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BANKING CARDS MATTER - PIL.
SUMMARY OF PETITION NO – 063/2012.
THINGS TO NOTE !!

A] SINCE CREDIT + DEBIT + ATM. CARDS ENABLE ACCESS TO MONEY, THE HOLDERS OF EITHER OF THEM ARE PRONE TO BE TARGETED BY CRIMINALS RESULTING IN DIRECT CRIMES RANGING FROM SNATCHING, PICK POCKETING, FRAUD, KIDNAPPING AND EVEN CAUSING GREVIOUS INJURY WHICH MIGHT EVEN RESULT AND DEATH – HENCE IS THE NEED TO INCORPORATE DETERRENTS IN FORM OF MANDATORY IMPRINTING OF PHOTOGRAPH AND SIGNATURE OF THE HOLDER ON THE FACE OF THE CARD.

B] ADCP. - NORTH EAST DISTRICT, DELHI + DCP. - IGI. AIRPORT, NEW DELHI + ADCP. – SOUTH DISTRICT, NEW DELHI + ADCP. – WEST DISTRICT, NEW DELHI + ADCP. – NEW DELHI DISTRICT, HAVE CLEARLY EXPRESSED THEIR VIEWS, THAT MANDATORY IMPRINTING OF PHOTOGRAPH AND SIGNATURE OF THE HOLDER ON THE FACE OF CREDIT + DEBIT + ATM. CARDS WILL PREVENT MISAPPROPRIATION IN CASE THEY ARE LOST OR STOLEN (BY PREVENTING CRIMINALS TO MISUSE THEM) TILL THEY ARE DEACTIVATED. FURTHER IT WILL ALSO HELP THE MERCHANT (IN WHOSE OUTLET THE CARD IS BEING PRESENTED FOR USAGE) TO IDENTIFY THE REAL USER AND ALSO MAKE THE MERCHANT MORE ACCOUNTABLE.

C] AS PER REPORT PUBLISHED IN KOLKATA EDITION OF TELEGRAPH, THE INDIAN POLICE JOURNAL, PUBLISHED BY THE BUREAU OF POLICE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT STATES THAT - CRIME STATISTICS ARE LOWER THAN INCIDENCE BECAUSE POLICEMEN ARE RELUCTANT TO REGISTER F.I.R. THE STUDY WAS CONDUCTED IN NORTH BENGAL BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE AND REFLECTED THAT THE NUMBER OF RECORDED CASES OF CRIME WENT UP BY MORE THAN (400%) AFTER REGISTRATION OF F.I.R.S WAS MADE MANDATORY. HENCE IT CAN BE VERY WELL BE CONCLUDED THAT THE ACTUAL NOS. OF CRIMINAL CASES WITH RELATION TO THE CARDS ARE BY FAR MORE THAN THOSE ACTUALLY REPORTED.

D] AS PER REPLY AGAINST AN RTI.QUERY BY THE PETITIONER, FROM DR.DHANI RAM APIO. BUREAU OF POLICE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT NEW DELHI, WHICH REFLECTED THE ACTUAL NO. OF POLICE PERSONNEL AGAINST THE SANCTIONED NO. PER LAC OF POPULATION IN INDIAN STATES AS ON (01/01/2009) AND ALSO SHOWED THE COMPARISON OF POLICE AVAILABILITY PER LAC OF POPULATION FOR THE YEARS (2001 & 2002) BETWEEN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES OF THE GLOBE i.e. ONLY (136.4) POLICE PERSONNEL PER LAC OF POPULATION IN INDIA - AGAINST (326.4) OF USA., (559) OF ITALY AND (192.7) OF NEPAL – FROM THE REPORT, IT IS CLEARLY VISIBLE THAT OUR NATION LAGS FAR BEHIND AMONG MANY NATIONS OF THE GLOBE IN TERMS OF ENSURING HIGHER NUMBER OF POLICE PERSONNEL AGAINST EVERY LAC OF POPULATION. DUE TO THIS INSUFFICIENT NO., THE POLICE IS IN ALL PROBABILITIES IS UNABLE TO PROVIDE THE REQUIRED SECURITY COVER WHICH OUGHT TO BE EXTENDED TO THE CITIZENS OF THE NATION FOR ENSURING PROPER AND ADEQUATE SAFETY AND PEACE. WHAT HAS FURTHER AGGRAVATED THE SITUATION IS THAT – EVEN THERE IS A REMARKABLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ACTUAL AND THE SANCTIONED NUMBER OF POLICE PERSONNEL IN THE NATION. ADDITIONALLY IT IS NOT A HIDDEN FACT THAT OUR POLICE FORCE IS ILL EQUIPPED AND COMPARES POORLY WITH THE DEVELOPED NATIONS, WHO ARE BENCHMARKS IN TERMS OF INTERNAL SECURITY – (BOTH IN TERMS OF TECHNOLOGY & WEAPONRY). THIS DOUBLE PUNCH OF LACK OF ADEQUATE MANPOWER COUPLED WITH LACK OF LATEST TECHNOLOGY – PRESENTS A STRONG CASE FOR EFFECTIVE DETERRENTS.

E] 1) AS AT END OF AUGUST’2011, 17.58 MILLION (ONE CRORE SEVENTY LACS AND FIFTY EIGHT THOUSAND) CREDIT CARDS WERE IN CIRCULATION. THIS INFO IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON RBI. WEBSITE AND UPDATED FROM TIME TO TIME.

2) AS AT END OF AUGUST’2011, 251.48 MILLION (TWO CRORE FIFTY ONE LACS AND FORTY EIGHT THOUSAND) DEBIT CARDS WERE IN CIRCULATION. THIS INFO IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON RBI. WEBSITE AND UPDATED FROM TIME TO TIME.

3) DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST’2011, THE TOTAL SPEND VALUE OF CREDIT CARDS (AT POS) WAS RS. 8078.98 CRORE.

4) DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST’2011, THE TOTAL SPEND VALUE OF DEBIT CARDS (AT POS) WAS RS. 4560.52 CRORE.

5) DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST’2011, THE VALUE OF CASH WITHDRAWAL WAS: DEBIT CARDS – RS. 112273.89 CRORE & CREDIT CARDS – RS. 108.85 CRORE.

F] AS PER A REPORT PUBLISHED ON (25/10/2011) IN THE NEWSPAPER – ECONOMIC TIMES KOLKATA EDITION, THE FINANCE MINISTRY HAS DRAWN UP A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN THAT REQUIRES BANKS TO PROVIDE A KISSAN CREDIT CARD TO EVERY FARMER AND A GENERAL PURPOSE CARD TO OTHER HOUSEHOLDS. WITH THE COUNTRY HAVING (14) CRORE RURAL HOUSEHOLDS, THE GROWTH IN NUMBER OF CREDIT CARDS FROM CURRENT (1.70) CRORES (POST IMPLEMENTATION OF FINANCE MINISTRY PLAN OF FINANCIAL INCLUSION THROUGH SPREAD IN USAGE OF CREDIT CARDS CAN VERY WELL BE IMAGINED). THE REPORT FURTHER MENTIONS THAT THE LEAD BANKS HAVE TO WORK OUT A ROADMAP FOR ELECTRONIC BENEFIT TRANSFER IN RESPECT OF EACH OF THE (32) GOVERNMENT SCHEMES, INCLUDING THE FLAGSHIP MAHATMA GANDHI NATIONAL RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE ACT, WHICH INVOLVE SOME SORT OF FINANCIAL TRANSFER. THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA HAS ALREADY ISSUED GUIDELINES ON ELECTRONIC BENEFIT TRANSFER AND ITS CONVERGENCE WITH FINANCIAL INCLUSION PLAN. GIVEN THE EXHAUSTIVE PLANS BY THE FINANCE MINISTRY WITH REGARDS TO CREDIT CARDS ONE CAN VERY WELL IMAGINE HOW REMARKABLY THE NOS. OF CREDIT CARDS IN CIRCULATION IS POISED TO GROW AND HENCE THE NEED FOR DETERRENTS WHICH ARE VERY MUCH ESSENTIAL TO CHECK AND PREVENT THE COMMISSION OF CRIME, BOTH BY THE HOLDER OR FROM CRIMINALS TARGETING THE HOLDER.

G] IN TERMS OF PARAGRAPH 9.2 OF THE MASTER CIRCULAR OF RBI. DBOD. NO. FSD.BC. 14/24.01.011/201-12 DATED JULY 01, 2011 ON CREDIT CARD OPERATIONS, BANKS HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT WITH A VIEW TO REDUCING THE INSTANCES OF MISUSE OF LOST/STOLEN CARDS, IT IS RECOMMENDED TO BANKS/NBFCS THAT THEY MAY CONSIDER ISSUING (I) CARDS WITH PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CARD HOLDER. (II) CARDS WITH PINAND (III) SIGNATURE LAMINATED CARDS OR ANY OTHER ADVANCED METHODS THAT MAY EVOLVE FROM TIME TO TIME. HOWEVER THERE ARE NO MANDATORY INSTRUCTION TO THE BANKS FOR IMPRINTING SIGNATURE AND PHOTOGRAPH OF THE LEGAL HOLDER ON THE FACE OF PAPERLESS BANKING INSTRUMENTS OF – DEBIT CARDS, CREDIT CARDS & ATM. CARDS, HENCE LARGE NUMBER OF CRIMES ARE BEING COMMITTED AT THE MOMENT. A COPY OF THE ABOVE MASTER CIRCULAR IS ENCLOSED.

H] BECAUSE THE GUARD AT THE ATM. COUNTER CAN ALWAYS CHECK THE PHOTOGRAPH ON THE ATM. CARD AND MATCH THAT WITH THE FACE OF THE USER, TO PREVENT MISUSE OF LOST OR STOLEN CARDS.

I] BECAUSE THE SHOPKEEPER WHO EXPRESSES INABILITY TO TRACK THE ACTUAL OWNER OF THE CARD BEING PRESENTED FOR ENCASHMENT, CAN ALWAYS BE MADE ACCOUNTABLE ONCE THE IMPRINTING MECHANISM IS IN PLACE.

J] BECAUSE THE PROBABILITY OF COMMITTING ANY KIND OF CRIME WITH RELATION TO CREDIT/DEBIT/ATM. – CARDS WITH PHOTOGRAPHS & SIGNATURES IMPRINTED, IS FAR LESS IN COMPARISON TO THOSE WITHOUT THEM.

K] BECAUSE THE MOBILE TEXT MESSAGE BEING SENT AFTER ANY TRANSACTION TO THE USERS MOBILE MIGHT GET DELAYED OR THE MOBILE ITSELF MIGHT STAND CONFISCATED, HENCE RENDERING THE PURPOSE OF THE TEXT MESSAGE INEFFECTIVE.

L] 02/12/2011 AN ARTICLE IN ECONOMIC TIMES – “TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL CORRUPTION INDEX INDIA DROPS TO 95TH POSITION” !! THE ARTICLE REFLECTS THAT HOW, IN A REAFFIRMATION OF THE GENERAL PERCEPTION, INDIA HAS DROPPED 11 PLACES TO BE RANKED 95TH IN THE TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL CORRUPTION INDEX.
THE GLOBAL ANTI-GRAFT WATCHDOG, WHICH COMPILES AN ANNUAL LIST OF COUNTRIES BASED ON THEIR RANKING ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10, PLACES INDIA BELOW CHINA IN THE INDEX, BUT ABOVE ITS NEIGHBOUR, PAKISTAN. INDIA IS PERCEIVED TO BE MORE CORRUPT THAN CHINA WHICH IS RANKED 75TH ON THE LIST, BUT IS BETTER OFF THAN PAKISTAN, THAT IS PLACED AT THE 134TH POSITION.

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL'S CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX SCORES 183 COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES FROM ZERO (HIGHLY CORRUPT) TO 10 (VERY CLEAN) BASED ON DATA FROM 17 SURVEYS THAT LOOK AT FACTORS SUCH AS ENFORCEMENT OF ANTI-CORRUPTION LAWS, ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL, THE GLOBAL BODY SPEARHEADING THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION. CONSIDERING THE REPORT OF TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL IT IS BEYOND DOUBT THAT IN ABSENCE OF MANDATORY IMPRINTING OF SIGNATURE AND PHOTOGRAPH ON THE FACE OF – CREDIT + DEBIT + ATM. CARDS, THERE IS ENOUGH SCOPE OF MANIPULATION.

M] 25/05/2011 AN ARTICLE IN TIMES OF INDIA – “INDIA NOW A DANGEROUS PLACE TO LIVE IN” !! THE ARTICLE REFLECTS THAT, INDIA'S RANK HAS FALLEN SEVEN POINTS ON THE GLOBAL PEACE INDEX (GPI) 2011, WHICH RANKS COUNTRIES ACCORDING TO HOW PEACEFUL THEY ARE. INDIA NOW RANKS 135 OUT OF 153 COUNTRIES. WE ARE NOW AMONGST THE 20 LEAST PEACEFUL NATIONS IN THE WORLD, ALONG WITH COUNTRIES SUCH AS PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN.

"INDIA'S SCORE REMAINS THE SAME ON MOST PARAMETERS USED TO MEASURE PEACEFULNESS. THE FALL IN RANKINGS IS LARGELY DUE TO AN INCREASING PERCEPTION OF CRIMINALITY IN SOCIETY," SAYS STEVE KILLELEA, FOUNDER OF THE GLOBAL PEACE INDEX.

THE GPI, NOW IN ITS FIFTH EDITION, HAS BEEN DEVELOPED BY KILLELEA'S INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE ALONG WITH THE ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT, THE RESEARCH WING OF THE ECONOMIST MAGAZINE.

CONSIDERING THE RANKING OF INDIA, IN GLOBAL PEACE INDEX – IT CAN WELL BE CONCLUDED THAT (IN ABSENCE OF RESOURCES) EFFECTIVE DETERRENTS NEED TO BE DEPLOYED FOR BRINGING DOWN THE CRIME RATE.

N] BECAUSE THE RIGHT TO PEACEFUL AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT IS ONE OF THE TENETS OF RIGHT TO LIFE. THE PURPOSE UNDERNEATH THIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT GIVEN TO AN INDIVIDUAL IS FOR PROTECTING PUBLIC INTEREST AND EVERY ENDEAVOUR SHOULD BE MADE BY STATE TO CREATE A PEACEFUL AND SAFE SOCIETY/ENVIRONMENT TO LIVE IN. IN THE PRESENT CASE THE PETITIONER IS ONLY SEEKING TO IMPRINT THE PHOTOGRAPH AND SIGNATURE OF THE LEGAL HOLDER FOR THE FOLLOWING PAPERLESS BANKING INSTRUMENTS – CREDIT CARD, DEBIT CARD & ATM.CARD, AS IT WOULD ACT AS AN DETERRENT TOWARDS COMMISSION OF MULTIPLE CRIMES IN RELATION TO THE ABOVE MENTIONED PAPERLESS BANKING PRODUCTS AND HENCE ENSURE GREATER SAFETY FOR THE END USERS.