Consumer court fines bank for dereliction of duty

Consumer court fines bank for dereliction of duty

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A consumer court has penalised Canara Bank for dereliction of duty and directed it to pay Rs 50,000 for causing physical, mental and financial suffering to one of their customers. 

The court has directed the bank to pay the amount to the consumer legal aid account for negligence in official work.  

Hearing a petition filed by Shivanna T, the court has directed the bank to return Rs 2.33 lakh to him after funds were withdrawn from his account without his knowledge.

Shivanna, who holds an account in the Veeragowdana Doddi branch of the bank in Magadi taluk, had complained about withdrawals being made from his account without his knowledge.

He later approached the consumer court, alleging that the bank had failed to take any action despite a written complaint.

The Bangalore I Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum — headed by its president H R Srinivas and member D Suresh — directed Canara Bank to also pay the interest amount till the amount is credited to the complainant's account. Besides slapping a fine of Rs 50,000 for negligence, the court also directed the bank to pay Rs 60,000 towards damages and litigation costs. 

The complainant had said that Rs 2,36,000 was withdrawn from his account from November 11 to 23, 2016, from a Mumbai-based company. When the complainant went to get his passbook updated on January 9, 2017, he was shocked to see many withdrawals from his account. Though Shivanna has a debit card for his account, neither has he given it to anyone nor used the internet banking facility for any transactions.

Shivanna gave a written complaint to the bank on January 10, 2017, and to the police on January 31. Despite informing the bank about the fraudulent transactions and the illegal withdrawal of funds from his account, the bank never pursued the case.

Citing a notification issued by the Reserve Bank of India in July 2017 under 'Burden of Proof', the consumer court ruled that the burden of providing customer liability in the case of unauthorised electronic transaction shall lie on the bank.

"The bank has not taken care of adhering to the RBI notification, which clearly amounts to negligence on its part, disregard for the notification and direction for which the complainant was made to suffer physically, mentally and financially," it added.