Simon Dunolz & Ors v. State of Uttarakhand
In the Uttarakhand High Court
Criminal Appeal No. 202 of 2010
Before Justice Prafulla C. Pant
Decided on February 28, 2011
Relevancy of the case: Conviction in fake lottery email case
Statutes & Provisions Involved
- The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 43, 45)
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 406, 420, 235, 120-B)
- Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 374)
- The Foreigner Act, 1946 (Section 14)
Relevant Facts of the Case
- Ms Swati Maindola (complainant) is a resident of Rishikesh, who used to work as Finance Assistant in Hotel Ananda, Narendra Nagar.
- She received a mail from an email id email@example.com stating that she won a lottery amount of £ 250,000 and she was told to contact Mark White. Ms. Swati disclosed her address and other contact details to him. For availing the lottery amount, she was asked to pay around Rs. 3,00,000/- on two separate occasions.
- The complainant made the required payment and received a parcel containing three bundles of green notes. On smelling rat, complainant enquired from her officer at Ananda Hotel about the incident and was told that she had been cheated.
- On this, the complainant lodged FIR against the three accused namely David William, Vincent Clarke and Dr George.
- In the Court of Sessions, all three accused were found guilty under Section 420, 231, 235, 489A of IPC and under Section 43, 45 of the IT Act, 2000 read with Section 120B and were sentenced with imprisonment and fines.
- An appeal is filed before Uttarakhand High Court, which was admitted after condoning delay in filing the appeal and Lower Court record was summoned.
Prominent Arguments by the Advocates
- On behalf of the appellants, it is argued that the investigating team has neither recorded the statements of the bank officials regarding the deposits made by the complainant nor the A.T.M. and chequebooks used in the crime were recovered. It is contended that in such circumstances, it cannot be said that the prosecution has proved the charge beyond reasonable doubt.
- Next submission made on behalf of the accused/appellants by the Counsel for the appellants is that the SIM Cards and mobiles were not sealed in the manner they were required to be sealed under the law. It is also argued that the tampering in the mobile phones cannot be ruled out.
Opinion of the Bench
- The Court after going through the entire evidence on record, it is of the view that even after lapse on the part of the investigating agency, the charge against the accused/appellants stands proved on the record.
- The Court did not find sufficient force in the appeal and hence dismissed it.