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

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

TN woman's No Caste, No Religion struggle 'follows' ideals of Marx, Ambedkar, Periyar

By Sheshu Babu*
In these days of rising communal tensions, a courageous woman from Tamil Nadu achieved her dream of obtaining 'No Caste, No Religion' certificate through persistent struggle. This is quite a significant achievement. It comes alongside some colleges in West Bengal introducing 'humanity', 'agnostic' , 'secular' or 'non-religious' in the application forms for online submission for students who are unwilling to disclose their faith.

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

US Kashmiri diaspora body: World leaders, UN 'not acting', India enjoys total impunity

Counterview Desk
Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session, to begin on September 17 in New York, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a non-profit organization based in Ohio, US, claiming to focus on providing information on Kashmir, has regretted that despite "violent" behaviour of Indian authorities in Kashmir, they enjoy "total impunity" across the world.

Modi used to 'run errands' during Emergency, his role was that much: Top JP associate

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp exposure, well-known Gujarati critic, journalist and activist Prakash N Shah, who had been among the main contact persons of Jay Prakash Narayan (JP) in Gujarat, has recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “merely running errands” during the Emergency (1975-77) period, adding the PM’s stature has been “sought to be unnecessarily inflated”, though adding, he is not saying this to “belittle him.”

Jharkhand riverine terminal: 485 families 'displaced', lose land, livelihood in Sahibgunj

Counterview Desk
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes to inaugurate on Thursday India’s second riverine Multi-Modal terminal (MMT) at Sahibganj in Jharkhand, built at a cost of Rs 290 crore reportedly in a record time of about two years, several civil rights organizations* have said that the government has failed to address the high-profile terminal’s social and environmental concerns.

Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK.  With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independenc…

Govt of India 'moves' to hold Assam-type foreigners' tribunals across India, warns report

Counterview Desk
A People’s Tribunal on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has warned in its interim jury report that two recent notifications of the Government of India may lay down the groundwork for triggering an NRC process in different parts of the country, pointing towards recent moves towards this.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk
“Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

New sample suggests high pollution off Vadodara effluent channel, 'requires' action

Counterview Desk 
Gujarat’s top environmental group Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) has sharply criticized the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s (GPCB’s) “on-serious, casual letter” dated September 5, which allegedly suggests that the top state state agency does not favour taking any action Central Gujarat’s effluent treatment plant, Vadodara Enviro Channel Ltd (VECL).