In the largest compensation awarded in legal adjudication of a cyber crime dispute, Maharashtra’s IT secretary Rajesh Aggarwal has ordered Punjab National Bank to pay Rs 45 lakh to Manmohan Singh Matharu, MD of Pune-based firm Poona Auto Ancillaries.
A fraudster had transferred Rs 80.10 lakh from Matharu’s account in PNB, Pune after Matharu responded to a phishing email. The amount was allegedly moved to two PNB accounts in Gujarat and one in Mumbai after being parked temporarily in the PNB account of Sutlej Textiles in Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir.
The fraudster had apparently “tested” a Rs 1,000 transaction before going for bigger transfers. Matharu has been asked to share the liability since he responded to the phishing mail.
Matharu’s is one of 13 e-fraud cases, all originating in Maharashtra and with an imprint across six states, in which the state’s IT secretary, serving as an adjudicating officer under the IT Act 2000, last month passed critical orders against nine banks, four telcom firms and two mobile recharge portals.
These cases cover e-fraud committed through illegal data access, hacking bank accounts, cloning credit cards, issuing duplicate SIM cards and phishing, among others.
With no previous adjudication cases reaching beyond the Cyber Appellate Tribunal, New Delhi, Aggarwal’s orders could become the first case laws, experts said.