Bank fails to act on customer’s complaint; fined Rs 25k

Bank fails to act on customer’s complaint; fined Rs 25k

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A consumer court has slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 against State Bank of India for its failure to act on a complaint of an account holder, and disregarding a Reserve Bank of India notification.

Passing an order on a complaint by Parashuram, Bangalore I Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum — headed by its president H R Srinivas and member D Suresh — directed the bank to remit the amount that went missing from his account along with Rs 35,000 towards litigation expenses.

Parashuram, a fire attendant with the Fire Brigade Office in VV Towers, complained to the bank that Rs 34,690 was withdrawn from his account in July 2016 without his knowledge. Acting on the bank’s advice, Parashuram blocked the card and lodged a complaint with the Cubbon Park police.

Parashuram later asked the bank to remit the missing amount and did not receive a response. He then approached the consumer court.

During the hearing, the bank told the court that Parashuram shared his debit card details with the pin number with an anonymous caller. It said the complainant cannot plead ignorance as to who withdrew the cash from his account, adding that he was guilty of his own negligence.

But the court cited a July 2017 RBI notification, saying the burden of providing customer liability in cases of unauthorised electronic transactions will lie with the bank.

"The bank has not at all discharged its duty. They should have filed a complaint with the cyber crime police and pursued the matter. Merely keeping quiet will not absolve them of their responsibility. There is gross negligence and callousness on the bank's part in not taking the matter serious," the court said.