writ petition has been filed before Supreme Court seeking directions to the government to frame legislative policy to ensure better investigation of online banking frauds and create a specialised

A writ petition has been filed before Supreme Court seeking directions to the government to frame legislative policy to ensure better investigation of online banking frauds and create a specialised investigation agency to deal with such matters, stressing on necessity to get remedy to deal with increasing number of such cases.

The petition seeks appropriate directions to the Centre, Reserve Bank of India and other banks in this regard.

.The plea has been filed by two petitioners, residents of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi who were victims of online fraud and have alleged that even on complaint no FIR has been registered by Delhi Police, Rajasthan Police and Uttar Pradesh Police.

While highlighting that so far no effective law or agency has been formulated by the Government of India to curb online frauds, the plea has urged the top Court use the power of Article 142 to frame the guidelines because the common people of the country are very much aggrieved with problem of online fraud.

The plea filed by Advocate Abhigya Kushwah and drawn by Advocate Shailendra Mani Tripathi has sought directions for constitution of a national level coordinating agency consisting of police of all states.

Further, directions have been sought for creation of an agency by RBI to locate the account and the account holder from where the crime is being committed with 24 hours helpline and offices in each district.

The petitioner has urged the Court to direct the banks to start an OTP service on mobile phones of customers at the GrahakSeva Kendra and direct OLX to verify the IDs of anyone who is registering to transact using their platform. The petitioners say that they were duped after making online payment for second-hand mobile phones advertised in the e-commerce portal OLX.

Alleging that the concerned police stations refused to register the petitioners’ FIR, the plea has stated that in cases of cognizable offences, it is mandatory for the police to register a complaint as an FIR. Further, even if any incident does not fall under the jurisdiction of a particular police station, then it is the duty of the police to register a zero number FIR and transfer the same to the concerned police station for investigation, which has territorial jurisdiction.

To highlight the ‘pervasivity of the problem’ the petitioners have also pointed out that the problem has also been brought up in literature and films including the recent films Jamtara’ and ‘the return of Abhimanyu’

In support of their case, the petitioners have cited a survey by FIS, a financial services technology provider, and reported by Business Insider India which showed that 18% of Indians suffered from online banking fraud in the past year.

A quote of former Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is cited to state that around 1.8 billion rupees has been lost through online frauds.

“…considering the scale of the problem, effective guidelines and mechanism must be put in place by the regulator to ensure that the customers are not duped”, the plea states.

Case Title: Hariram Morya &Anr vs Reserve Bank of India & Ors

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