New Delhi Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi, asked the bank to pay the compensation amount of Rs 40,000 to Delhi resident Radhey Shyam Sharma for its "deficiency and hostile attitude" towards the consumer, saying that the bill issued against him was "illegal".
"After considering and receiving the envelope received by complainant (Sharma), we hold that complainant suffered due to some insider in the bank, and complainant cannot be fastened with liability for use of card, without telling him PIN.
"Holding Opposite Party (bank) guilty of not resolving the issue in proper way, we hold the bill issued against the complainant as illegal and award a compensation of Rs 40,000 to the complainant inclusive of litigation expenses for the deficiency and hostile attitude to consumer," the forum, also comprising its members S R Chaudhary and Ritu Garodia, said.
Sharma had told the forum that he had applied for a credit card in HDFC Bank and after its issuance, he later on received an envelope with nil PIN.
On opening the envelope, he found that the place where PIN should have been mentioned was blank, he said. In the meantime, he received a demand of Rs 7,500 as cash withdrawal made by the credit card from November 2, 2005 to November 5, 2005, while he had received the envelope of secret PIN on November 12, 2005, he claimed.
He said the bank, instead of addressing his concern, did not pay any heed and stuck to its point that Sharma must have used it.
Aggrieved with the bank's response, he file a complaint. He said on April 13, 2012, a bank official agreed for settlement of Rs 18,000, but the bank retracted later on, saying the employee was not authorised to carry out the settlement.
At this, the forum said, "Even if it was so, the proper course was to take approval internally from the competent officer in the bank, in the facts and circumstances of the case. But it has acted in reverse way to continue the case. This is shear harassment."