Nitin Bhaskar Gulve v. State of Haryana
In the High Court of Punjab & Haryana
Before Justice Vijender Singh Malik
Decided on January 11, 2012
Relevancy of the case: Anticipatory bail application in a corporate data theft case
Statutes & Provisions Involved
- The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 65, 66)
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 406, 420)
- The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 438)
Relevant Facts of the Case
- This petition was filed to request a grant of pre-arrest bail concerning an FIR filed under Sections 65 and 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Sections 406 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
- The petitioner was the Vice President of the Marketing Development sector of the complainant’s company situated in New Delhi. The petitioner resigned from the company in March 2011 and requested that the two-month notice period be waived.
- The case was that he kept the company’s laptop with him and didn’t close his access to the SAP system of the aforementioned company. The SAP system was the place where all the company’s trade secrets were kept.
- It was alleged by the complainant that the petitioner stole and used the trade secrets from the SAP system which he had access to.
Prominent Arguments by the Advocates
The petitioner’s counsel:
- Although the case was recorded alleging that the laptop had not been returned, the return of the laptop was admitted on the complainant’s side at the stage of motion. He further submitted that the petitioner cannot access the SAP system to lock it as it is an internal system of the company and nobody from outside can access it. He also submitted that the petitioner had entered the investigation and had replied to the police questionnaire given to him.
The complainant’s counsel:
- Mr Yashvir Singh, Quality Foils Hisar, has now brought the complainant to know that the petitioner lured him by stating that he had acquired most of the complainant company’s trade secrets over the past three years and that he’ll be able to supply this company with the same against certain illegal gratification.
Opinion of the Bench
- Keeping in mind that the laptop was already returned by the petitioner and that the complainant in the allegation didn’t mention either about the terms of the offer made by the petitioner to Mr Yashvir Singh or when he called him, it cannot be considered.
- It is to be noted that the petitioner wasn’t told to return the laptop or to lock the SAP system while he resigned and left. Also, the complainant was able to block access to the trade secrets in the SAP system and the petitioner had entered the investigation and had replied to the police questionnaire given to him. The petitioner appears to be privileged to be granted the relief of anticipatory bail.
- The petition was allowed.
- The petitioner had to furnish a sum of Rs. 2,00,000 as surety as per Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and was ordered to be released on anticipatory bail.
This case summary has been prepared by Akshara Kamath, an undergraduate student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in June/July 2020.