The Delhi High Court has asked a nationalised bank to deposit with it Rs 45 lakh, awarded as damage in an illegal fund transfer case, till the final disposal of its appeal.
The court stayed the Maharashtra adjudicating officer's February 25 order which asked Punjab National Bank (PNB) to pay Rs 45 lakh to Poona Auto Ancillaries as a fraudster transfered Rs 80.10 lakh from the PNB account of the MD of the Pune-based firm.
The vacation bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the bank to deposit the damage amount with the Registrar General of the high court till the final disposal of its appeal.
"Operation of the impugned order be stayed subject to the petitioner deposits Rs 45 lakh with the RG of this court," the court said.
Issuing notices to the ministries of Commerce and Information and Technology, the court sought their replies by August 13.
The Centre's counsel Sumit Pushkarna accepted the notices. The court order came on an appeal filed by PNB against the adjudicating officer's order on the complaint of Poona Auto Ancillaries under the Information and Technology Act alleging fraudulent transfer of funds from its current account with PNB branch Pune to the account of M/s Sutlej Textile with the PNB's Kathua branch in Jammu and Kashmir in August 2011.
According to the complainant company, the amounts were transferred in 40 transactions of Rs 2 lakh each and one transaction of Rs 10,000 in quick successions.
In the complaint, it was also alleged that out of Rs 80.10 lakh, Rs 40 lakh was transferred to the account of another company which had its account with PNB Mulund. In addition, Rs 20 lakh was transferred to another company which had the account with the PNB Bhavnagar in Gujarat. Again another Rs 60,000 was transferred to a Syndicate Bank branch in Mumbai in favour of a different company.
Filing the appeal before the high court, the bank claimed that it was not at fault as the company had shared the account password with its employees and the same was hacked but it was not leaked by the bank.
PNB's counsel submitted that the Cyber Crime monitoring cell of the bank has recovered Rs 37 lakh by blocking three accounts and this amount was transferred to the company's account.
The lawyer contended before the court that an appeal was filed before the Cyber Appellate Tribunal under the IT Act but the hearing could not take place as the presiding officer was not yet appointed by the Centre.