Chandigarh, April 24
Depositing one consumer’s tax amount into another consumer’s tax account linked to a different PAN number was costly for Axis Bank.
Holding the bank guilty of failure to service, the Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, Chandigarh, ordered it to have the error rectified with the competent authority within 45 days from the date of receipt of the certified copy of the order.
It was also ordered to pay lump sum compensation of Rs. 15,000 to the plaintiff for mental agony and physical harassment as well as court costs.
Dr. Rohit Bansal, a resident of Mani Majra, in a complaint to the commission, said he had a savings account with Axis Bank. An amount of Rs. 40,000 was debited from his account on 15th December 2016 in respect of recovery of advance payment at source for the tax year 2017-18. It was neither deposited in the tax account against his PAN number nor reflected in his tax deposit statement against the income tax account. Upon investigation, it was revealed that the amount had in fact been deposited into another income tax account linked to a different PAN number.
Despite repeated verbal and written requests, no action has been taken by the bank.
The bank pleaded that an amount of Rs. 40,000 as withholding tax was wrongfully deposited in an account linked to a different PAN number. After the error was brought to their notice, he requested the Commissioner of Income Tax to correct the entries and adjust Rs. 40,000 in the complainant’s PAN number. Arguing that there was no breach of service on his part, a request for dismissal of the complaint was made by the bank.
After hearing the arguments, the commission, made up of members Priti Malhotra and SK Sardana, found the bank guilty of deficient service.
The commission said the bank had deducted Rs. 40,000 from the plaintiff’s account towards withholding tax and wrongfully deposited it in another PAN account. Approached, the error has not been corrected by the bank so far, which in itself amounted to a service deficiency on its part.
The commission said that in view of this, the bank was requested to have the error rectified with the competent authority within 45 days from the date of receipt of the certified copy of this order. It was also ordered to pay lump sum compensation of Rs. 15,000 to the plaintiff for mental agony and physical harassment as well as court costs.
However, it is specified that in case the bank fails to have the error rectified by the competent authority within the given time, it should credit the amount of Rs. 40,000 to the complainant’s account together with interest applicable to the savings bank account from the date of its deduction until its payment apart from the reliefs above.