President Dr Arif Alvi on Sunday set aside a decision of the Banking Mohtasib over dealing with the complaint of an account holder “in an arbitrary manner” and directed to address his grievance in accordance with law. The president asked the Banking Mohtasib to “process and inquire” the complaint of the account holder after affording him a due opportunity of hearing. The complainant Shaheen-ur-Rehman, a government employee, had filed a representation with the President of Pakistan against the review order of the Banking Mohtasib wherein he was not rendered any relief to his grievance against a bank. The complainant had approached the Banking Mohtasib alleging maladministration on part of a private bank, which declared his bank account as “non-remunerative”, thus causing him a monetary loss. The complainant in his request mentioned that he had opened a new bank account for the purpose of depositing profit on the principal amount, in addition to his earlier Profit & Loss Sharing (PLS) account meant for salary and pension only. However after one year, when he approached the Bank to receive the accrued profit, his account was declared as Current Account (Basic Banking Account). On getting no relief despite several complaints lodged with the bank followed by a petition with the Banking Mohtasib, the complainant made a plea to the President of Pakistan. Taking note of the grievance of bank account holder, President Alvi expressed dismay over the dealing of his complaint in a “casual manner, without observing the minimum requirements and standards of inquiry”. “This type of disposition of the matter is uncalled for and unsustainable. The rights of the people cannot be trampled in such an arbitrary manner,” he said. He emphasized that the person should have been provided an opportunity “to personally confront the Bank’s response, enabling him to put forth his stance for establishing allegations of maladministration and negligence”. The president said the Banking Mohtasib was a forum to redress the grievances of the complainants in accordance with law and natural justice, and hence was expected to observe the minimum requirements of law. He referred to the Section 82-A, 82-B, 82-D, 82-E and 82-F of the Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962, as the relevant provisions meant to be followed in inquiring and processing of the complaints besides the observance of principles of natural justice. “In this case, the whole process is lacking rather than absent and the complaint was closed summarily without due care and application of mind,” he said. He stressed that the complaint needed to be inquired and decided in accordance with law after giving due opportunity of hearing to the parties. “Therefore, we set aside the closure findings with the direction to the learned Banking Mohtasib Pakistan to process, inquire and deal with the complaint of the complainant in accordance with law after affording an opportunity of explaining his grievance and hearing him,” the president concluded in his written order.