Judgment against bank for hacking of account reversed

The UT State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has set aside an earlier order by the district forum, against the Punjab National Bank in a case of unauthorized transaction through internet banking.

Amit Kumar Sharma, a resident of Sector 27, holds a savings bank account at the bank and had also subscribed to its Internet Banking facility. According to Sharma, on receiving the passbook for his account, he was surprised to see two debit entries of Rs 25,000 and Rs 400 that had already been made in August 2009.

According to him, these two transactions were debited to his account without his knowledge and he made a complaint to the bank regarding the two fraudulent transactions.

Sharma reported the matter to the Chandigarh Police, who referred his complaint to the Cyber Crime Cell of the Crime Branch. The Information Technology Department of the Crime Branch then revealed that the account, to which the money had been transferred through the two transactions, belonged to the same man.

It was further stated that since the bank was the custodian of the account, it was either hacked because of less stringent safety measures taken by it, or with connivance of a staff member, as no other person could have disclosed the secret PIN number or any other relevant information regarding the status of account of the complainant.

According to the terms and conditions by the bank, the complainant was required to keep the User-ID and password totally confidential, and not reveal it to any third party. It was stated that when the user complied with the terms and informed the bank immediately if this information is known to another person or notices an unauthorized transaction in his account, he shall not be liable for losses.

However, the user shall be liable for some or all loss, from unauthorized transactions if he had somehow contributed or caused the loss by negligent actions.

... contd.

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