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Rs 6 lakh fraudulent withdrawal case of 2014 : Court to police: Fix method to probe ATM frauds

Rs 6 lakh fraudulent withdrawal case of 2014 : Court to police: Fix method to probe ATM frauds
Highlights

A Delhi court on Wednesday asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to fix a procedure for effective probe into ATM frauds and summoned two police officials to explain the delay in solving a case of fraudulent withdrawals in 2014.

IO sits over case file for 2 yrs; complainant dies meanwhile

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to fix a procedure for effective probe into ATM frauds and summoned two police officials to explain the delay in solving a case of fraudulent withdrawals in 2014.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumedh Kumar Sethi issued notices to two police officers to appear before it on July 11, observing that the country is moving towards "increased reliance on plastic money" and electronic transactions, and economic offences will hamper the "confidence of people in such measures of modernisation."

The case pertained to an ATM card fraud in which Rs 6 lakh was withdrawn from the account of a south west Delhi resident, Chandan Singh, between January and February 2014. "The matter in question involves the hard-earned money of the public in general and a broad policy decision needs to be taken for conducting effective investigation in such cases.

In these circumstances, a copy of this order be sent to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to frame certain standard operating procedure/guidelines for sincere and effective investigation of such cases," the court said.

It noted that Singh's ATM card was exchanged by some unknown person on the pretext of helping him to withdraw money from the machine in January 2014 and the probe officer failed to extract the CCTV footage of the incident from the concerned bank as the request for the same was sent in December 2014.

"This court has come across numerous cases where gullible persons have been duped by unscrupulous elements by exchanging their ATM cards on the pretext of assisting them in withdrawing money.

"The victims in such cases are mostly senior citizens. The court has also come across the fact that in several such cases only 'untraced' reports are filed in routine manner. As a matter of fact, the court does not recall having come across any case of such kind where the offender may have been traced," the court said.

It said that in most of the cases, untraced reports were filed due to non-availability of the CCTV footage as a result of delay in request for obtaining the footage. It also noted that in case the footage was obtained, the investigation may not proceed further due to lack of effective mechanism to trace the offenders.

"In the present case, there is fault on part of the previous investigating officer (IO) as well as the present IO. While the previous IO made an extremely belated request for obtaining the CCTV footage, the current IO appears to have not conducted any substantial investigation at all...

"Both the IOs will show cause why appropriate action should not be taken against them due to apparent lapses on their part," the court said. The case was transferred to the present IO in 2016 and the court noted that he has been "sitting over" the file for last two years. The complainant died during the pendency of the case.

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