pay Rs. 10,000 as compensation to him for mental agony and physical hardship he went through and Rs. 5,000 for litigation costs.

Deciding the complaint that was filed in 2013, the body said that it was the responsibility of the bank to provide proper and safe service and that the disputed transactions took place due to the deficiency on part of the bank. It also noted that in spite of the complainant repeatedly approaching the bank, it did not inquire properly into the matter.

As per the complaint filed by Thane resident Ram Patil, on December 29, 2011 there was over Rs. 75,316 in his bank account. Four days later, on 2 January 2012 when he went to draw money, he found there was only Rs. 256.70 in his account. He got to know from the bank that in the four days between Dec 29, 2011 and Jan 1, 2012, his money was withdrawn from different ATMs from different locations - some transactions had taken place in Goa too. He said he was at work in Thane when these happened.

He further said that the bank’s manager refused to help him, take responsibility or inquire into the matter until he made a police complaint. The following day he made one and then sent a letter to the bank attaching the police complaint. He then wrote to several authorities including the RBI. The bank had at one point assured to inquire into the transactions and deposit his money back, but to no avail. Patil sought that his money be returned by the bank and he be paid Rs. 1 lakh in compensation.

The bank, on its part, had told the commission that after every transaction, an SMS had been sent to the customer and that Patil had not informed the bank. The transactions, the bank claimed, had taken place with the knowledge and consent of Patil.

The commission said in its order regarding this contention, that the customer had produced his attendance register to show that he was at work at Thane when the transactions had taken place at different locations including in Goa.

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