Sham Sunder, J. (President) -
(1.) THIS appeal is directed against the order dated 15.10.2013 rendered by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum -I, U.T., Chandigarh (hereinafter to be called as the District Forum only), vide which, it accepted the complaint, filed by the complainant (now respondent) and directed the opposite party (now appellant), as under:
"In view of the fore goings, we are of the opinion that the complainant has proved his case. Therefore, the complaint stands allowed. The OP is directed to waive of the charges of Rs. 29,000 from the Credit Card account of the complainant forthwith. The OP is also directed to pay a sum of Rs. 5,000 as compensation as well as litigation expenses to the complainant.
This order be complied with by the OP within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of copy of this order, failing which it shall be liable to pay a penalty of Rs. 50,000, besides paying litigation cost as aforesaid."
The facts, in brief, are that the complainant availed of Credit Card facility, from the opposite party Bank, against Credit Card No. 4629 8642 3733 1006. The representative/agent of the opposite party Bank informed the complainant that it (opposite party Bank) shall enhance his credit limit from Rs. 1.36 lacs to Rs. 2.80 lacs, without charging anything. It was stated that the said representative/agent of the opposite party, namely Amit, visited the complainant, and filled up a form, and got it signed from him. The complainant was requested to cut the Credit Card into pieces, and hand over the same to him (representative/agent of the opposite party), as he had to deposit the same, with it (opposite party), with a view to get the new card, in a week's time. The complainant acted accordingly. However, on the next day i.e. 15.12.2011 at around 8.41 p.m., the complainant received an SMS, on his mobile phone, stating that a transaction for Rs. 29,000 was done at CROMA. The complainant immediately contacted the ICICI Bank -24 hours Customer Care Helpline and got his Credit Card blocked. The complainant was also apprised that the Credit Card was used at New Delhi outlet of CROMA. The matter was reported to the Police, which made investigations, and traced the ID Card of the person, who fraudulently used the Credit Card of the complainant. The matter was also brought to the notice of the opposite party Bank. However, the Bank did not take any action, to trace the actual user of the Credit Card, which proved that its Officials were also in -connivance with the said person.
(2.) IT was further stated that the opposite party Bank also issued a letter dated 27.12.2011 to the complainant, stating that it had temporarily reversed the charges, billed to his account, towards the said transaction. It was further stated that the Bank, issued another letter dated 2.5.2013, stating therein that it had investigated the transaction, and came to know that there was a failure, on the part of the complainant, to exercise due diligence, in handling the Credit Card. It was further intimated that the outstanding amount, was required to be paid by the complainant, to avoid accrual of further financial charges. It was further stated that the aforesaid acts of the opposite party, amounted to deficiency, in rendering service, as also indulgence into unfair trade practice. When the grievance of the complainant, was not redressed, left with no alternative, a complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (hereinafter to be called as the Act only), was filed, directing the opposite party, to waive off the amount, in respect whereof he had been duped, through fraudulent transaction, aforesaid; provide the CCTV footage, in respect of the said transaction, to aid the Police investigation; pay compensation, to the tune of Rs. 1 lac, for mental agony, and physical harassment and cost of litigation.
The opposite party was duly served. Mr. Sandeep Suri, put in appearance, on behalf of the opposite party on 26.8.2013, as is evident, from the District Forum record, and filed his memo of appearance, whereafter, the complaint was adjourned to 10.9.2013. On 10.9.2013, reply and evidence were not filed by the opposite party, and the case was adjourned to 24.9.2013 for the said purpose. On 24.9.2013, none put in appearance, on behalf of the opposite party, as a result whereof, it was proceeded against ex parte.
The complainant led evidence, in support of his case.
(3.) THE opposite party, however, submitted the written arguments.;