Online scams strike at heart of country’s financial stability: Delhi HC

Online financial scams strike at the heart of country’s economic stability and there is an urgent need to address them not only to protect individuals but also to ensure the continued vitality of online financial systems, the Delhi High Court has observed.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, while denying bail to an accused in one such case, asserted that when trust in online transactions is shaken, the public becomes increasingly reluctant to deal with digital systems, which can significantly impede economic growth, innovation, and financial inclusion.

“This court notes that the seriousness of such scams extends far beyond the immediate victims. At their core, they strike at the heart of the nation’s financial stability. By undermining trust in online transactions, these fraudulent activities have a cascading effect that resonates throughout the entire economic landscape,” Justice Sharma said in a recent order.

“This court recognizes the urgent need to address such issues with the utmost seriousness, not only to protect individuals from financial harm but also to ensure the continued vitality of online financial systems and, by extension, the broader economy,” added the court.

As per the prosecution, the accused was part of a large scale scam in which he sent messages to the general public offering online jobs and trap them into paying certain sums of money.

The complainant alleged that he had received a WhatsApp message in relation to an offer of earning part-time income online by giving rating on Google platform.

It was stated that the complainant was induced to pay money and complete certain tasks for getting commissions and profits and was eventually defrauded into giving an amount of over Rs 7 lakh.

The court observed that the instant case was of a “well-organized, inter-state racket” which engaged in “financial trap-laying scam conducted through online channels”.

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It said that the actions constituted a form of cheating and fraud, which erodes the public’s confidence in online financial transactions and cast a long shadow of doubt and insecurity over the digital platforms that are an essential part of modern financial systems.

“In an era where online transactions are the lifeblood of commerce, finance, and communication, any compromise in their integrity has severe repercussions for society as a whole,” the court said.

“In view of aforesaid facts and circumstances and that the accused/applicant is engaged in an online financial scam at a large scale and the alleged amount was transferred in the bank account of the applicant/accused, the present bail application of the accused stands dismissed,” concluded the court.

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