Udupi District Consumer Commission orders SBI to compensate the aggrieved Consumer

 

 


Richard D’Souza
Kemmannu News Network, 27-08-2021 06:56:20


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Udupi : In a recent judgment, pronounced by the Udupi District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, ordered the State Bank of India to pay totally Rs.6,00,010/- to Mr.Harish Gudigar, a wood sculptor from Uppuru of Udupi district. While he was working as a Graphic Designer at Bangalore, he had a SB account at Malleshwaram branch of State Bank of India. Whenever he had some savings, he used to keep in fixed deposits in the same branch. He had a plan of expanding his business and constructing a house at native after accumulation of sufficient amount.

 

 

During the press meet held at Vaikunta Law College near here on Thursday, August 26, Dr. Ravindranath Shanbaug said that Harish resigned his job of Bangalore in Febraury 2019 and returned to his native.  He transferred his Saving Bank and Fixed Deposits accounts to Santhe katte branch of SBI. He opened a small shop of handicrafts at Udupi.  Within a short time Corona pandemic spread all over the country and as a result he had to close his shop. He had to literally struggle for his livelihood.

On 23.8.19 at about 8.19 am Harish received a message on his mobile. The message read as “08.19: Thx for INB txn of Rs.500000.0 frm A/c X8985 to PARNAV ONL…Ref#IGAGVTYJC8 on 23Aug19. Harish could not understand this message. Within few minutes, he received another message which reads as “Thx for INB txn of Rs.50010.0 frm A/c X8985 to PARNAV ONL…Ref#IGAGVUAEC3 on 23Aug19”  Harish puzzled as to  who is sending these messages,  from where and why.  Of late, he had never made transaction nor had given any cheque. Moreover, he did not have the money mentioned in the messages.  He had only a few hundreds. He thought somebody be joking at him.

 

 

In order to check the authenticity of this transaction, he opened his Laptop and astonished to find three bank transaction entries were recorded within a few minutes.

The first transaction was related to transfer of Rs.5,00,000/- from Harish’s Fixed Deposit accounts to his own SB account.

In the second transaction, again Rs.50,010 were transferred from another Fixed deposit account of Harish to his own SB  account.

The third transaction effected a transfer of all the money to the tune of Rs.5,50,010 to a SB account of unknown person in Delhi branch of SBI. There were only Rs.6360 were left in Harish’s SB account. Harish immediately transferred the same to his SB account in HDFC Bank wherein he could save that amount.

Immediately, Harish rushed to the SBI branch of Santhe katte and explains the incident to the Manager. Having perused the concerned documents, Manager contacted Delhi branch and could get the money blocked in transferee’s account. He assured Harish – “your money has not gone anywhere. It is safe in our Delhi Branch and will be remitted to your account in a couple of days”.

However, the Manager failed to explain how could a off-line fixed deposit be transferred through a online transaction. He suggested Harish to lodge a complaint with cyber police.  Accordingly, Harish filed a petition at udupi cyber police station.

 Cyber Police submitted FIR to the Court at Udupi (FIR No.0081/2019 dated 25.09.19) and got the matter published in local dailies. Probably, this must have been the first incident of on line transfer of money from off-line FD to an unrelated SB account. He was promised that his money would be remitted within 48 hours.

Even after two days, when money was not remitted to his account, Harish approached the branch. His repeated enquires and a complaint to Ms.Pragna Kamath,a senior official of SBI did not produce any results. Every official repeatedly promising him that   “Your money is safe” but nobody informed him when the money would be remitted to his account.

After five months of the incident, Harish approached Udupi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission with the help of Human Rights Protection Foundation, Udupi. After sixteen months of deliberations, the Commission has pronounced the judgment and has order   the State Bank of India to pay  the disputed amount Rs.5,50,010/- along with the 10%  interest to Harish Gudigar. It has also sanctioned Rs.50,000/- as compensation and Rs.10,000/- towards the cost of litigation.

Points to be noted

a) Officials of Reserve Bank as well as of police department have announced that the money fraudulently taken away from the Bank accounts will be recovered if the consumers file the complaints within 24 hours of the incident. In this case Harish had approached the Bank as well as cyber police within 2 hours of the incident. Even the FIR was filed within 24 hours. Where is the money?

b) Whenever a consumer deposits the money in FDs, the Banks issue receipts. Unless these receipts are signed and returned by the Account Holder, the money cannot be released. Harish has those fixed deposit receipts even to this date. But the accounts show zero balance. How can this happen?

c) Whenever a bank consumer fights a case in the courts of law, he has to spend money from his pockets. But Bank officials defend the case using Banks money i.e money deposited by the consumers. In both the eventualities the consumer is the loser – Is this the way to protect a consumer?

 

 

 

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