Naresh Balasubramaniam v. State of Karnataka

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Naresh Balasubramaniam v. State of Karnataka

Naresh Balasubramaniam v. State of Karnataka
(2017) 2 KCCR 1477
In the High Court of Karnataka
Crl. Petition 9308/2016
Before Justice Anand Byrareddy
Decided on February 15, 2017

Relevancy of the case: Quashing of FIR in a case involving investments for a commission-based network for lifestyle products

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 66D, 72A)
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 405, 406, 416, 417, 419, 420)
  • Prize Chits of Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, 1978 (Section 2(c))
  • The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 482)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The complainant met a person who posed as a representative of Q-Net Limited and persuaded her to join a commission-based network. She was promised a large amount by a nominal investment by buying life-style products through online transactions.
  • She was further pursued to transfer Rs. 2.55 lakhs through online transaction and handover Rs. 55,000/- in cash to another person. After attending a grand event in Dubai, she was not contacted by the company’s representative.
  • Later, it was found that Q-net was controlled by Q-1 and they had previously conducted business in India by the name Gold Quest International Pvt. Ltd. and Quest Net Enterprise Ltd. and serious legal actions were taken against them by the Government for shady business practices.
  • Mumbai Police was investigating the business of this group and their website was also blocked by the Government of India to stop their fraudulent activities.
  • The petitioner claims that he was not part of the original complaint despite being an employee of Q-net and has been added only after the completion of the investigation of Cyber Crime Cell. Hence, the petition for quashing the FIR.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

  • The petitioner’s counsel submitted that there is no factual basis to charge the petitioner and the allegations are imaginary.
  • The respondent’s counsel submitted that the business of the petitioner’s company is based abroad and is operating in India without any license. They are inducing customers to invest a lot of money and thereby defrauding them.

Opinion of the Bench

  • The complainant’s case is only about being disillusioned about the business and not having received any benefit for the money she invested. This could at best be a civil dispute or at worst a cause of cheating by the person or persons who received the money. The petitioner has not received any money.

Final Decision

  • Petition allowed.
  • FIR and other proceedings quashed.

This case summary has been prepared by Neelangini Tiwari, an undergraduate student at Kirori Mal College, DU, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in January/February 2021.