In a legal victory, the Bangalore Urban 11 Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ruled in favor of a consumer, Sri Satish T.N, in a case involving unauthorized transactions from his bank account. The judgment, delivered by Commission Member-cum-I/C President, Sri B. Devaraju and Member, V. Anuradha, highlights the responsibility of financial institutions in safeguarding their customers’ accounts.
The case revolved around unauthorized transactions that occurred on August 27, 2018, during which Rs. 50,000 was siphoned off from Mr. Satish T.N’s bank account. The funds were transferred to a third-party account, leading to a lengthy legal battle.
The commission stated, “The complainant has established deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties No. 1 & 2. The complainant is entitled to the claim amount of Rs. 50,000/- from the opposite parties No.1 & 2. The complainant is also entitled to compensation of Rs. 25,000/- and Rs. 5,000/- towards the cost of litigation expenses from the opposite parties No. 1 & 2.”
The judgment underscored the duty of banks to protect their customers from fraudulent activities and highlighted the importance of adhering to security protocols.
The complainant, Sri Satish T.N, had lodged a complaint against HDFC Bank and Kotak Bank, alleging that his bank account had been compromised by unknown hackers who made three unauthorized transactions totaling Rs. 50,000.
The commission noted: “On careful consideration, it is evidently clear that the opposite party Nos. 1 & 2 are to be held responsible for the fraudulent transactions. The opposite party No. 3 is the ultimate beneficiary of the fraudulent transfer of money, and the law has to take its own course against him, and this Commission cannot go into the aspect of the criminal proceedings which is beyond its purview.”
The judgment also cited a circular issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that outlines customer protection measures, emphasizing the bank’s liability in cases of unauthorized electronic banking transactions.
The commission stated, “The Circular issued by the RBI on 06.07.2017 on the customer protection limiting liability of customers in unauthorized electronic banking transactions… Banks may also, at their discretion, decide to waive off any customer liability in case of unauthorized electronic banking transactions even in cases of customer negligence.”
Case Name: Sri.Satish.T.N Vs HDFC Bank
Case No: CONSUMER COMPLAINT NO.741/2020
Bench: President, B. Devaraju and Member, V. Anuradha
Order dated: 30.08.2023