ISLAMABAD, Dec 01 (NNI): President Dr Arif Alvi has directed the Muslim
Commercial Bank (MCB) to investigate and initiate criminal proceedings,
including the registration of FIRs, against corrupt bank officials of
Gojra Road Branch, Jhang, who were involved in bank fraud.

He also directed MCB to return Rs 3.093 million to a customer who had
been swindled out of his money through the connivance of a Tea Boy and
bank officials posted at the branch.

The President gave these directions while deciding upon a representation
filed by MCB against the decision of the Banking Mohtasib directing the
bank to pay the complainant a sum of Rs 3.093 million.

As per details, Mr Muhammad Munir Ahmed etc. (Complainants) were
maintaining a joint account at the MCB’s Gojra Road Branch, Jhang
Saddar. They complained that upon reconciliation of the account in March
2021, they found a huge shortfall in their account balance and that 292
deposit slips totalling Rs.3,941,660/- were not credited to their

They also held valid deposit slips duly signed and stamped by the bank
officials for the deposits. They approached the bank for the redressal
of their complaint but the Bank rejected their claim on the basis that a
Tea Boy, posted at the branch, used to visit their laboratory for cash
collection and the deposit slips were affixed with a “Utility Bills
Received” stamp instead of “Cash Received” stamp.

They further contended that the Tea Boy was employed by a third-party
organization that had already lodged an FIR against him. The Bank stated
that it was not responsible for the personal dealings of the customer
with the Tea Boy which took place outside the Branch premises. Feeling
aggrieved, they approached the Banking Mohtasib for redressal of their

The Banking Mohtasib accepted the complaint and directed the Bank to
credit the Complainant’s account with a sum of PKR 3.093 million and
report compliance within 40 days. Subsequently, the Bank filed a
representation against the Mohtasib’s decision with the President.

The President conducted a personal hearing of the case at Aiwan-e-Sadr
and rejected the Bank’s representation.

In his decision, the President stated that the Bank’s denial of the
claims of the Complainants on the ground that the deposit slip neither
had the required “Cash Received” stamp nor was validated with any system
entry was not tenable as the receipt was a bona fide document and
admittedly issued under the signature of the Bank’s authorized Teller
Services Officers (TSO) who had been penalized in terms of dismissal
from Bank’s service.

He further observed that the bank branch had violated the procedures by
not complying with the Bank’s own SOPs, introducing on its own a new
system of signing deposit slips, affixing the “Utility Bills Received”
stamp (on customer copy only) without receiving cash as well as
collecting cash from customers from their business places. This, he
added, proved the Bank’s maladministration, malpractice, system failure
and control weaknesses.

The President held that the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of
their employees’ conduct who were in active service of the Bank when the
Complainants had become victims of fraud. “Shifting of liability on a
Tea Boy is preposterous and carries no weight as he was admittedly,
deputed by the branch to collect cash from customers’ business place and
pre-signed and pre-stamped deposit slips were handed over to him by the
branch and, as such, he was working as Bank’s agent and not as
customer’s agent”, he said.

He added that such fraud could not have been committed by a mere Tea Boy
without the connivance of the corrupt bank officials by violating the
defined procedure and in-vogue banking practices.

The President concluded that the Bank failed to fulfil its
responsibility, breached the trust of the customers, and put them at a
disadvantageous and risky position. He added that the appointment of
vigilant, honest and professional bank officials/staff was the
responsibility of the Bank and not of the Complainants, who had posed
trust in the Bank.

“It is a case of wrongdoing and maladministration by the bank owing to
their negligence. The Bank is responsible for making good the loss of
the Complainants.”, held the President and rejected the Bank’s
representation. NNI


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