Boominathan v. State

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Boominathan v. State

Boominathan v. State
In the High Court of Madras
Crl. O.P. 17666/2016
Before Justice P. N. Prakash
Decided on August 11, 2016

Relevancy of the case: Quashing of FIR filed under Section 66D of the Information Technology Act, 2000 along with Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860

Statutes & Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 65, 66D)
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 420)
  • The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 482)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The complainant and the petitioner of the present case were partners in Amrita International Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology. They had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated 25-09-2014. The MOU denies the petitioner and complainant to use their name or address.
  • The petitioner, using a computer, hacked into the Amrita International Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology’s website and entered the petitioner’s address and mobile numbers. If the institution was searched on the internet, then it would get diverted to the petitioner’s institution and his details were displayed.
  • This action of fraud by the petitioner caused damages to the institution and the respondent. The petitioner even published the institutional details along with this on JustDial.
  • A case was filed by the complainant against the petitioners on 19-05-2016. The case was registered under Section 66D and 65 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
  • The petitioners, Uma Maheshwari (petitioner number 2) and Boominathan (petitioner number 1) have filed a case in the High Court to quash the FIR of the case dated 19-05-2016 filed by the complainant.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

The petitioners’ counsel:

  • It was submitted that the petitioner and complainant were partners of a hotel management and catering company and due to certain reasons, they fell apart. Later, there were several pending litigations between them. Further, taking into consideration the circumstances, the FIR filed by the complainant is an abuse of law. And that the complainant, through the FIR, is trying to circumvent the injunction orders which the court could have ruled in the favour of the petitioner. The counsel for the petitioner argued that the Sections 66D and 65 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 are not applicable in the present case and the FIR does not attract these provisions. It was also submitted that the petitioners have sent a notice to ‘Just dial’ on 1-06-2016 to ensure that the claimed information by the complainant in the FIR is not published on the site.

Opinion of the Bench

  • After looking into the FIR, the court believes that there are prima facie materials which need to be properly investigated by the police. Since the dispute is between the partners of a firm, a police officer whose rank is not less than an Assistant Commissioner was directed to investigate the case.

Final Decision

  • The court held that the petition filed by the petitioner is dismissed and hence the FIR cannot be quashed.

This case summary has been prepared by Afsana Khan, an undergraduate student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in June/July 2020.

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