The Jharkhand High Court heard a public interest litigation filed seeking to curb growing cyber crimes in the state on Friday.
While hearing the case via video conferencing, the division bench of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad said cyber fraud cases are serious. Jamtara district of Jharkhand has become famous the world over. When, who will be cheated and where, it is difficult to say. Tomorrow can also be your turn. In cases of cyber fraud, until the property of the criminals is confiscated, such crimes will not reduce.
The bench said the government should devise such a strategy so that the cyber accused can get severe punishment. Cyber thugs hang on to people’s money even after serving a sentence of a few years. It should be stopped at all costs. The bench asked the government that special laws remain for confiscating the property of criminals in Bihar. Is there any law to seize property in Jharkhand too?
The bench made the Union Finance Secretary, Director of Directorate of Income Tax Research and Enforcement (ED) a defendant in the case and directed to file a reply. The next hearing of the case will be held on February 19.
Earlier, on behalf of the applicant Manoj Kumar Rai, advocate Rajiv Kumar stated that Jamtara, Deoghar and Dhanbad have become centres of cyber fraud. The property of cyber criminals should be confiscated, because they are making property by cheating people.
Jamtara district has become famous in the whole world. Cyber thugs stay on people’s money after serving sentence of a few years, severe punishment is necessary, alleged the petitioner.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Dr Ranjan recounted how he was almost snared by cyber thugs. The judge said a caller once told him that he had won a Tata Safari in a lucky coupon draw. And asked him how would he like the car to be delivered to him. On this, Chief Justice Ranjan recalled saying that he doesn’t take gifts.
Then the caller asked him to give his bank account number, so that Rs 12 lakh will be paid into it, in lieu of the car. Even after refusing, the call continued for a week. The calls stopped only when he threatened to file an FIR, the judge recalled.
Giving another example, the Chief Justice said that a fake website of the High Court was once created in Patna. The job was advertised on it. Later, the person running the fake website was arrested.