Smt. Sangeeta Kumari Panda - Complainant(s)


State Bank of India - Opp.Party(s)

Deepak Kumar Pani

22 Jun 2023


Complaint Case No. CC/9/2019
( Date of Filing : 30 Jan 2019 )
1. Smt. Sangeeta Kumari Panda
Resident at Nalco Nagar, Qtr No.- B/582, Nalco Township,P.O-Nalco Nagar, P.S-Nalco Township,Dist-Angul, PIN-7591459Odisha)
1. State Bank of India
Represented through its Chief Manager, Kandasar (Nalco Nagar) Branch, P.O-Nalco Nagar, P.S-Nalco Township,Dist-Angul, PIN-7591459Odisha)
 HON'BLE MR. Saroj Kumar Sahoo PRESIDENT
 HON'BLE MS. Sasmita Kumari Rath MEMBER
Dated : 22 Jun 2023
Final Order / Judgement

Sri S.K.Sahoo,President.

           This is a case U/s.12  of  C.P.Act,1986  filed by the  complainant.

2.       The case of the complainant is that he  is  a consumer of the opp.party, being  an account holder  bearing S.B A/C. No. 31455956321. There is  net banking  system in the  said account. The  complainant came to  know that  fraud has  been committed on his  account   on 27.01.2018, 28.01.2018 and 29.01.2018.She  came  to k now  the same  on 30.01.2018. On inquiry it is  ascertained that  there were two number  of  withdrawal  of Rs.400.00 each on 27.01.2018   and  on 28.01.2018/Again there was five  withdrawals  amounting Rs.800.00, Rs.2300.0, Rs.7900.00, Rs.4000.00 and Rs.4000.00 and two withdrawals  each  amounting Rs.7900.00 on 29.01.2018. All the  withdrawals were made without  the  knowledge of the  complainant. Soon after the  incident  complainant submitted a  report to the opp.party and requested him to  block the  account. She also lodged written report at Nalco Township P.S  on 01.02.2018. Annexure- A is the  photo copy of the said F.I.R. The  complainant  approached the  Ombudsman , who without  any inquiry and  application  of  judicial mind rejected the claim of the complainant. Annexure- B  is the photo copy of the said  order. The  complainant has  neither received  any  O.T.P  in  her registered  mobile  number nor disclose anything  about the net banking  to the  3rd party. The  complainant sustained  loss of  Rs.31,200.00 . The  opp.party   refunded Rs.4,400.00 on 31.01.2018 and  on 01.02.2018 by reverse credit i.e  the transaction  made on 27.01.2018  and  28.01.2018. The opp.party No.1 has  closed the complaint  of the  complainant  on 21.02.2018.  Hence this  case.

3.       Inspite of  notice, the opp.party  did not file  his  written statement in time, only on  18.07.2021   the opp.party  has   filed written statement which  was not accepted as  it  was filed  after two and half years. On 22.06.2023  i.e on the date of  judgement  the opp.party  has  filed the affidavit  evidence  of the Chief Manager of opp.party , which is also not  taken into consideration.

4.       Admittedly the initial onus is  on the  complainant to   prove her case. The complainant has got his savings bank account No. 31455956321 with the opp.party’s Bank. It is also admitted that she has  availed the online banking system from the opp.party’s bank .  She alleged fraud on her account on 27.01.2018 ,28.01.2018 and 29.01.2018. It is also the case of the  complainant that due to such fraud in the alleged dates she sustained a loss of Rs.31,200.00 but the total amount was Rs.35,600.00. According to her the opp.party has refunded Rs.400.00 on 31.01.2018 and Rs.4,000.00 on 01.02.2018 by reverse credit to her account but inspite of several approach the opp.party did not return the rest of the amount i.e Rs.31,200.00. The  complainant had approached the Ombudsman of the opp.party’s bank who illegally rejected the claim of the  complainant.  Annexure-B is the photo copy of the The Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006. Admittedly the  complainant has reported about the alleged fraud to the opp.party’s bank soon after the fraud came to her knowledge on 30.01.2018. It is also clear that the complainant has lodged an written report before Nalco Township police station which was registered as F.I.R No. 0010 dtd. 01.02.2018. Annexure-A is the photo copy of the  said F.I.R. In the  said F.I.R she has alleged  that  an amount of Rs.35,600.00 from her account was taken away by fraud . Without any OTP or  a debit message in online transaction. The IIC Nalco P.S registered the case U/s. 420 I.P.C  as accused unknown the learned counsel of the  complainant during argument submitted that the I.O has filed F.R.T in the said case as no clue. He failed to file any documents to support the aforesaid submission. The  complainant has not filed the order  passed by the Ombudsman, although he has  mentioned in his complaint petition that without applying  his  judicial mind, the Ombudsman rejected her claim. Annexure- C is the photo copy of the   statement of account which shows the transactions in the account of the  complainant from 27.01.2018 to 01.02.2018 . On perusal of the aforesaid  statement of account  it  appears that one Times of  Money LTRF  has withdrawn the  money from the  account of the complainant and transferred to some other accounts. Prima facie it  appears that the  complainant has not withdrawn the alleged amounts by internet banking and  transferred the  same to  other accounts. The Learned Counsel for the  complainant relied on  paragraph- 12 of the  guideline of  Reverse Bank of India  bearing  No. RBI/2017-18/15 DBR No. Leg. BC 78/09.07.005/2017-18 . He argued that all the material documents and informations  are  with the opp.party’s bank , who has not  produced the same before this Commission during hearing. He further  submitted that only after two and half  years  of the  institution of the  case the opp.party filed the case  when the case was  posted for hearing, for which the Forum/ Commission has rightly rejected the same. It is  also argued by the Learned Counsel for the  complainant that the opp.party has not led evidence  at all ,although his  complaint petition is supported with affidavit. He has also relied on a decision reported in Punjab National Bank and another Vrs. Leader Valves II(2020) CPJ 92(NC) in  which the Hon’ble National Commission, New Delhi  while addressing the  question of liability of  a bank in case of unauthorised and fraudulent electronic banking transactions, has observed as under :-

"11. The first fundamental question that arises is whether the Bank is responsible for an unauthorized transfer occasioned by an act of malfeasance on the part of functionaries of the Bank or by an act of malfeasance by any other person (except the Complainant/account-holder). The answer, straightaway, is in the affirmative. If an account is maintained by the Bank, the Bank itself is responsible for its safety and security. Any systemic failure, whether by malfeasance on the part of its functionaries or by any other person (except the consumer/account-holder), is its responsibility, and not of the consumer."

 On perusal  of paragraph-12 of the  aforesaid  guideline of the R.B.I , it is  clear that when  the  transaction is  made  by 3rd party the  burden of  prove is on the  bank to  prove the  customers liability in case of  unauthorised electronic banking transaction. The complainant  has reported about the alleged fraud  to the opp.party  soon  after the incident. As per the  R.B.I guideline  the  complainant  should  report  about the fraud  within three  working days  from the  alleged  unauthorised  transaction . So the  complainant has  reported about the  fraud to the  opp.party in time. The  complainant has  proved her  case. From the materials  in the  record it is clear that the opp.party has  not  produced the material documents  which are normally in possession of it . The non-production of  such material documents in possession of the opp.party  during the  hearing or  at the  time of  argument creates adverse inference  towards its case. The  opp.party failed to discharge the onus on it . So after  analysing the materials on record it is clear that there was fraud in the  account of  the  complainant by 3rd party through internet banking, for which the opp.party  is held liable. Hence the  opp.party  also  liable to compensate the loss caused to the  complainant along with damaged.

5.       Hence order :-

: O R D E R :

          The case be and the  same  is  allowed on contest against the  opp.party. The  opp.party is directed to pay an  amount of Rs.31,200.00 (Rupees Thirty One thousand Two Hundred ) only  along with interest @7% per annum from 29.01.2018 till payment is  made . The opp.party is further directed to pay a compensation of Rs.15,000.00 (Rupees Fifteen Thousand ) only  to the  complainant  along with Rs.10,000.00 towards litigation cost. All the  aforesaid  amount should be paid by the opp.party within one  month  from receipt of this  order, failing which  he  is liable to pay the aforesaid amounts along with penal interest @ 9% per annum till payment is made.

[HON'BLE MR. Saroj Kumar Sahoo]
[HON'BLE MS. Sasmita Kumari Rath]

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