Gourab Sethi v. State of Telangana

Palaaksha KandhariCase Summary

Bail application in a case involving suicide due to harassment by recovery agents of China-based instant loan apps

Gourab Sethi v. State of Telangana
In the High Court of Telangana
Crl. P. 8799/2022
Before Justice Chillakur Sumalatha
Decided on October 06, 2022

Relevancy of the Case: Bail application in a case involving suicide due to harassment by recovery agents of China-based instant loan apps

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 43, 66, 67, 72)
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 120B, 378, 424)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The petitioner in the present case is the accused number 4 in Crime 513/2022 of the Cyber Crime Police Station, Cyberabad.
  • The case diary shows that the China-based instant mobile loan apps are targeting Indians through cheating and harassment. They offer small to large loans with high-interest rate charges during the payment.
  • On installation, the mobile app accesses a user’s mobile data, such as photos, videos, and contacts, without the user’s knowledge. If the user cannot pay the loan, this data is later used as a harassment tactic.
  • In the present case, the deceased victim installed the app, took a loan, and repaid it. However, he was subject to harassment.
  • The investigation found that accused number 3 transferred the money to the petitioner’s account. He also gave directions to buy USDT and other cryptocurrencies and later transferred them to his Binance addresses.
  • The petitioner agreed to a commission offer by the accused number 3 to earn easy cash. The police investigation found massive transactions wherein the Indian currency was converted to USDT using peer-to-peer mode.

Prominent Argument by the Advocates

  • The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the police had falsely implicated him in this case. He is ready to cooperate with the investigation agency. He has been in custody since August 17, 2022; hence, the court should grant him bail.
  • The public prosecutor submitted that the petitioner and his gang caused an innocent victim’s death. They harass the general public under the guise of easy loan disbursement. There are many documented incidents of suicides due to loan recovery agents. If the court grants the petitioner bail, he will escape and disappear. After that, bringing him before the court would not be possible.

Opinion of the Bench

  • The allegations against the petitioner are of a grave nature.
  • The petitioner’s involvement in these acts will be verified once the police would complete the investigation.

Final Decision

  • The court dismissed the petition.