Skip to main content

ICICI Bank "reluctant" to give details of multiple, fixed deposit accounts closed in 2006 without holder's knowledge

Bharati Sinha, a Delhi-based journalist, earlier with the India Today group, writes on her Facebook timeline on how she is being harassed by ICICI Bank in Delhi. We reproduce the text:
I am an extremely private person and use Facebook strictly as a public platform. I have never used smartphone and am only on the public platform of Facebook. I have used smart phone only for a few months early last year, to know and see how it works.
After almost a full year of running around and investigating the unexplained reasons for very powerful forces trying to ruin my reputation, my financial standing, my credibility, my health, I am coming across some answers. However, each answer is leading to more questions.
Recently, I have come to know that multiple accounts and fixed deposits were opened in my name and against my PAN number AAYPS9407R in ICICI Bank as far back as 2001. I had a salary account (Savings A/C 000701065065) with ICICI Bank’s Phelps Building, A Block, Connaught Place branch. I was then working as Group Chief of Bureau with India Today Group and they were operating employees’ salaries through that branch.
When I went to the branch office on 17th April to get information, gave my PAN number at the counter and asked for my account/s, the look on face of the counter executive told me there was something big going on there. When persuasion did not work, I threatened a police case against them, I got the information that fixed deposits bearing numbers 000715326558, 000715711067, 000715657003, 00071457174, 000715673810, 000714123220 were opened in my name, in joint names with my elder sister Arti Chowdhury and younger sister Pushpa Sinha. A joint account (A/C 000701065222) was also opened in my name with my daughter Vidushi Sinha who would have been a minor at that time.
I am told all these accounts were closed in 2006 and money taken out. I was denied instant access to the account opening papers, signatures, documents of identity proof, documents supporting my PAN. After a threat to calling the police, I have been asked to come again the coming week. Though the bank is not telling me the amounts involved, the expression of shock on their faces tell me they must be big.
My older sister died in 2005. If some fixed deposits were in her name, who took out the money? If it was I, I am entitled to see the signature on the withdrawal document.
Similarly, when my daughter took up her first job in 2007, she did not have a single account to deposit her salary slip which kept collecting in the house as she was then living with me. I took her to the same ICICI branch with application to make her joint account holder in my ICICI account. I was denied that saying the documents were not complete. Nobody informed me at that time about these accounts. The first account my daughter opened was when I added her name to my HDFC account later in 2007, where all her collected salary cheques were deposited.
Since the accounts have not been opened by me, and confirmed by the bank to have my PAN number, I mailed a complaint to the Commissioner of Delhi Police on 18th April which he acknowledged and referred the case to Special Commissioner of Police/New Delhi Range vide Dy number 7156/E-mail dated 18/04/2017. He also copied dop-vigilance-dl@nic.in.
I am yet to get a call from the officers referred to.
When I look back, I recall that at that time, I was perhaps the most trusted journalist of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Though I was equally trusted by the then Home Minister LK Advani and the rest of the BJP leadership. I was known and trusted for my credibility, and it is not unusual for that to be a threat for many. I am making this public because my journalistic instincts tell me that there may be a long struggle ahead to get justice.
Through this post, I want to attract attention of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee to help me get justice in getting full details of how many bank accounts/fixed deposits are, were, in my name all over the country. I suspect there may be many more. I have given my PAN number. All banking operations are centralized for the Finance Ministry. It is not linked for people like us, not as yet.
I want my right as a citizen of this country to fight my battle without powerful forces chasing me, threatening me, or threatening anybody who tries to help me. It is curious that it was in 2001 these deposits were created and it was in 2001 when post India Today, every editor who earlier wanted to hire me, suddenly changed attitude.
I am appealing to the Prime Minister and the President of India, not to wait for the physical demise of a conscientious journalist to eulogise her work. Ensure justice as custodians of law and constitution.
I seek help from friends who use smart phones to help me reach out to the above mentioned ministers.
Cheers to the spirit of journalism.

Comments

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.