Rajesh v. State of Kerala

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Rajesh v. State of Kerala
2014 Cri LJ 204
In the High Court of Kerala
Cr. R.P. 10/2013
Before Justice K. Harilal
Decided on August 7, 2013

Relevancy of the case: Power of Cyber Police Stations in Investigation

Statutes & Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 4, 5, 66, 78)
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 420, 379, 34)
  • Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 156, 177, 239)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • This revision petition had been filed by the Assistant Manager of the Zonal Office of the State Bank of Travancore who was accused under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Sections 420, 379 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
  • This case was transferred to the Cyber Police Station and a final report had been filed by the Circle Inspector of Police, Cyber Police Station before the Judicial Magistrate First Class against the accused alleging that he shall be solely punished under section 469 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 thereby deleting the offence punishable under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and all other offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
  • It was alleged that the accused/revision petitioner had forged and sent an electronic record in the name of the entrepreneur by name ‘V.K. Ibrahim and Sons’ which was not in existence, from the internet café owned by someone else. Thus, the accused had caused a loss of reputation to the bank by sending the above message using the forged e-mail address and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 469 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
  • The revision petition had been filed seeking discharge from the prosecution on the ground that the Cyber Police Station has no authority to file a final report and to charge him for the offence punishable under Section 469 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 alone when there is no police charge under the Information Technology Act in the final report.
  • The petition also stated that the allegations in the charge even if admitted in the court, do not disclose the offence alleged against him.
  • The petition was dismissed by the learned Magistrate by the impugned order which is challenged in the present revision petition.

Opinion of the Bench

  • The explanatory note attached with the Government’s notification clarifies that the “Cyber Police Stations shall investigate any offence committed under the Information Technology Act, 2000.” It shows that the notification is confined and regulated by the maxim “Expressio unius est exclusion alterius”, e., the express mention of one thing implies the exclusion of another. Hence, an implied exclusion of the investigation of all other offences from the purview of the Cyber Police Station Kerala is inherent in the notification itself.
  • On considering the case of Bhanuprasad v. State of Gujarat, a Cyber Police Station can’t file a charge-sheet under the Indian Penal Code, 1860. If a police officer having no power or authority has filed a final report, it is uncurable in all respects.
  • It is very clear that the Cyber Police Station had no authority to investigate offences outside the Information Technology Act, 2000. Necessarily, it follows that it shall not file a final report in the absence of any offence under the Information Technology Act, 2000. Therefore, the Cyber Police Station should have sent the case back.

Final Decision

  • The charges do not disclose that the offence is committed by the accused even if the prosecution case was admitted. Thus, no sufficient grounds exist to prosecute the revision petitioner even if the prosecution case was admitted.
  • It will be a futile experimental exercise and an abuse of the process of law if the prosecution is allowed to continue with the trial.
  • The impugned order passed by the court is set aside.
  • The revision petitioner is discharged from the prosecution for the offences alleged against him in the case. Revision allowed.

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