For a few years, a Delhi-based woman had been setting aside money for her daughter in a fixed deposit account with a prominent multinational private bank — only to find out recently that her account, which had around Rs 10 lakh, had been wiped out by someone.
Delhi Police lodged a case against the bank’s head office in Mumbai and named its chairman and Delhi branch manager based on the woman’s complaint. Police suspect bank officials in Delhi cheated the woman by colluding with officials from other local banks. The money is now in an unknown account, said police.
The Preet Vihar resident, who works at a private firm in Delhi, said she had a savings bank account with the bank for over a decade: “I created the account to save money for my daughter and her education. The balance was Rs 5.98 lakh on September 29, 2016… I was advised by the bank to open an FD account with a Bharatpur branch (where the family lived earlier) and transfer the money to it… A bank officer at the Preet Vihar branch advised me to make different investment plans…”
She said she agreed to pay Rs 5 lakh per annum for the ‘Girl Child Plan’. As per police, the first installment was deducted in 2016 and the second in 2017. “Sometime later, I received a call from the bank to deposit the third installment. As it was not due, I went to the bank to clarify and was told such calls are made from call centres at headquarters which are outsourced… they acknowledged the installment was still not due,” alleged the woman.
The woman said the bank assured her the call was a “mistake”. “We (later) gave them a cheque for the third installment… Later, I was told by bank officials and the manager that the money had been transferred to some other account. I was shocked… Someone forged my signatures… I tried to speak to the manager but he threatened to implicate me in a false case and said he’d call Income Tax officials.”
Her complaint read, “They either criminally misappropriated the funds or handled them in such a negligent manner that they lost the funds to another unauthorised account without my approval…”
The woman approached the Consumer Court and wrote to the Police Commissioner after which an FIR was lodged. Police said they would be questioning the bank manager and other senior officials.a