Axis Bank directed to refund the money lost due Bank Fraud

 

Bank Frauds are on the rise. The cheated are left high and dry. The Banks put the blame on their customers.

I had occasion to deal with one bank fraud of Rs. 14 lakhs. I lost before the District Forum. But the State Commission passed the order in favour of the cheated customer.
The following are extracted from the judgement.

“ The appeal is directed against order dated 24/07/2014 passed by the District Forum, Central Mumbai dismissing the Complaint. The complainant was surprised to find that amount of Rs.14,00,900/- was withdrawn from his Savings Bank Account by 22 internet transfers between the dates 08/01/2013 and 09/01/2013 to 12 different accounts of which 10 accounts were with the Axis Bank.

“ We have heard Learned Counsel Mr .Binoy Gupta for appellant …. With the help of both parties, we have gone through the material on record. The Learned Counsel for the appellant first submitted that the opponent- bank ought to have been held guilty of gross deficiency in service to the complainant since all that was done could not have been done without the negligence of the officials concerned of the opponent No.1-Bank.

“ The undisputed facts are that the complainant had Salary Savings Account with the Axis A/14/755 Page 5 of 10 Bank Ltd. at Khar (West) Branch. ……… There is increase in the grievances of the customers in relation to unauthorized banking transactions in respect of electronic online remote payment and cashless transactions e.g. internet banking, mobile banking, card not present (CNP) transactions, pre-paid payment instruments resulting in debits from their Bank accounts and customers need to be protected in unauthorized electronic banking transactions. Banks need to assure safety to the customers making them feel safe and secure in respect of the electronic banking transactions. Banks are duty bound to take appropriate steps to assess the risk and provide for robust mechanism to prevent and detect fraud and to provide for liability arising out of misappropriation or fraud.

“ In view of the reasons stated, we pass the following order :- We set aside and quash the impugned Judgment and order dated 24/07/2014 passed in Consumer Complaint case No.140 of 2013 by the District Forum, Central Mumbai and we allow the appeal with costs quantified at Rs.20,000/- to be paid to the appellant by the respondent No.1. We direct the opponent/respondent No.1-Bank to deposit back the sum of Rs.14,00,900/- (Rupees Fourteen Lakhs Nine Hundred only) unauthorizedly transferred to the accounts of other Banks on 08/01/2013 and 09/01/2013 from the accounts of the complainant. If the opponent/respondent No.1-Bank fails to deposit back the amount as directed within a month from the date of this order, the sum shall be payable together with interest at the rate of Rs.9% interest till realisation. The compensation for mental harassment to the appellant/complainant is arrived at Rs.One Lakh and litigation costs in the sum of Rs.25,000/- which shall be payable by opponent/respondent .”

HON’BLE STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION, MAHARASHTRA,

[ Justice A.P. Bhangale ] PRESIDENT [ D.R. Shirasao] JUDICIAL MEMBER

Pronounced in Appeal No. A/14/755  on 7th August 2017.

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