Consumer Court Rules in Favor of SBI in Case of Alleged Unauthorized ATM Withdrawal

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Published on: January 13, 2024 at 10:50 IST

In a recent development, the H.P. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Shimla, issued a ruling in the matter of unauthorized withdrawals from the savings account of the late Charanjit Singh. The case, originally heard by the District Consumer Commission, saw the State Bank of India as the defendant.

The deceased account holder, Charanjit Singh, had filed a complaint alleging that a total of Rs. 4,00,000 was withdrawn from his account between June 12, 2017, and June 20, 2017, without his knowledge or consent. The bank, in response, asserted that the complainant may have shared his ATM card and PIN, leading to the alleged misuse. The bank also claimed to have sent transaction messages to Charanjit Singh’s mobile number, but the complainant remained silent.

After a thorough examination of the case, the District Consumer Commission initially ruled in favor of Charanjit Singh, prompting the State Bank of India to appeal the decision to the H.P. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

In the recently issued order, Justice Inder Singh Mehta, President of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, remarked, “The complainant has himself stated that the ATM Card remains in his possession and he did not disclose the secret pin to anyone.”

The order further highlighted that there was no prompt police complaint or FIR filed by Charanjit Singh on June 21, 2017, regarding the alleged unauthorized withdrawals. The absence of a timely written complaint to the bank officials was also noted.

Justice Inder Singh Mehta emphasized that “Since the ATM Card was admittedly in the custody of the complainant, he was responsible to use the same cautiously without disclosing its secret pin to anyone.” The order concluded that, based on the presented facts, no deficiency in service or unfair trade practice could be attributed to the State Bank of India.

Consequently, the appeal of the State Bank of India was allowed, and the order passed by the District Consumer Commission was set aside. The parties involved were left to bear their own costs.

Case Title: The Senior Branch Manager, State Bank of India Vs Lakhinder Singh Kanwar

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