The Ahmedabad District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum on Thursday ordered Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) to pay Rs 10,000 to an account holder of its Sardarnagar-Hansol branch, Dinesh Pamnani, after he sued the bank for giving his personal details to his wife without consulting him.
Pamnani argued in court that he has a matrimonial dispute pending in family court and his wife could supply the bank statement to the court, to use it to her advantage. The husband felt his efforts to not reveal his financial details were frustrated by the bank’s decision.
According to the case details, Pamnani received messages on his phone on May 6 last year, intimating him that Rs 103 was deducted from his account. Two days later, when he inquired about the deduction, he was told that the charge was levied after his wife, Harshika, had sought his bank statements.
Pamnani objected to bank’s action, claiming that he had not given his wife the authority to carry out any transaction. He alleged deficiency in service on the part of the bank and dragged it to consumer court.
The bank defended itself and contended that Harshika had come to the branch as the client’s agent. The bank statements were supplied to her with a view of providing good service. The bank did so consciously and no damage was caused to the account holder. There was no ill-intent on the bank’s part.
Pamnani’s advocate C A Modi reiterated that the bank cannot give such statement to a third party without the account holder’s authorization. The bank’s action was a clear breach of the client’s privacy. The advocate cited that his wife could supply the details to a court and it would be damaging to his prospects in the litigation before the family court.
After hearing the case, the court concluded that according to the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines and bank rules, IOB could not have given the statements to a third party, without Pamnani’s authority letter. His wife had not come with this authority. The bank did not maintain the privacy of the account holder.
By terming it deficiency in service, the consumer court ordered the bank to pay Rs 10,000 compensation to Pamnani for causing him pain, agony and legal expenditure.