Success Story for IT fefund due from AY 1996-97 till 2003-04
A widow and midday meal worker of Junagadh and her husband had invested in 4 term deposits with erstwhile State Bank of Saurashtra, [now merged with State Bank of India] Darbarbadh Branch, Bhavnagar Gujarat in 1996. In 1998 amount was defrauded when she and her husband were in Africa. Bank filed FIR and refused to pay back amount. This was totally against RBI directives on frauds, where in it is provided that customer should not suffer for fraud, if he is not a party to fraud. Her husband expired in 2003. Fraud was perpetrated due to negligence or connivance of officers of the bank.
She was introduced to me by my friend who works for consumer protection. Under my guidance she filed first RTI application on 26-03-2008. It took 26 letters, 9 RTI applications, 7 RTI first appeals, One second appeal and one complaint to Central Information Commission, New Delhi to get back this amount. All officers right from Branch Manager, Asstt. Gen Manager Bhavnagar, General Manager LHO Ahmedabad, Chief General Manager LHO, Ahmedabad, Bank Chairman at H.O. Mumbai, Directorate of Public Grievances Govt. of India, New Delhi, Governor RBI Mumbai, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Law & Justice were repeatedly hammered to get back this amount, without moving courts/consumer forums [as case was time barred]. It took me 1162 days to help her get back amount Rs.5.29 lakhs with interest for 13 years, after extensive follow up and RTI interventions.
I could dig out bank’s internal papers through RTI and could force country’s biggest and most adamant bank to repay the amount, based on their own papers and circulars. The lady had hardly any details of deposits, except name of bank branch and probable period of deposit. All other details were sucked through RTI.
RTI does work.