Acting on a complaint from digital wallet company Paytm, CBI has registered a case against 15 customers of the company over allegations of cheating it to the tune of Rs 6.15 lakh.
It is rare for the CBI to take up such cases unless they have been referred by the Central government or there are directions by the Supreme Court or a high court.
Responding to media queries seeking to know why the agency, which is facing a staff crunch decided to take up the case, a CBI spokesperson today said, "it can register cases under Information Technology Act in the territory of Delhi even against private individuals."
CBI has mentioned 15 customers of the five billion USD digital wallet company and unknown officials of Paytm as suspects in the FIR registered yesterday. Calls made to most of the customers, seeking their reaction, were disconnected after hearing that they have been named in the CBI FIR. Some numbers remained unanswered or out of network.
The agency registered FIR against 15 customers who are residents of Kalkaji, Govindpuri, and Saket besides unknown officials of One97 Communications -- parent company of Paytm. The complaint from the Manager Legal, M Sivakumar, claimed that the company makes payment for defective products received by a customer and also arranges a reverse pickup of the damaged product which is sent to the merchant.
The process is done by a team of customer care executives who have been assigned specific IDs and passwords to handle such complaints from the customers and arrange refund and pickup.
It is alleged that the company found that between 2014-16, in 48 cases customers had received refunds even though the delivery of orders was made successfully to them. "As a matter of fact, wherein delivery of orders were successful and satisfactory to the customer, refund should not happen."
However, in all these 48 cases, refund of order amount happened to the respective customers to the tune of Rs 6.15 lakh, the complaint, which is now part of the FIR, alleged. It alleged that customers "illegally" appropriated money refunded in their bank accounts and wallets. It claimed that the acts reflects "serious" fraudulent act and foul play with common intention to wrongfully gain along with such involved customers.