burn after reading

On any given day I am offered a Russian mail order bride, Viagra Prozac and other controlled drugs from Canadian pharmacies, win a billion Euros in a British lottery and asked for assistance to set up a fund transfer for the progeny of deposed despots from Nigeria. Beyond this spam, once a month I also receive an email from my bank, which informs me of my account statement.

Cyber criminals realising the shift of financial services from brick and mortar buildings to the internet pipes are no longer content with defrauding me of my money on promises of getting me married, high and rich. They have devised of sophisticated and ingenious ways, in which a well disguised email is ostensibly sent from my bank asking for my account information. If I fall for this scam, soon my funds are frequently transferred out of my account. This happens often in India where financial services are increasingly rendered on the internet. Till recently there was an absence of adjudication on this issue.

This has changed with the decision of the Adjudicating Officer of Judicature at Chennai, in Shri Umashankar Sivasubramanian v. ICICI Bank (Petition №2462/2008). The case was filed under Section 43 read with section 46 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 whereby the Petitioner complained of an illegal transfer of funds from his account in the respondent bank, based on the negligence of the respondent bank. The judgment makes for an interesting read with arguments as to the jurisdictional competence of the adjudicating officer as well as the substantive wrongs alleged by the petitioner under the Information Technology Act. The adjudicating officer finally determines that the respondent bank is liable to pay the petitioner a tidy amount of 12 lacs rupees.

A copy of the judgment can be accessed by clicking here.

P.s. The reason I do not use the term of art, “phishing” throughout this post is that I find it phonetically irritating. A hat-tip goes across to Naavi for providing the link to the judgment.

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