OBSERVING that the cases of fraudulent withdrawal of money at the ATMs are on a rise, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has said that it appears no serious or thorough investigation is made to collect the electronic evidence by the police and directed the Haryana DGP to issue appropriate instructions in this regard.
“There is an urgent need of issuance of appropriate directions by the Director General of Police, Haryana regarding the nature of electronic evidence available in such cases and the manner of collection of the same and also taking of appropriate disciplinary action against the investigating officers deliberately or negligently suffering destruction of such evidence due to their failure to collect the same,” reads an order passed by Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi.
The order has been passed in a petition filed by an accused for anticipatory bail. The Sirsa-based accused along with a co-accused are alleged to have used “some machine for copying the data from ATM” when the complainant used his debit card. A swapping machine and 12 ATM cards of different banks were recovered from the co-accused later, the police told the court. The counsel representing the accused had argued he was not apprehended from the spot. The accused is facing six similar cases of theft and cheating, as per the police.
The single bench in the order has denied anticipatory bail to the accused while observing that a thorough investigation is required in the matter. Pulling up the police for its failure to seize the CCTV footage of the relevant date, Justice Tyagi directed the DGP to order the concerned competent authority to take disciplinary action against the investigating officer of the case. “On being asked as to whether CCTV footage of the concerned ATM of the day of occurrence was seized by the police or not, the state counsel on instructions from ASI Tarsem Singh has submitted that it was not seized. FIR was registered on February 28, 2019 but no serious efforts were made by the investigating officer to effect the arrest of the petitioner despite the fact that the number of the car by which he fled was also given,” the order reads.