Paytm named in online fraud case, officials move HC to quash FIR
The Allahabad high court has issued a notice to a Ghaziabad resident who had lodged an FIR against the top officials of Paytm after he was duped of about ₹1.47 lakh by a caller who pretended to offer him a cashback.
The Ghaziabad police had registered an FIR in this connection at the Kavi Nagar police station on February 5.
The court has directed the state government and complainant, Raj Kumar Singh, to file their counter affidavits by the next date of hearing, scheduled for March 18.
The bench comprising justice Pritinker Diwaker and justice SK Yadav passed the order on a petition filed by Paytm Payments Bank Limited.
On February 5, Singh had given a police complaint after he fell victim to a fraud on December 28, 2019. He said he got a call from a person who claimed to be from Paytm and promised him a cashback. He was told to click on a link sent to his phone and after doing so, he lost his money. The complainant had named top management officials of the Paytm and FIR was registered under IPC Section 420 and provisions of the Information Technology Act.
“We have moved the court in order to get the FIR quashed. It has wrong to name us for an offence that is committed by someone else. If anyone makes a call claiming to be from a particular company, then the company can’t be held responsible for the act. So we have moved the court to get the FIR quashed,” Ajay Shekhar Sharma, the vice-president of Paytm, said. “Our names have been unnecessarily dragged into the case,” he said.
According to the FIR, the complainant received a call on his mobile phone in which the caller identified himself as employee of Paytm and asked the complainant to click a link sent to his phone after telling him that he had won a cashback.
The complainant Singh also alleged that the caller, in order to prove his credentials, revealed Singh’s personal information and also told him about his recent transactions, which he claims only a person associated with Paytm would know , after which he got convinced that the caller was a genuine employee of the company.
After Singh clicked on the link sent to his phone, an amount of ₹1.47 lakh was immediately debited from his account. He alleged that the data and information related to him was allegedly compromised by the officials.
“The FIR named officials as complainant contended that his confidential information was revealed by the caller and this information was known only to company officials,” Mohammad Aslam, SHO of kavi Nagar police station, said.
“In cases like these, a lot will depend on the outcome of the investigation. The IPC Section levied in the FIR may not be much of help as the intention of those named will have to be proven. On the other hand, IT Act provisions may help as the officials are responsible for safety and security of confidential information of customers,” said Hemant Batra, senior corporate lawyer and counsel.