Suraj Singh v. State of Maharashtra
In the High Court of Bombay
Anticipatory B.A. 84/2016
Before Justice Mridula Bhatkar
Decided on April 15, 2016
Relevancy of the case: Anticipatory bail application in a case involving the theft of source code
Statutes and Provisions Involved
- The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 43(b), 43(j), 66)
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 120B, 406)
Relevant Facts of the Case
- The applicant/accused was working as Project Manager in Naaptol since 2009 and was relieved in June 2015.
- The company maintained a repository of source code and various systems were based on it, as it was selling products online.
- The information of the source code was given to the applicant who developed the said systems using these codes in January 2015.
- The applicant/accused started a new company named Expert Thought Technologies Pvt. Ltd. in the name of his wife with ex-employees of Naaptol.
- The complainant (Legal Head of Naaptol) and officers of the company realized that the applicant committed the theft of source code and made entire data available to his company.
- The prosecution alleges that the accused supplied the code to Viral Technologies Pvt. Ltd. through his wife’s company and thereafter it was sold to Big Deal TV Pvt. Ltd. for consideration of ₹28,09,000/- out of which, ₹11,70,000/- was transferred to the company of the applicant’s wife.
- An offence was registered against the applicant, thus the anticipatory bail application.
Prominent Arguments by the Advocates
- The applicant’s counsel submitted that the complainant was not able to make a prima facie case and since the interim bail has been granted, the applicant has been attending court and he has cooperated with the police by submitting his laptop, cell phone and pen drive. Also, the parties are trying to settle the matter.
- The respondent’s counsel submitted that the applicant has not cooperated with the police and has not submitted the laptop used between January 2015 and June 2015.
- The intervenor submitted that the District Judge made observations in favour of the complainant, despite granting the interim relief to the applicant.
Opinion of the Bench
- There is material on record that the applicant used the source code and gave information to the other companies on receiving the consideration of ₹11,70,000. Hence, there is prima facie evidence that the applicant has violated the contract of confidentiality.
- The anticipatory bail application is rejected.
- Interim bail granted stands cancel.
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.