Niyas Kuttassery v. State of Kerala

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Bail application in a case involving the setting up of illegal telephone exchanges

Niyas Kuttassery v. State of Kerala
In the High Court of Kerala
B.A. 521/2023
Before Justice Kauser Edappagath
Decided on April 13, 2023

Relevancy of the Case: Bail application in a case involving the setting up of illegal telephone exchanges

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 43A, 43, 65, 66, 66F)
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 34, 406, 420, 120B)
  • The Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 (Section 3, 6(1), 6(1A))
  • The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 (Section 4, 20)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The accused persons installed illegal telephone exchanges at different locations in Kozhikode. They converted international and other phone calls by bypassing them to local calls with the help of illegal routing Gateway devices.
  • The accused persons inserted pre-activated SIM cards without the knowledge or consent of the SIM owners.
  • After analysing server data, it was found that the applicant maintained 582 call routes and connected 110 voice applications. Among the call routes sold were to countries such as Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Turkey.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

  • The applicant’s counsel submitted that there is not much evidence to constitute an offence under Sections 406 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, along with Section 66F of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
  • The public prosecutor contended that the applicant is the prime accused in all the cases. He arranged servers to function as illegal exchanges, and his custodial interrogation is necessary.

Opinion of the Bench

  • Considering the seriousness of the offence and ongoing investigation, the court did not lean in favour of exercising its jurisdiction under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Final Decision

  • The court dismissed the bail application.

Risha Thomre Rajani, an undergraduate student at NMIMS Kirit P. Mehta School of Law, Mumbai, prepared this case summary during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in May/June 2023.