Saturday, June 9, 2018

SBI says husband can't use wife's debit card, court agrees

SBI says husband can't use wife's debit card, court agrees

Petlee Peter | TNN | Updated: Jun 8, 2018, 16:22 IST

Marathahalli resident gave her debit card with PIN to her husband to withdraw Rs 25000 from a local SBI ATM.

Her husband went to the ATM and swiped the card, the machine delivered a slip showing money was debited, but the amount was never released.

SBI cites 'non-transferable' rule, says account holder was not ATM user, turns down money claims.

SBI says husband can't use wife's debit card, court agrees

BENGALURU: A casual act of letting your spouse or a close relative/friend withdraw money from an ATM using your debit card could prove costly. This is what a Benglauru woman on maternity leave recently learnt, albeit the hard way.

Banking rules categorically state that an ATM card is non-transferable and no other person apart from the account holder should use it.

On November 14, 2013, Marathahalli resident Vandana gave her debit card with PIN to her husband, Rajesh Kumar, to withdraw Rs 25,000 from a local SBI ATM. Rajesh went to the ATM and swiped the card; the machine delivered a slip showing the money was debited, but the amount was never released. SBI cited the ‘non-transferable’ rule and said the account holder was not the ATM user and turned down the money claims.

Vandana approached the Bangalore IVth Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum on October 21, 2014, alleging that SBI had failed to refund the Rs 25,000 she’d lost in the ATM transaction. She said she had just given birth and could not move out of home, hence had to ask her husband to draw the money on her behalf.

When the ATM did not release the money, Rajesh called the SBI call centre only to be informed that it was an ATM fault and the money would be reverted to the account within 24 hours. With no sign of the money after a day, he approached the bank’s Helicopter Division branch at HAL with a formal complaint. But much to the shock of the couple, SBI allegedly closed the case in a few days, stating the transaction was correct and the customer got the money.

After running from pillar to post, the couple obtained CCTV footage that showed Kumar using the machine, but no cash being dispensed. They further lodged a complaint with the bank, following which an investigation committee ruled that Vandana, the cardholder, is not seen in the footage.

Meanwhile, Vandana, through an RTI, obtained a cash verification report of the ATM for November 16, 2013, which showed excess cash of Rs 25,000 in the machine. The report submitted in the court was later countered by the SBI counsel who produced a report showing no excess cash.

Before approaching the consumer forum, the couple made a final plea to the bank ombudsman who simply ruled, ‘PIN shared, case closed.’

The case went on for over three-and-a-half years. Vandana said SBI should refund her money which was lost due to an ATM flaw, but the bank stood its ground, citing the rule that sharing ATM PIN with someone else was a violation. Further, the bank produced documents, including log records, showing the stated ATM transaction was successful and technically correct.

In its verdict on May 29, 2018, the court ruled that Vandana should have given a self-cheque or an authorisation letter to her husband for withdrawal of Rs 25,000, instead sharing the PIN and making him withdraw the money. The court dismissed the case.


Also read the FULL Judgment as follows:

Complaint filed on: 21.10.2014

Disposed on: 29.05.2018

BEFORE THE IV ADDL DISTRICT

CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, BENGALURU

1ST FLOOR, BMTC, B-BLOCK, TTMC BUILDING, K.H.ROAD, SHANTHINAGAR, BENGALURU – 560 027       

CC.No.1786/2014

DATED THIS THE 29th MAY OF 2018

PRESENT:
  
SRI.S.L.PATIL, PRESIDENT

SMT.N.R.ROOPA, MEMBER

Complainant: Mrs.Vandana, aged 38 years, No.123, Sriven Towers, 4th cross, Laxmi layout, Marathahalli, Bengaluru-37.
By Adv.Sri.Stanley Sam     

Vs. 

Opposite parties: The General Manager, SBI Local Head office, Bengaluru, 65, St.Marks Road, Bengaluru-01 and Branch Manager, SBI, Helicopter Division, HAL, Bengaluru-17.
By Adv.Sri.J.Sathishkumar

PRESIDENT: SRI.S.L.PATIL

1. This complaint is filed by the Complainant against the Opposite party no.1 & 2 (herein after referred as Op.no.1 & 2 or Ops) seeking issuance of direction to pay amount of Rs.25,000/- with interest at 18% p.a. Further direct them to pay Rs.100/- per day as per RBI guidelines of Rs.28,300/-, compensation of Rs.5 lakhs, legal expenses of Rs.50,000/- and to grant such other reliefs deem fit for which the Complainant is entitled to.

2. The brief facts of the case of the Complainant are that, Complainant is a SB a/c holder bearing no.10918182304 of Op.no.2 branch. It is the case of the Complainant that, she wanted to withdraw an amount of Rs.25,000/- from SBI ATM situated at Marathahalli bridge for which she had sent her husband as she was unable to move around on account of delivery and post-delivery treatment. Her husband, Mr.Rajeshkumar went to the Marathalli SBI ATM on 14.11.13 at about 8.30 p.m. with the ATM/Debit card (hereinafter referred as ATM card) bearing no.6220180111400138363 to withdraw the said amount. Complainant’s husband inserted the card and entered the PIN and processed for withdrawal of an amount of Rs.25,000/-. But for his surprise, the cash was not disbursed and the slip was printed duly debiting the said amount from her SB account. The Complainant further submits that, her husband made a call immediately to the call center and they informed it will be credited back to the account within 24 hours or otherwise the Complainant can lodge a complaint after 24 hours only and they can contact the respective bank for any clarification. After 24 hours, the Complainant registered the complaint with Op on 15.11.13 and the Op replied stating that the said complaint has been attended and closed after resolution on 18.11.13. The Complainant further submits that, to their utter surprise and dismay, neither the money was credited nor they got any positive response. The said incidents had been intimated to Op.  They had directed it to the AGM-customer care in Bengaluru division but they made Complainant to fill in an application which was totally not the case which she was facing. The Op had sent a message to the Complainant stating that the complaint had been resolved without paying the Complainant’s money or crediting the amount in Complainant’s account. The Op dilly-dallying and making the Complainant run pillar to post and wasted almost 3 months. The Complainant further submits that, the CCTV footage of the respective ATM clearly shows that the amount was not disbursed. But a committee formed by the Op viewed the CCTV footage and came to a conclusion Mrs.Vandana (Complainant) was not seen in the footage. The Complainant clearly mentioned that it’s her husband who had gone to withdraw money from the ATM as she was on maternity leave and unable to go to any place. The cash verification report obtained through RTI shows that on 15.11.13 there has been no cash verification report available as the same was not done on that day as the machine was out of order and on 16.11.13, the cash verification report shows that there is an excess cash of Rs.25,000/-. The Complainant further submits that, she has approached Op several times reminding them of their obligation and duties, but every such approach was chided and ignored by the Op. A letter was sent on 25.11.13 to Op.no.2. The reply letter from Op.no.2 states that, since the said case does not come under fraud and therefore doesn’t come under the ambit of the committee and was closed on that ground. The Complainant with due respect humbly submits that since she has not received the said amount of Rs.25,000/- when an attempt was made to with draw the cash from the ATM and moreover since the excess cash of Rs.25,000/- has been found in the ATM the Op’s inaction has both monetarily and mentally harassed the Complainant. The Op is adopting an escapist route from the responsibilities that they are bound to perform and are trying to cover their negligence of non-compliance of statutory norms. As a result of the inaction of the Op the Complainant is out of funds to the tune of Rs.25,000/- for a long period of time now for no fault of hers. In this regard, a complaint closure letter was obtained from Banking Ombudsman closing the complaint on account of PIN being shared. In this context, Complainant issued legal notice dtd.19.07.14 for which Op evasive replied on 31.07.14 stating that, no excess cash was found in the ATM.  Hence prays to allow the complaint.

3. On receipt of the notice, Op.no.1 & 2 did appear and filed version.  The sum and substance of the version of the Ops are that, Complainant is the account holder of Op.no.1 bank. The bank at the request of the Complainant has issued an ATM card to the Complainant. The Complainant has alleged that on 14.11.13 at 8.30 p.m, her husband visited SBI ATM situated at Marathahalli, Bengaluru and tried to withdraw an amount of Rs.25,000/-. According to the Complainant the ATM did not dispense the cash but her account was debited for Rs.25,000/-. The Complainant lodged a complaint to Op.no.1 claiming Rs.25,000/- debited from her account. Ops further submit that, for better understanding of the functioning of the ATM such as withdrawal of cash, recording of the transaction in the ATM etc., the bank explains the procedure as “whenever a customer uses his ATM card to withdraw cash, the card number and PIN are first validated at ATM switch centre (ASC), Belapur Navi Mumbai by the ATM machine. Then the customer’s account with the Core Data Center (CDC) where the account details of the customer are stored is verified, and if sufficient balance is available to meet the withdrawal, the message is sent to the ATM via ASC, and the ATM dispense the cash. Simultaneously, the customer’s account is debited directly and credit posted in to ATM branch cash balance a/c online. In the ATM, the transaction is recorded in Electronic Journal Log (EJ-Log) and in the ASC the transaction is recorded in ATM log. If the transaction is successful and cash is dispensed by the ATM, the EJ log and ATM log will show the transaction as successful. If the transaction is success response code in EJ log will be 000 and if the transaction is not successful EJ log will show response code as ‘error’. Ops further submit that, after receipt of the complaint the bank has verified the details of the transaction from the ATM and its ACS. As per the records in the ATM and ACS, the Complainant was informed that money has been dispensed by the ATM and the transactions has been shown as successful in EJ log. The Op shared the information recorded in EJ log of the ATM with the Complainant. As per request of the Complainant the video footage of the ATM was also handed over to her. Ops further submit that, as per the terms & conditions of issue of ATM card the ATM card is ‘not transferrable’. The customer is not entitled to hand over the ATM/Debit card to anybody. The card holder is also bound to keep the PIN number confidentially. Admittedly the Complainant has handed over the ATM card and disclosed the four digit PIN to her husband and same amounts to violating the terms & conditions of the card usage. As the Complainant is not the author of the transaction in question and having violated the terms & conditions of ATM card usage is not entitled to claim any relief from the Op. Ops further submit that, Marathahalli branch of Op where the disputed ATM transaction has taken place on 14.11.13, has informed/advised that am excess cash was found on 16.11.13 to the tune of Rs.25,000/-. However, the said amount was not withdrawn from the ATM by the bank. On 27.11.13 while balancing the cash in the ATM, it noticed an excess cash to the tune of Rs.59,500/-. Out of which an amount of Rs.16,000/- and Rs.20,000/- respectively were reversed to the accounts of two customers as the complaints given by them were matching with the bank’s EJ log. The remaining amount of Rs.23,500/- was credited to the sundry cash deposit account of the bank. The Marathahalli branch has advised that the EJ log of the Complainant shows that her transaction has successful and technically correct. In view of the above, it is submitted that the Complainant is not entitled to claim any amount from the bank. Hence on these grounds and other grounds prays for dismissal of the complaint.

4. The Complainant to substantiate her case filed affidavit evidence and got marked the documents as Ex-A1 to A13. The Branch Manager of Op.no.2 filed affid avit evidence and got marked the documents as Ex-B1 to B7. Both filed written arguments. Heard both side.

5. The points that arise for our consideration are:

Whether the Complainant has violated terms & conditions of the ATM Card ?

Whether the Complainant proves deficiency of service on the part of Ops, if so, whether she entitled for the relief sought for ?    

What order ?
       
6. Our answers to the above points are as under:

Point no.1: In the affirmative  

Point no.2: Does not survive for consideration 

Point no.3: As per the final order for the following

REASONS

7. Point no.1:  The undisputed facts which reveal from the pleadings of the parties goes to show that, Complainant is a SB a/c holder, bearing no.10918182304 of Op.no.2 branch. The Complainant submits that, she wanted to withdraw an amount of Rs.25,000/- from SBI ATM situated at Marathahalli bridge, for which she had sent her husband, as she was unable to move around, on account of delivery and post-delivery treatment. Her husband, Mr.Rajeshkumar went to the Marathalli SBI ATM on 14.11.13 at about 8.30 p.m. with the ATM/Debit card (hereinafter referred as ATM card) bearing no.6220180111400138363 to withdraw the said amount. Further it is the case of the Complainant that, her husband inserted the card and entered the PIN and processed for withdrawal of an amount of Rs.25,000/-. But for his surprise, the cash was not disbursed and the slip was printed duly debiting the said amount from her SB account. In this context, the Complainant’s husband made a call immediately to the call center and they informed it will be credited back to the account within 24 hours or otherwise the Complainant can lodge a complaint after 24 hours only and they can contact the respective bank for any clarification.

8. The main contention taken by Ops are that, for better understanding of the functioning of the ATM such as withdrawal of cash, recording of the transaction in the ATM etc., the bank explains the procedure. Further as per the terms & conditions of issue of ATM card, the ATM card is ‘not transferrable’. The customer is not entitled to hand over the ATM/Debit card to anybody. The card holder is also bound to keep the PIN number confidentially. Admittedly the Complainant has handed over the ATM card and disclosed the four digit PIN to her husband and same amounts to violating the terms & conditions of the card usage. As the Complainant is not the author of the transaction in question and having violated the terms & conditions of ATM card usage is not entitled to claim any relief from the Op. Hence, prays to dismiss the complaint.

9. The similar type of case in CC.No.400/2015 has been decided by this forum by its order dtd.25.08.18, wherein the Op herein i.e. SBI was also the Op therein. As per the terms & conditions under which the ATM card has been issued are mentioned for guidance which are:

(c) The PIN

The card holder is initially allotted a computer generated 4 digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) which will be in a secured and sealed PIN mailer. The card holder is advised in his own interest to change this PIN to any other four digit number of his/her choice. For this purpose, he may use the PIN change option available at SBI-ATMs, while selecting a PIN, the card holder is advised to avoid a PIN, which can be easily associated with him/her (eg. telephone number, date of birth etc.,) besides, the selected PIN value should not comprise:

…A sequence from the associated account numbers

…String of the same number

…Historically significant dates                       

 Please remember that an unauthorized person can access the ATM services on card holder’s account if he gains the card and the PIN. The card therefore, should remain in Card Holder’s possession and should not be handed over to anyone else. The Card is issued or the condition that the Bank bears no liability for the unauthorized use of the Card. This responsibility is fully that of the Card Holder. Further the bank will not be responsible for any loss either direct or indirect on account of ATM failure/malfunctioning.

10. If the above clause is strictly construed, one thing is clear that, ATM card is not transferrable. We do not find any exemption clause in it to handover the said ATM card to the husband/wife/relatives/agents for withdrawal of the money from the ATM. In the instant case, if the Complainant would have been very diligent, she ought to have issued a self-cheque with authorization letter to her husband to draw the amount of Rs.25,000/- from the said bank. But she did not do so. Further it is evident that, Op bank issued the said ATM card with a condition that, it bears no liability for the unauthorized use of the said card. This responsibility is fully that of the card holder i.e. the Complainant herein. Further the bank will not be responsible for any loss either direct or indirect on account of ATM card failure/malfunctioning. These terms & conditions have been violated by the Complainant by handing over of the said card to her husband.  When the terms & conditions being violated, the said claim cannot be claimed by the Complainant as per the Hon’ble Supreme Court decision reported in (1996) 4 SCC 704 in the case of Bharathi Knitting co., vs. DHL Worldwide Express Courier Division of Air Fright ltd.,. In this context we come to the conclusion that, complaint filed by the Complainant is liable to be dismissed. Accordingly, we answered the point no.1 in the affirmative.

11. Point no.2:  Having found issue no.1 against the Complainant, we find out that, this issue does not survive for consideration. Accordingly point no.2 is answered.

12. Point no.3: In the result, we passed the following:

ORDER

1. The complaint filed by the Complainant is dismissed.  

2. Looking to the circumstances of the case, we direct both the parties to bear their own cost.   

(The order could not be passed within the stipulated time due to heavy pendency. Supply free copy of this order to both the parties)

Dictated to the Stenographer in the open forum and pronounced on 29th May 2018

SRI.S.L.PATIL, PRESIDENT

SMT.N.R.ROOPA, MEMBER

1. Witness examined on behalf of the complainant/s by way of affidavit: Smt.Vandana, who being the complainant was examined. 

Copies of Documents produced on behalf of Complainant/s:

Ex-A1: JP log switch report/end of the day report from 14.11.13 to 15.11.13

Ex-A2: Transaction slip

Ex-A3: CD of CCTV footage of 14.11.15

Ex-A4: Letter from HAL granting maternity leave.

Ex-A5: Marriage certificate

Ex-A6: Cash verification report showing excess cash of Rs.25,000/-

Ex-A7: Letter to Op.no.2

Ex-A8: Letter obtained from banking ombudsman

Ex-A9 & A10: Legal notice & RPAD receipt

Ex-A11: Reply notice

Ex-A12: ATM card

Ex-A13: Message sent by Op

2. Witness examined on behalf of the Opposite party/s Respondent/s by way of affidavit: Smt.Nirmala Rajan, who being the Branch Manager of Op.no2 was examined.

Copies of Documents produced on behalf of Opposite party/s

Ex-B1: ATM booth slip

Ex-B2: No excess cash certificate by Op.no.2

Ex-B3 to B5: ATM log

Ex-B6: EG LOG and No excess cash found certificate

Ex-B7: EG log TXN no.2899 dtd.14.11.13

SRI.S.L.PATIL, PRESIDENT

SMT.N.R.ROOPA, MEMBER


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