JORHAT, Sept 6 - A nationalised bank was recently directed by the District Consumer Forum, Jorhat to pay Rs 53,694 as �compensation and litigation cost� to a customer as miscreants had withdrawn Rs 30,694 from his savings bank accounts because of the lapse in the internet security system of the bank.
The complainant is Dr JCS Kataki, a retired scientist of the North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) here. He stated before the consumer forum that an unknown person claiming to be an official of the Mumbai office of the bank had told him on August 8 this year to collect his updated ATM card and the new PIN from the particular branch of the bank.
After sometime he received two SMSes from the bank�s SMS service stating deduction of two amounts of Rs 976 and Rs 769 for two unknown purchases. As the incident caused suspicion in his mind about the phone calls, he immediately checked his account status.
As he later found that another sum of Rs 28,949 was already withdrawn by the �miscreants�, he contacted the bank�s branch manager who advised him to report the matter to local police. Accordingly, he filed his complaint with the local police.
However, he allegedly did not get any response from the headquarters of the bank even after the senior officials concerned were informed about the case of wrongful withdrawal of money.
The lapse in the internet security of the bank came to light during the trial of the case by the District Consumer Forum, Jorhat where he had lodged a complaint later.
�During trial it was found that the State Bank of India in spite of receiving repeated requests from the complainant to trace the point of sale from which those withdrawals amounting to Rs 30,694 were made, refused to provide those information though the customer logins and activities were tracked and archived in onlinesbi.com,� stated the District Consumer Forum.
Delivering the judgement on the case the consumer forum chaired by (retired) Judge Majed Ali directed the State Bank of India to pay a sum of Rs 53,694 to the complainant as compensation and litigation cost.
�Due to lapse on the internet banking system of onlinesbi.com the miscreants stole his money though the State Bank of India claims that they follow the best security practices to prevent unauthorised access to their confidential information,� the consumer forum stated.