Complaint filed against SBI Pfüstero branch in Nagaland
A State Bank of India (SBI) account holder from Pfüstero town in Nagaland’s Phek district has filed a complaint against the staff of the bank’s Pfüstero branch, accusing it of fraudulently withdrawing INR 11.28 lakh, which was due to her after a fixed deposit she made with the bank matured in November last year.
In the complaint letter lodged with the Pfütsero Police station on March 9 2023, a copy of which is available with this newspaper, the SBI account holder stated that she had transferred INR 10 lakh from her savings account on November 24, 2020, for fixed deposit with 5% interest for a period of one year.
On attaining maturity, the principal amount along with interest amounting to INR 10, 49, 908 (approx. INR 10.49 lakh) was re-deposited to the bank for a period of one year, for which the depositor was supposed to receive INR 11, 28, 053 (approx. INR 11.28 lakh) after the maturity on Nov. 24, 2022, according to the complaint.
However, she claimed that when she visited the branch on December 5, 2022 to claim the amount, the bank officials asked her to come on another day, citing a big rush on that day. She visited the branch again on Jan. 24, 2023, and met with the bank officials.
“During the course of the discussion, to my utter surprise, it was disclosed that the matured value of INR 11,28,053 of mine had been fraudulently withdrawn by the staff of the bank without my knowledge and consent,” stated the complainant.
Upon threatening to register a criminal case against the branch if the bank didn’t deposit the amount due to her immediately, the bank officials requested her not to take any legal action by assuring to repay the amount within a short period of time, but the bank officers have failed to deposit the amount till the time of filing the complaint on March 9, according to the letter.
The complainant has, therefore, requested the officer in-charge of Pfütsero Police Station to ‘register a criminal case against the officials of the SBI, Pfütsero branch, for committing fraud, cheating and misusing of their office and to prosecute under the relevant provisions of law’.
She also demanded immediately recovery of the amount along with interest from November 25 2022 till the bank makes full payment.
When Eastern Mirror asked an official of the SBI Pfütsero branch on Friday evening over the phone, if the allegation made by one of its customers from Pfütsero town was true, the banker said “no complain letter was received”.
“Please let me confirm you tomorrow (Saturday),” the official had said on Friday. However, there was no response despite attempts made on Saturday to verify the matter.
The Pfutsero police on Saturday confirmed that it has “received” an FIR on the matter and the case is “under inquiry”.
Meanwhile, a resident of Pfütsero, who is familiar with the matter, told this newspaper that the situation is particularly worrying as many people in rural areas are not financially literate and rely entirely on the trustworthiness of the banks.
‘The bank’s betrayal of this trust not only causes significant financial hardship to customers like the one from Pfüstero but also raises broader concerns about the accountability and transparency of the banking industry in rural areas,’ the person added. Kohima, March 11 (EMN)