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Private bank to pay Rs 1.75 lakh for customer's loss due to fraud

A private bank has been held "grossly negligent" by a consumer forum for allowing withdrawal of Rs 1.25 lakh from a customer's account without permission and directed it to return him the amount along with compensation of Rs 50,000.

Private bank to pay Rs 1.75 lakh for customer's loss due to fraud
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"From the facts and circumstances, it is apparent that there is gross negligence and deficiency in service on the part of the bank which caused the heavy financial loss to the complainant. He is entitled to recover the amount withdrawn from his account from bank and compensation...," the South West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said.

The bench presided by Narendra Kumar directed the bank to pay Rs 1.25 lakh which had been withdrawn from the account of Delhi resident Amit Kumar Ghosh by some fraudsters and to also pay him Rs 50,000 as compensation.

According to Ghosh's complaint, he had a salary account in the bank. On January 16, 2009, he received five SMS alerts each relating to withdrawal of Rs 25,000 from his salary account, totalling Rs 1.25 lakh, within minutes.

He had immediately contacted the bank, which, after conducting a probe, informed him that some fraudsters had removed the money from his account, Ghosh said.

The complainant had alleged that the bank was negligent with regard to safety of customers' confidential information, including password, and as a result he suffered financial loss.

The bank in its defence denied that it was negligent and contended that the possibility of connivance of Ghosh in the alleged fraud cannot be ruled out.

The forum, however, rejected the contention saying Ghosh would not share his personal information with strangers as it could result in financial loss for him.

It also said the connivance of the bank's employees who dealt with Ghosh's account cannot be ruled out and directed the bank to take action against its erring officials.  

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