It has been stressed a lot many times by the State Bank of India (SBI), that sharing your ATM Card is non-transferable. In fact, the rule from SBI mentions that no one other than the account holder should use it. However, a woman from Bangalore who was on her maternity leave learnt the SBI’s rule the hard way. As reported by The Times of India, the incident dates back to November 14, 2013, when Vandana, who was pregnant at that time gave her debit card to her husband, Rajesh Kumar to withdraw a sum of Rs 25,000 from an SBI ATM nearby. To withdraw the money, Vandana provided the ATM PIN to her husband. But the series of events took a different when the ATM machine showed a slip where it mentioned that the money was debited, however, the sum of money was never released from the ATM!
When the ATM failed to dispatch the money, husband Rajesh gave a call to the bank and mentioned the happening. However, the bank responds that the ATM machine was at fault and the money would be reverted to the account within 24 hours, reports Times of India. However, even after days the money never made back to the account. Rajesh made a visit to the SBI’s Helicopter Division branch at HAL and lodged a formal complaint. However, this is where the story took a mew turn as SBI allegedly shut down the case in a matter of few days. The bank stated that the transaction was correct and the customer received the sum of money.
The couple managed to get the CCTV footage of the date when Rajesh went to take out the money from the ATM. The footage allegedly shows Rajesh at the ATM and that no money was dispatched from the machine. The couple again lodged a complaint with the bank. This time, an investigation committee was formed at the bank which ruled that account and cardholder Vandana was not seen in the footage. SBI recalled their ‘non-transferable’ rule and claimed that the account holder was not the ATM user, and thus it holds the right to turn down the money claims made by the couple.
In the meantime, Vandana got her hands on the cash verification report of that particular ATM for the date November 16, 2013, through an RTI. The cash verification report from that ATM mentions an excess cash of Rs 25,000 in the machine. Following this, the cash verification report was submitted to the court. However, SBI counsel produced another report which fails to show any excess cash. Before heading towards the consumer forum, Vandana and Rajesh made a final plea to the bank, who stated, ‘PIN shared, case closed.’
Being unsatisfied with the ruling, about a year later, on October 21, 2014, Vandana went to the Bangalore IVth Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum. Here she alleged that the State Bank had failed to make the refund of Rs 25,000 which she had lost in the ATM transaction. Vandana made claims that she had just had her baby and could not move out. Thus she gave the ATM card to her husband along with the PIN to withdraw the money on her behalf reports Times of India.
The case continued for the next three-and-a-half years. Vandana and Rajesh were still short of Rs 25,000 and stood their grounds that SBI should refund their money which could not be recovered due to an ATM flaw. However, SBI continued to maintain their stance and cited their rule that sharing ATM PIN with someone else was a violation.
SBI produced documents, which included log records. These records showed that the ATM transaction was successful and was technically correct. However, the final verdict came from the court on May 29, 2018. The Times of India report states that the court ruled against that Vandana and Rajesh. The court mentions that instead of sharing the PIN and making him withdraw the money, Vandana should have given a self-cheque, if not an authorisation letter to her husband to withdraw the sum of Rs 25,000
The court finally dismissed the case.