PUNE: Two suspects accused of cheating their former employer and a two-wheeler dealer to the tune of Rs 80 lakh, have now been charged with the offence of tampering with computer files and hacking under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The suspects, Vishal Achyutrao Hawale (24) of Chandannagar and cashier Sanjay Gulabrao Pardeshi (43) of Dhankawdi were arrested on February 20. Palindarsingh Avtarsingh Bedi (80) of Miranagar in Koregaon park had registered a case against them with the Bundgarden police station.
Inspector Suhas Nadgouda, in-charge of the Bundgarden police station, said on Saturday that the police have invoked section 65 (tampering with computer source documets) and 66 (hacking into a computer system) of the IT Act against the duo after investigations revealed that Hawale, who is a computer operator, had allegedly transferred data relating to statement of accounts from one computer to another.
Nadgouda said the police have recovered a hard copy of the data from Hawale and the provisions of IT Act were invoked after seeking legal opinion on Friday. The police had arrested the suspects for allegedly duping Bedi by forging documents between 2006 and September 2008.
The police said Bedi is a dealer with a two-wheeler company at Koregaon Park. The suspects had made incorrect entries in the company's record and siphoned off Rs 80 lakh given by 120 customers. Meanwhile, the magistrate's court on Saturday extended the police custody remand of the suspects till March 4.
Assistant public prosecutor A V Ausekar submitted that the police have recovered cash and goods collectively worth over Rs 5 lakh from the suspects and said they need more time to recover Rs 75 lakh from them.
Opposing the prosecution's plea, defence lawyers Sanjay Kadu and Kishor Kale argued that further custodial interrogation of their clients was not essential because the police had made the required recoveries and had even received the names of the absconding suspects. However, the court upheld the prosecution's plea and extended the suspects' custody till March 4.