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P&H HC Restrains Coercive Action Against Managing Director of One Digital Entertainment Private Limited

26 March 2021 10:21 AM GMT
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has restrained Mumbai police from taking any coercive action pursuant to notice dated 21.01.2021 issued under Section 41A of CrPC against Mr. Shabir Momin- Managing Director of One Digital Entertainment Private Limited, in connection with a case of creating fake followers on social media. Mr. Momin, represented by Mr. Sumeet Goel, Advocate and instructed through Karanjawala & Company, Advocates led by Mr. Samarjit Pattnaik - Partner, Mr. Vikas Gogne, Mr. Puneet Relan, Mr. Satyam Chaturvedi and Mr. Rahul Tyagi filed a petition before the Hon'ble Punjab and Haryana High Court against the undue harassment being caused by Mumbai Police. Momin, a resident of Gurgaon was initially summoned by controversial Mumbai cop, Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze in August last year. Momin's company primarily works as a digital content distributor.

An FIR was registered in July 2020 for cheating, forgery and under the Information Technology Act at the instance of certain artists. Allegations that emerged during the police probe revealed that a racket was going on to create crores of fake identities on various social media platforms, and thereby producing fake performance statistics such as followers, comments, and views. This according to the probe, was done to inflate influencers' performance statistics. Neither Momin, nor his company was named as an accused in the FIR.

Aggrieved from the notice issued under Section 41A of CrPC by Mumbai police, Momin filed the petition submitting that notices issued to him amounted to abuse of power. It was stated that earlier notices, issued by Mumbai police under Section 91 and 160 CrPC, were duly responded to and the documents called upon by the police were duly furnished. Despite that, the said notice was issued to Momin reciting that the previous notice dated 07.09.2020 under Section 91 CrPC has not been responded to inasmuch as the requisite documents have not been produced.

Thereafter, the Hon'ble High Court issued notice to Mumbai police seeking their response to Momin's contentions. When the matter came up for hearing before the High Court, the court was informed that despite serving notice to Mumbai police through e-mail, no reply has been filed by Mumbai police.

Since the Mumbai Police failed to appear on two occasions before the Hon'ble court despite service of notice, Justice the Tejinder Singh Dhindsa restrained Mumbai police from taking coercive action against Momin in this case. The Hon'ble Court was also pleased to direct the counsel for Momin to send the record pertaining to the petition to the Mumbai police including commissioner, crime intelligence unit, Mumbai police and inspector Santosh Kotwal through registered post, seeking their response and adjourned the matter for 29.06.2021 for further hearing.

Click here to download the Order

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