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Bank told to pay Rs 5 lakh to NRI customer


Consumer court told bank pay NRI customer

court has ordered ICICI Bank to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to an NRI customer for harassing him by illegally deducting over Rs 1 lakh from his account towards clearing an impostor's credit card dues..

BENGALURU : A consumer court has ordered ICICI Bank to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to an NRI customer for harassing him by illegally deducting over Rs 1 lakh from his account towards clearing an impostor's credit card dues.

Justice Indrakala B S, president of the Karnataka state consumer disputes redressal commission, pulled up officials of ICICI Bank's BTM Layout branch for not following KYC norms while issuing a credit card in the name of the complainant, Kishore Kumar Bodke, to the impostor who had produced fake papers to commit the fraud. Bodke, a resident of California, US, had opened an NRI account with the ICICI's Begumpet branch in An dhra Pradesh in 2009 and maintained a balance of over Rs 1.58 lakh. Bodke got a shock when he checked his balance on April 11, 2012 and found it was only Rs 11,824. He called ICICI customer care and was told the money was deducted towards payment for a credit card, which he allegedly got in Bengaluru in 2007.

However, Bodke told the bank authorities he didn't have any ICICI credit card and it was illegal to have abruptly deducted money from his account for a card he didn't own and without proper verification. He even pointed out that how could he have opened an NRI account in 2009 if he had defaulted on a credit card obtained in 2007. But ICICI Bank authorities allegedly didn't pay heed to his pleas and their loan recovery staff humiliated him, stating that his name and PAN card were matching with the defaulting credit card details.

Bodke pointed out in vain to the bank that other details of the credit card including address, phone number and email ID, were not matching with his. After the bank ignored the evidence he submitted to prove his innocence, Bodke approached the state co nsumer court here on June 20, 2012, seeking a compensation of Rs 49 lakh as damages for his ordeal. The bank told the court there was no deficiency in service and said the impostor had availed the credit card by using Bodke's KYC documents. The bank said it has lodged a complaint to investigate the fraud.

In its judgment, the court held t hat the bank was guilty of deficiency in service and had deducted money from Bodke's N RI account without following minimum required norms. Considering the loss incurred by the complainant, the court ordered the bank to pay him Rs 5 lakh co mpensation with an interest of 8% per annum from the date of his complaint.

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