Forum raps bank on fraud withdrawals

  • Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 15, 2014 10:13 IST

The district consumer disputes redressal forum, Chandigarh, has come to the aid of an SAS Nagar resident who had lost her money deposited in the State Bank of Patiala’s (SBoP) account to alleged fraudulent withdrawals. The forum penalised the bank for deficient services for failing to take timely action on the complaint.

Ritu Lakhanpal, a resident of Sector 70, SAS Nagar, got some relief when the forum directed SBoP, Dadumajra, to pay 5,500 as compensation for deficient services and 4,500 as litigation expenses to her.

Lakhanpal alleged that on August 20, 2012, she lost an amount of 22,300 through three fraudulent transactions from her SBoP salary account. After receiving SMSes regarding three consecutive withdrawals on her mobile phone, she immediately brought the matter to the notice of the bank and as advised by it, she lodged a complaint with the police.

The SBoP denied deficiency in services and claimed that ATM cannot be operated without the ATM card and PIN, and it was the prime duty of the customer to keep both safe.

The bank accused Lakhanpal of ‘negligence’.

The bank said the matter was under investigation and the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage was not provided by the bank from whose ATM the money was withdrawn in Mumbai.

The consumer forum presided over by PL Ahuja held on April 4, “The bank was immediately informed about the transactions but it did not take any prompt action.”

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