Mumbai: Consumer redressal commission in the city ordered Bank of Baroda to pay a 91-year-old Ghatkopar resident Rs 1.15 lakh with six percent interest from the date of communication of fraud July 26, 2020. The commission also directed the respondent to pay him Rs 15,000 for the losses he incurred and Rs 5,000 toward the litigation cost.
In an order dated October 18, RG Wankhede, President, and SV Kalal, Member of the Additional Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, on a complaint by Maganlal Naik against the bank found deficiency in service on reversal of transaction.
On July 27, 2020, Naik, a practicng lawyer for 58 years had informed the bank that a sum of Rs 1,15 lakhs was fraudulently transferred in multiple transactions from his account; he also notified that he had not authorised anyone for the same.
Naik had also approached the police and lodged an FIR against the bank. He also sent letters to cyber branch, RBI and ran pillar-to-post spending large sum, the response from the respondent was dissatisfactory.
Moreover, the debit he had exclusively possessed was never used between July 25 to July 29 when the transactions happened, he said.
After another transaction of Rs 5,000 with Valsad branch of the bank, he dialled the toll free number but in vain, he said.
Bank counters claims
The bank though countered his complaint and said they took immediate steps for reversal with the beneficiary bank and also sent an email. The bank said that allegations contradicted the transaction of net banking and that using debit card is not mandatory for availing e-banking services.
The bank further alleged that as per the Customer Protection Policy (Unauthorised Electronic Banking Transaction), if a customer clicked on unknown links, it will be 100 percent liability of the customer.
The complainant however contended that he tried his level best to contact the branch but since it was a Sunday, he could not get any relief. During the argument, the Commission was informed that the beneficiary bank - IndusInd Bank - did not provide the account number to which the amount had been transferred.
During the hearing, the Commission observed that there was no material on record that Naik was negligent while availing e-banking services and noted he never used his debit card or savings account for any transactions.
The commission further observed that the RBI circular cited by the bank referred to customers facing zero liability in case of fraudulent transactions and the latter had recorded the same with United Payments Interface.
The commission observed that the complainant had taken sincere efforts in getting the fraudulent transactions reversed and that in his old age he was made to run around.
The commission observed that though the bank made contact with the beneficiary bank but could neither succeed in it nor honored the request of the complainant to reverse the fraudulent online transaction. It asked the bank to pay the customer his money.