Bhopal, Nov 22, 2019: A State Bank of India (SBI) customer in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind district was delighted to find large sums of money mysteriously appearing in his account every month. He believed Prime Minister Narendra Modi was keeping his election promise - to recover black money and distribute it to citizens of the country as to NDTV.
The truth, unfortunately for him, was less joyful and more bizarre.
In a comedic turn of events, Rajesh Sonkar, the manager of a SBI branch in Alampur, assigned identical account numbers to two different customers. The passbooks of Hukum Singh (from Rurai village) and Hukum Singh (from Rony village) were a near exact match to each other - except for their photographs.
This meant one account had two holders.
Both men visited the same branch, independent of each other, to open their accounts. After opening his, the Hukum Singh from Rurai village went to Haryana in search of employment and began investing his savings in the Alampur SBI.
A tragi-comic story then unfolded as the Hukum Singh who stayed behind in Madhya Pradesh found money appearing in the account every month. Undoubtedly delighted, and believing it to be the work of Prime Minister Modi, he withdrew this every month - a total of Rs. 89,000 over six months.
A bank statement showing withdrawals made by the Hukum Singh from Roni village
"Money came and I thought Modiji was giving money so I withdrew it. I didn’t have money and it was a necessity," he said.
The mix-up was discovered last month after Hukum Singh (the one who went to Haryana to work) tried to withdraw money from the account. To his dismay he found the account had only Rs. 35,400 in it; there should have been Rs. 1,40,000, he complained to bank officials.
He has also alleged that bank authorities tried to suppress the matter.
SBI Alampur branch officials have acknowledged the error. However, it is still unclear how this situation will be sorted out.