Consumer Court Directs Bank of Baroda To Refund Rs1 Lakh Lost in Fraud Transaction to Nonagenarian
Moneylife Digital Team 31 October 2022
The additional Mumbai suburban district consumer disputes redressal commission has directed Bank of Baroda to refund Rs1.15 lakh fraudulently debited from the account of a 91-year-old advocate from Ghatkopar. The commission also ordered the Bank to pay the compensation of Rs34,000. While the Bank said it was not responsible for a customer's error, the commission pointed out that the liability of the customer is zero in case of a fraudulent transaction.
 
The case relates to 91-year-old Maganlal Naik, who had moved the additional Mumbai suburban district consumer disputes redressal commission in 2021. In his complaint, he stated that on 27 July 2020, the Bank informed him that on the previous day Rs1.15 lakh was fraudulently transferred from his account. Mr Naik said he had not authorised it. He lodged a report resulting in registration of an first information report (FIR) on 27 July 2020 at Ghatkopar police station. Mr Naik added that letters sent to cyber branch and the banking regulator Reserve Bank of India (RBI) did not yield satisfactory response from the Bank. The Bank, in its reply, said it had taken immediate steps for reversal of transaction with the beneficiary bank. It also took immediate action on email.
 
In its response to the consumer commission, Bank of Baroda said it had taken immediate steps for reversal of transaction with the beneficiary bank. It also took immediate action on email.
 
The commission said RBI had issued a circular in 2017, on customer protection. "...The opponent [bank] has also recorded its complaint to the department, United Payments Interface, in 'fraud' category. This itself made it clear that the fraud has taken place in respect of the account of the complaint and it was not negligence on the part of the complainant as alleged by the opponent," the commission said. 
 
The commission said the Bank had no doubt made the contact to the beneficiary bank for reversal of payment of transaction. "But the opponent could not succeed in it... the opponent has not honoured the request of the complainant to reverse the entry of payment of online transaction, which fraudulently took place, in view of the circular... This amounts to deficiency in service on the part of the opponent," the commission concluded. 
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