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

Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Palm oil industry 'deceptively using geenwashing' to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

US 'frustrated' with India’s discomfort: Maritime exercise in South China Sea

By Vijay Prashad*  In early April 2024, the navies of four countries -- Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States -- held a maritime exercise in the South China Sea. Australia’s Warramunga, Japan’s Akebono, the Philippines’ Antonio Luna, and the United States’ Mobile worked together in these waters to strengthen their joint abilities and -- as they said in a joint statement  -- to “uphold the right to freedom of navigation and overflight and respect for maritime rights under international law.” 

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9. 

India 'not keen' on legally binding global treaty to reduce plastic production

By Rajiv Shah  Even as offering lip-service to the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEA) for the need to curb plastic production, the Government of India appears reluctant in reducing the production of plastic. A senior participant at the UNEP’s fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which took place in Ottawa in April last week, told a plastics pollution seminar that India, along with China and Russia, did not want any legally binding agreement for curbing plastic pollution.

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.