The Kerala High Court has held that the cyber police station of the state has no power or authority to file the final report of a case in the absence of any offence under the Information Technology Act.
Justice K Harilal made it clear that when no offence under the IT Act is detected during the investigation, the Station House Officer of the cyber police should return the case to the police station where the crime had occurred.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by Rajesh of Kattapuzha in Tiruvalla challenging the order of Muvattupuzha Judicial First Class Magistrate Court dismissing the plea to discharge him from the case.
The prosecution case is that on July 3, 2009, the petitioner, who is the Assistant Manager of the zonal office of the State Bank of Travancore, Panampilly Nagar, Ernakulam, had used the e-mail address of Muvattupuzha branch of the SBT to send a message to the Head of the Vigilance Department of SBT, Head Office, Thiruvananthapuram.
The mail stated: “Your bank is doing unduly favour to M/s. K C Wood Industries Ltd - wood manufactures of Muvattupuzha. The project proposal submitted by us was rejected citing various reasons by your regional manager.
“At the same time, the limit enjoyed by K C Wood Industries has been enhanced from `25 lakh to `50 lakh. We are doing the same business and K C Wood Industries has not been doing business for a limit of `50 lakh. So it’s unduly personal favour done by your regional manager. Please inquire about such proposals sanctioned and rejected from Muvattupuzha.”
It was alleged that the petitioner had sent a digital record in the name of an enterpreneur by the name of a non-existent company VK Ibrahim and Sons from an internet cafe at Panampilly Nagar.
After investigation, the Thiruvananthapuram cyber police Circle Inspector had filed a final report against the petitioner under Section 469 of the IPC alone, excluding offence under the IT Act.
The petitioner submitted that the Cyber Police Station, Thiruvananthapuram, has no authority or power to file a final report to chargesheet him for the offence punishable under the IPC Section 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation).
The prosecution submitted that originally a crime was registered under the IT Act and was transferred to the cyber station for investigation.