The Punjab and Haryana High Court has recently denied bail to the persons accused of running a racket through fake loan mobile application and hacking the phones of people.

The accused persons were also involved in accessing intimate photos through which they used to blackmail the trapped people.

The Court observed that the accused take advantage of big loopholes in identification and procuring Aadhar Cards and sim cards.

A Single Bench of Justice Annop Chitkara said, “Surprisingly, the petitioners were able to obtain the sim cards on other persons’ names or also open bank accounts with such documents. Given the grievous of the offence, the petitioners are not entitled to bail at this stage. However, it shall be permissible for the petitioners to file fresh petition for bail on the ground of delay in trial or prolonged custody in accordance with law.”

Advocate Kunal Dawar appeared on behalf of the petitioner i.e., the accused while APP Deepender Brar appeared for the respondent i.e., the State.

In this case, the accused persons were running a racket on the mobile app named Hugo loan. The modus operandi was to entice the needy persons for easy loans and to check their eligibility for such loans. While downloading the application, the app seeks access to the contacts and gallery that the people grant enabling them to download the app.

The app would show them eligible for meager amount of loan. After realizing the eligibility which is like peanuts, the person does not continue with the application but, in the meantime, the application downloads all the contacts and the photographs of the phone gallery. The gang members scroll through the photographs and try to find intimate photographs. Thereafter, they start black-mailing the persons by threatening them and sharing the same with all their contacts from whose phone details have already been downloaded.

The High Court in the above context noted that most people do not report under the fear of being exposed in front of their family members and relatives.

The Court further said, “The allegations against the accused persons are that of active participation in the gang activities by alluring the complainant to download the app by sending on his mobile phone and they subsequently enticing him to pay money.”

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the petition and denied the bail to the accused persons.

Cause Title- Sunil Kumar Chauhan v. State of UT

Click here to read/download the Order