President directs NBP to return Rs87,000 to banking fraud victim

ISLAMABAD:President Dr Arif Alvi has directed the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to return a sum of Rs87,000 to an illiterate accountholder who was defrauded out of her money by the bank staff.

Taking advantage of her illiteracy, the banking staff used to withdraw more cash from her account and used to handover only Rs3-5 thousand to her while keeping the rest of the withdrawn cash, according to a statement issued here on Saturday.

The President also directed NBP to take action against those employees who exploited an illiterate woman and be on guard against such fraudsters. The President gave these directions while rejecting a representation filed by NBP against the orders of the Banking Mohtasib which directed the bank to pay the complainant a sum of Rs87,000.

As per details, Mr Sher Muhammad (the complainant) had filed a complaint before the Banking Mohtasib (BM) that he was maintaining a joint account with his sister, Ms Manzoor Fatima, who was an illiterate and used to go to the bank to withdraw cash.

The staff took advantage of her illiteracy and deprived her of her money. According to the complainant, there was a balance of about Rs200,000 in their account which was reduced to only Rs11,000 due to fraud. Feeling aggrieved, the complainant approached BM, which passed the order in his favour. The bank, then, filed a representation with the President.

The President rejected the representation by observing that the bank had filed the representation beyond the statutory period of 30 days from the date of the original order and was hit by limitation. He stated that the bank did not assail the original order of the BM, but chose to file an incompetent petition, which the Mohtasib rejected.

He added that the existing law did not allow the condonation of delay to entertain such a representation that was time barred. The President held that the representation deserved to be rejected out rightly as time-barred and NBP was directed to return Rs87,000 to the accountholder.