[Cyber Portal Jurisdiction] Delhi police register FIR on lawyer’s Facebook identity theft complaint, a year after case was transferred to Gurgaon
More than a year after Delhi Police told the High Court that a complaint filed on the National Cyber Police Portal was assigned on the basis of the complainant’s address in accordance with standard operating procedure, police have on Tuesday registered an FIR on a Gurgaon resident’s complaint against an impostor Facebook account.
The brief relating to the registration of the FIR was filed with the Bench of Judge Jasmeet Singh Friday in response to Gurgaon resident Pankaj Yadav‘s petition requesting the reversal of the decision by which his cybercrime complaint was transferred to the Haryana Police, citing the SOP issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Yadav, who is a practicing lawyer in Delhi, had also requested an instruction for the registration of the FIR on his complaint.
“As a continuation of the previous status report, it is further stated that all facts have been reviewed and that FIR Case No. 36/2022 of 11/2/2022 U/s 419 IPC & 66C IT Act has been registered with PS Cyber Cell, New Delhi and an investigation will be conducted,” SHO Police Station Tilak Marg said in the court report.
In February 2021, Yadav filed a complaint on cybercrime.gov.in stating that someone had created a Facebook account in his name and was asking for money on FB Messenger. The complaint stated that the impostor account used photos and other details of Yadav.
“There is a fear that by impersonating the petitioner and using his credentials, the impersonator has deceived other people…” Yadav said in his application to the High Court.
On April 13 last year, the court issued a notice to the police regarding Yadav’s petition. In a response filed in May last year, the police said that Yadav being a resident of Gurgaon, the complaint was forwarded to SSP Gurgaon, Haryana for necessary action on their side.
“Which is pertinent to mention here, as per Rules 2.4.1 of Standard Operating Procedure for National Cyber Police Portal (Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India) dated 30/10/2019, it is mentioned that the attribution of a reported complaint to a State/UT is done on the basis of the address of the complainant. Therefore, the complaint was validly transferred to the SSP Gurgaon, Haryana,” the police had argued in the report.
Following the final submission that the FIR was registered on Yadav’s complaint, Judge Singh said the grievance was satisfied.
“Mr. Yadav states that in this case, the FIR was registered on the basis of the complaint filed by [him]. The petition therefore became unsuccessful. The motion is ruled unsuccessful,” the court said.
The Home Office, in a separate response to the petition on Friday, said cybercrime incidents reported on the portal are automatically routed based on information provided by the complainant to the US law enforcement agency. respective states/UTs for further processing.
He also clarified that the instruction to register Zero FIR in cybercrime cases, when the victim is in transit or reaches a police station near his location, was issued by the Cybercrime Coordination Center of India at state/UT law enforcement agencies.
Headline: Pankaj Yadav v State (NCT of Delhi) and others