ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has set aside an order of Banking Mohtasib Pakistan and directed the Mohtasib to process, enquire and deal with the complaint filed against the bank after providing hearing opportunity to the complainant.
It is reliably learnt that the president has recently passed an order dealing with the issue of handling of complaints of aggrieved persons by the office of Banking Mohtasib.
A complaint regarding international e-commerce transaction through debit card has been pleaded by a Lahore-based lawyer Waheed Shahzad Butt before the President of Pakistan, wherein instant order has been passed against the illegal disposal of order by the Banking Mohtasib.
According to the President’s order, the complainant stated that the Bank charged him excessive charges for particular international transaction held on March 24, 2022.
Upon receipt of the complaint, the matter was referred to the Bank and in response they submitted that the complainant used his Debit Card for international e-commerce transaction and the said charges were deducted as per the schedule of charges.
The case was fixed for hearing on November 16, 2023. Waheed Shahzad Butt Advocate appeared on behalf of the complainant, whereas, Chaman Ali Abbasi Advocate along with the Law Officer have represented the bank. At the outset, the Counsel for the complainant has pointed out that the complainant was condemned unheard.
Even the Banking Mohtasib Pakistan Secretariat had neither issued any notice to the complainant nor afforded him any opportunity of hearing which is a violation of the fundamental law no one should be condemned unheard.
Banking Mohtasib merely adopted the approach as was pleaded by the bank even without confronting him or enabling him to respond the same find support from the record also. Undoubtedly, such way of handling of the complaint cannot be countenanced.
In order to record the conclusion as to any maladministration, Banking Mohtasib is vested with vast powers to investigate the matter. It is thus a fit case to be investigated by the Mohtasib in terms of powers vested in him by law i.e. S.82-A, 82-B, 32-D to 82-F of the Ordinance.
Hence, the complaint needs to be decided in accordance with law after giving due opportunity of hearing to the parties. The closure of the complaint, thus, is liable to be set aside/ reversed.
As per law, this forum which partakes an appellate authority as held in Tariq Pirzada case (1999 SCMR 2189) can, on consideration of the matter, relevant material, confirm, set aside, vary or modify the decision/ order.
The President has accepted the representation, set aside the closure findings with the direction to the Mohtasib to process, enquire and deal with the complaint in accordance with law, the President’s order added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023