View Full Version : Tab for rti in discussion forum

R K Rao
15-05-2011, 08:34 PM
Dear G Connect administrative authorities,

I feel one more Tab - "RTI Cases/ Queries" should be inerted for us to write / publicise articles, such as the one I am giving below.

I had to use this TAB (Crazy Stuff) because I did not know where else to post it?
(I have already used General Tab for another matter, just now).

I read an interesting article and giving below for informtion of all concerned:

In the event of a failed ATM transaction and the amount debited from a customer’s account, the bank must reimburse the customer within 12 days of complaint. Otherwise, it is liable to pay a penalty of Rs 100 per day. Hundreds of such cases happen daily, but very few people are aware about this RBI rule and most banks ignore it. Sharad Phadke, a senior citizen from Pune, used the RTI Act to force a bank to pay up.
On 18 October 2009, his ATM transaction of Rs 1000 failed. He tried again. The second time he withdrew cash. However, the failed transaction was also debited from his account in the Bank of India. Phadke lodged an online complaint with the Bank of India.
Nothing happened until 1st December, when he made another complaint. Yet the bank did not pay heed. He visited the bank and complained to the manager on 1 January 2010.
Phadke stumbled upon a circular of the RBI on its website. He was surprised to find that the RBI had made it mandatory for banks to restore the failed transaction amount of the customer within 12 days, or pay penalty at the rate of Rs 100 per day. The circular, dated 17 July 2009, under Section 18 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007, states:
RBI has been receiving a number of complaints, regarding the non-adherence of banks to the instructions stipulated therein. Further, it has come to our notice that different banks have put in place different cut-off limits for permitting cash withdrawals. These issues have been reviewed by RBI and all banks may follow the following directives:
Banks are required to reimburse to the customers, the amount wrongfully debited on account of failed ATM transaction within 12 days from the date of receipt of customer complaint.
For any failure to re-credit the customer’s account within 12 working days from the date of receipt of the complaint, the bank shall pay compensation of Rs 100 per day to the aggrieved customer. The compensation shall be credited to the customer’s account automatically, without any claim from the customer, on the same day when the bank affords the credit for the failed ATM transaction.
The issuer bank is entitled to claim such compensation paid to the customer from the acquirer bank if the delay is attributed to the latter. By the same logic, the ATM network operator shall compensate the banks for any delay on their part.
Each bank shall present a quarterly review of ATM transactions to its board of directors, indicating inter alia, the quantum of penalties paid, reasons thereof and the actions taken to avoid recurrence of such instances. A copy of the note along with observations of the board shall be forwarded to the Chief General Manager, RBI, Department of Payment & Settlement Systems, Mumbai.
Phadke dashed off another official complaint to the Bank of India, Laxmi Road branch. On 7 February 2010, Rs 1000 was credited to his account. Phadke asked the bank for the compensation for the 65 days delay. Their replies were evasive.
Phadke filed an RTI application at the Bank of India’s HQ in Mumbai, on 7th February:
I lodged a complaint on 18 October 2009 for a failed transaction. The maximum period stipulated by the RBI is 12 working days which ended on 3 November 2009. The wrongfully debited account was corrected by reverse entry on 7 January 2010. The delay was 65 days.
Phadke attached a copy of the RBI circular and asked for the following information:
(a) What action have you taken against the person responsible for this delay in ATM section of HO? Give the name and designation of the person who is responsible for the delay.
(b) Why was my account not credited on that day, with compensation? Who is responsible for this illegal act on the part of the bank? Supply me the name and designation of the person acting against the rules laid down by the government and the RBI.
(c) In how many cases from 17 July 2009 to 31 January 2010, was this law violated?
(d) Supply me the full list of customers at present, in numbers, in excel format, according to your regions and branches
(i) who have not been paid within 12 working days
(ii) who have not been paid compensation, and
(iii) who have been paid compensation.
(e) What corrective action have you taken from your side to avoid this type of delays?
Surprisingly, on 24th February, the compensation amount of Rs 6500 was credited to his account. “The mere exercise of filing an RTI application put the bank under pressure and it immediately released the money,” says a beaming Phadke. An RTI application has become a non-violent tool to demand accountability and transparency from state and central government departments, by a mere stroke of the pen.
Thereafter, on 13 March 2010, he received a reply: Although the complaint was lodged on 16.10.09 and it was downloaded from the website on 20.10.2009, ATM Reconciliation Team could not attend to the complaint in time. When ATM Reconciliation Team took up the complaint for redressal, the same was settled within 12 days.
As for the customer list of those who have been paid and who have not been paid compensation, the bank took shelter under Section 8 (1) (d) and (2) of the Act that exempts disclosure of an individual’s information. The reply stated: furnishing the details as required by you not only would violate commercial confidence, but would also cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the said individuals. Hence, it is exempted from disclosure.
The Bank of India, HO, Mumbai, later replied that there were 53 people whose ATM transactions had failed in the period and the compensation paid was to the tune of Rs 173,500 (this includes all Indian branches of Bank of India in 2009-10). Shockingly, in a reply to a subsequent RTI query, the bank said that it paid Rs 290,300 between 2009 and 2011. Only 4 cases were registered in 2010-11, which means that these 4 cases were paid compensation on an average of Rs 30,000 each! This is, perhaps, only the tip of the iceberg of how callous banks are about reimbursing customers the amount debited in failed ATM transactions.
As for the bank using Section 8, RTI activist and expert Vijay Kumbhar vehemently states: These sections do not apply here as Phadke is only asking for the list wherein the information pertains to who the penalty has been paid or not paid. It does not come under fiduciary relationship under Section 8. He is not asking individual income tax details. In fact, making such a list public would bring in more accountability in banks regarding this grave issue.
Phadke requested inspection of files under Section 4, for the list of customers at the Laxmi Road branch of the Bank of India who have been paid as well as not paid for negligence of the bank, in not restoring the failed ATM transaction amount, but this was also denied to him.
Undeterred by this unsatisfactory information and denial for inspection of files, Phadke filed an appeal to the Appellate Authority and Central Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra. The hearing through video-conferencing took place on 4 November 2010. The CIC directed the Bank of India Headquarters in Mumbai: The PIO should provide some more information…and allow the appellant to inspect relevant records, as available…
The CIC also took this opportunity to direct the PIO “to assemble all records and documents, including circulars and guidelines relating to the various proactive disclosures at the branch, in terms of the Section 4 (1) of the RTI Act, at the Laxmi Branch and to invite the appellant to inspect the same on any mutually convenient day within five working days from the receipt of this order. We expect that the records, documents, circulars and guidelines, etc, at the branch level will be arranged item-wise against each of the 16 items listed in that section, before placing it for inspection. However, if no such disclosure has been made at the branch level, the CPIO shall clearly inform the appellant accordingly.”
Phadke put up his case on the rtiindia.org. A former bank official and RTI activist, JP Shah, invoked the RTI on this issue with IDBI Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, ICCI and Bank of Baroda. While ICCI stated that it is a private bank and does not come under the jurisdiction of the RTI Act, the others provided information. It is clear that failed ATM transaction are not rare; banks not paying compensation is also not rare.
Phadke made a series of RTI applications, one of them to the RBI, asking it for copies of quarterly reports of ATM transactions submitted by banks and about the action taken against those banks that have not sent such reports. The RBI replied that there is no time frame for banks to send these reports and it is expected of the banks to adhere to the guidelines that were sent to them in the form of a circular. However, thanks to Phadke’s efforts, the RBI has sent all banks 2 more circulars on 22/03/2011 asking for information in detail.
Citizens can contact Phadke at [email protected] for help.

------------------------------> When I posted this, I typed rti in small letters. Then I went for editing it - But could not go to subject. Any idea?

R K Rao
21-05-2011, 10:56 AM
I had written there should be a tab for rti matters also.
No response?