Calling it “a classic case of fraudulent transaction by a bank,” the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) has ordered a nationalised bank to cough up Rs. one lakh as compensation to a customer whose money was deducted from her account without notice.

Disposing of an appeal by S.Vasudharini, who lost her money due to the deduction, the Commission, headed by its president Justice R. Regupathi, held that some officials handling the cash transactions during the relevant period would have failed to make an entry in the ledger and committed misappropriation, and to shift the blame on the customer, unilaterally debited a huge amount.

Ms. Vasudharini was an account holder with the Canara Bank, West Mambalam branch, from 2002. In her consumer complaint, she said that in 2006, she deposited lakh under the Kamadenu Deposit Scheme by paying Rs.50,000 in cash and the balance by cheque. On maturity after one year, the principal as well as accrued interest was credited into her account. After three years, the bank unilaterally debited a sum of Rs.61,383 without any written communication.

She was informed by the bank that the cash paid towards fixed deposit three years earlier was not credited to the bank and, therefore, presuming that there was no such payment made on that date, a debit entry has been made. Alleging deficiency in the bank’s service, she filed a complaint before a district forum for compensation. As her complaint was dismissed by the forum, she filed the present appeal before the SCDRC.

It was blatant negligence and apparent deficiency of service by the bank, the Commission said. Though the fixed deposit was closed in 2007 itself, the bank recovered a huge amount of Rs.61,383 claiming that there was no entry in the ledgers for the payment of cash made three years ago.

“When specific questions were asked to the bank about the contemporaneous materials and about the action initiated against the erring officials, the reply was negative,” the Commission pointed out while concluding that there was negligence on the part of the bank.

The Commission also directed the bank to return the deducted amount along with interest.

Calls it “a classic case of fraudulent transaction by a bank”