Bank of India v. Sandeep and Another

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Bank of India v. Sandeep and Another

Bank of India v. Sandeep and Another
In the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal
Cyber Appeal No. 3/2018
Before Mr. Shiva Kirti Singh, Chairperson
Decided on December 20, 2019

Relevancy of the case: Wrongful loss due to negligence of bank

Statutes & Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 43, 43A, 44, 45, 61, 79)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The complainant was enjoying a limited Net Banking Services having only the facility of Intra Banking without the facility for RTGS/NEFT transactions to any other bank, except Bank of India branches.
  • Both the bank accounts were linked with the complainant’s mobile-bearing a particular number. SMS and OTPs relating to the accounts were received on the said mobile number.
  • At around 3.00 PM, the wife of complainant received a call from the bank to inquire whether certain transactions of huge amount were being made by them through Net Banking.
  • The complainant called the bank to make enquiries and learnt that in total, a huge amount of Rs. 18.50 lakhs had been debited.
  • On the instructions of the complainant, his younger son lodged a police case in Nagpur on 25.8.2015 for the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 18.50 lakhs. A further complaint to the police was made on the next date also in respect of illegal transactions from the other account on 26.8.2015.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

Mr Umesh Deshpande, Counsel for the Appellant:

  • The complainant has alleged that it was because of negligence and irresponsible behaviour of the respondents in handling the account and personal details of the complainant that led to aforesaid losses to the complainant without any fault on his part.

Mr Tejveer Singh Bhatia, Counsel for the Respondent:

  • In the light of the relevant facts showing that the bank was proactive and informed the wife of the complainant that complainant’s mobile had been deactivated, the findings of the learned AO that the bank seems to have followed all the norms have been highlighted to support the plea that the bank should not be held liable for the loss to the complainant, rather it had helped in the recovery of money that had been transferred on 26.8.2015 from the other account and hence, the entire loss should be recovered from Vodafone.

Opinion of the Bench

  • The complainant has not filed any independent appeal but has made averments in its reply that it is entitled to interest and further damages as originally claimed before the AO. For this purpose, a more specific notice was required to be given to appellant before this tribunal by labelling the claims as cross-appeal or cross-claim. But that has not been done. Further, the learned AO has not recorded that such claims were pressed before him and has not dealt with them.
  • In addition to the amount already awarded, it is not found acceptable. In the interest of justice and equity, it must be noticed that as per AO, the complainant was entitled to receive Rs. 15 lakhs from Vodafone and Rs. 3.5 lakhs from the bank within one month of the impugned order dated 19.5.2018. If the amount has not been paid to the complainant, still the same must be paid within one month from that day along with interest @ 9% p.a. to be calculated from June 2018 till the date of realization.

Final Decision

  • The complainant shall be entitled to costs of Rs. 25,000/- in each of the appeals payable within one month from that day, failing which the same shall also carry interest @ 9% p.a. from the date of the judgment till the date of realization.
  • In case the appellants do not pay the decretal money within the time granted by the tribunal, the complainant shall be entitled to get the judgment executed as a decree through the learned AO by filing an application for that purpose.
  • The appeal was dismissed.

This case summary has been prepared by Mansi Vats, an undergraduate student at UPES School of Law, Dehradun, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in June/July 2020.