The Supreme Court today issued notice in a plea filed by Alibaba Cloud (India) challenging the order passed by the Madhya Pradesh High court which had rejected interim relief for restoration of the operation of their bank account which was attached by a Sessions Court.
The bench presided by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice C.T. Ravikumar heard the matter.
Former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium appeared for Alibaba and submitted, “This is a cloud-based service, we have nothing to do with this matter. But still I have persuaded my client in the interest of justice. The amount is 1.85 and the total scandal is about Rs 97 lakh in the name of selling masala through the domain. But I have asked my client, we are not connected but we will deposit the money as we cannot have a bank account worth Rs 55 crore attached, I will deposit Rs 1 crore before the sessions judge and let the bank account be de-frozen. I am the cloud and, in the cloud, I am afraid, all sorts of activity take place. This is unfortunate but how is the cloud responsible? We are just the intermediaries. There are various other cloud services like Google, Amazon. We are Alibaba.”
In the present case, Cyber Police station and High-Tech Crime, Bhopal are investigating Crime under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code and 66-D of the Information Technology Act. The material available in the case diary shows that the accused persons have duped the complainant and received Rs 97,00,000 from him in different bank accounts. The said amount has been transferred to Chinese and Pakistani citizens as cryptocurrency. Prima facie, from the evidence collected, it appears that an international gang is operating to cheat people of their money.
The report of Cyber Cell, Bhopal also reveals that a fake web page was being hosted by the accused persons on Alibaba Cloud, an intermediary and the petitioner also provided technical support to the accused persons. There were 11 transactions between the accused persons and the petitioner. As per the facts available in the case diary, during the investigation, when a registered notice was sent to the registered address of the petitioner, it remained unserved which shows that the petitioner is not working from that office.
Therefore, the Madhya Pradesh High Court rejected the grant of interim relief to the petitioner.