SBI ordered to pay for fraudulent ATM withdrawal

CC NO. 396 Of 2013

Phyllis Prabhakar Versus State Bank of India

The complainant is an account holder with the State Bank of India vide of Shyambazar Branch at 124A,Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata – 700 004 and availing ATM debit Card. It is stated by the complainant that on 29-06-2011 he went to the Tollygunge Metro Station compound ATM Counter at about 11:28 a.m. for balance enquiry and swiped his debit card in the 2nd ATM but found screen removed blank and he did not get any response while two men who were inside of the ATM room wherein four ATM have been installed, who told him to use the

first no.1 machine as the 2nd and others are defective and accordingly he checked balance of Rs.13,149/- and pressed the cancel button and also left along with his debit card and balance slip. However, at about 2:30 p.m. he got SMS from SBI Shyambazar that at 11:38 a.m. Rs.13,000/- was withdrawn from his SBI Account through ATM. Being shocked and surprised he immediately contacted with the SBI, Shyambazar Branch and talked to Mr. Naik, the ATM
dealing officer and lodged complaint and also came to know another amount of Rs.100/- was also withdrawn from his account. The complainant being aggrieved then lodged a written complaint to the Branch Manager, SBI, Shyambazar Branch, on 30-06-2011 and also filed on FIR No.152/11 with the Regent Park Police Station vide his written complaint dated 01-07-2011.

Under this circumstances, the complainant took the matter with the Consumer Service Cell, SBI through a written complaint on 08-07-2011 for taking appropriate action in the matter immediately for such fraudulent withdrawal of money from his account and also in the event of the advice of the OP official not to deposit money in his account, the cheques already issued by him got dishonoured and Rs.200/- also was debited to his account.

On several persuasions before the OP for realization of his money for which the complainant lodged compliant before the Directorate of CA&FBP, Govt. of West Bengal who took up the matter with the OP/Bank but they did not revert the amount of Rs.13,100/- along with admissible interest in his favour.

Hence, this case.

On the other hand, OP/Bank by filing written version submitted that no doubt complainant is a on receiving the complaint dated 30-06-2011 in respect of withdrawal of sum of Rs.13,000/- and Rs.100/- on 29-06-2011, the OP/SBI made an enquiry and came to know that on 29th June, 2011 at 11:29:16 hours a sum of Rs.13,000/- was
withdrawn through ATM, ATM ID No.S10A003084040 and on the same date at 11:29:54 hours a sum of Rs.100/- was also withdrawn through ATM ID No.S10A003084041 and the transactions
were successful. So, the allegations made against the OP/SBI are baseless, after thought and motivated to obtain illegal gains. So, the application filed by the complainant is not maintainable in fact as well as in law and is liable to be dismissed.

After going through the arguments, the consumer court decided the matter as follows:

We are of the opinion that in this case the complainants a consumer and the SBI/OP is providing service as defined u/s.2(1)(o) of the Act. Though the video footage in connection with the incident was in the custody of the Bank authority, but it is not clear whether they saw it on a regular basis for security of money of their customers and the said ATM premises with 4(four) ATM had no security guard /authorized person to look after and protect the consumers. Had the ATM premises being guarded the miscreants would not have moved freely inside the ATM premises. So, the bank authority failed to arrange for proper service to the complainant what tantamounts to deficiency in service as defined u/s.2(1)(g) and 2(1)(o) of the
C.P. Act, 1986 respectively and for such act of SBI/OP, the complainant has to suffer financial loss, harassment and mental agony and lost his money amounting to Rs.13,100/- lying with his
ATM bank account with the SBI, Shyambazar, Kolkata and in spite of knowing the incident of such withdrawal of Rs.13,100/- through unauthorized persons/fraudsters/miscreants, the OP/SBI did not refund the money to the complainant and take appropriate steps to protect the money of the customers who kept in its savings bank account on the ground of savings of their hard earned money.

So considering all the methods and facts as discussed, we are convinced to hold that bank administration has failed to that, they in their system the ATM counter attacks the anti fraud technologies was applied for skimming resistance i.e. job cards or FLS. So, it is proved that bank is no doubt negligent and deficient to give proper protection to the ATM card holder regarding security and safety of the identity of the card and confidential numbers and no such
certificate has been submitted by the bank authority that they are using it in Bangalore, Mumbai and other states.

In the light of the above observations, we are convinced to hold that bank authority is negligent and deficient to give protection in respect of the ATM and also to the card holder and his PIN code and for which we are convinced to hold that complainant is entitled to get back the amount of Rs.13,100/- with 8% interest and the op/bank shall pay and refund the same with interest against the savings bank account of the complainant. After concluding our judgment we want to say that the bank authority to be more careful in future and their administration who are controlling the entire ATM all over India so that they may apply the present technologies to defend the fraud technology from the ATM fleet. Otherwise the bank shall be always committed by producing two or three judgments of all the Commissions but truth is otherwise.

In the result, the case succeeds.

Hence, ORDERED that the case be and the same is allowed on contest with cost of Rs.5,000/- (Rupees Five thousand only) against the OP/Bank.

OP is hereby directed to pay the amount of Rs.13,100/- (Rupees Thirteen thousand and one hundred only) with 8% interest from the date of stolen of money by the hackers or authorized person from the ATM but same shall be refunded to the complainant and be deposited against his bank account within 15 (fifteen) days from the date of this order failing which for noncompliance of the Forum’s order OP shall have to pay punitive damages of Rs.10,000/- (Rupees
Ten thousand only) only to this Forum but even then if it is found that OP/Bank is reluctant to comply this order in that case the penal proceedings shall be started for which they may be imposed further penalty u/s 27 of the C.P. Act 1986.


    • PARTHA SARATHI DEY on 19/11/2014 at 5:39 pm

    Has the Op/Bank executed the Court Order or has appealed against it ?

    Please reply in the specified e-mail.

    • ICF on 21/11/2014 at 1:30 pm

    We are not aware.

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