There is an increasing number of online investors in India who are becoming victims of frauds committed with tampering of information in computers. Many times these are the result of employee frauds in online brokign firms.

Victims of such frauds lose their investments  not because of the market vagaries but because of the fraudulent intervention by cyber criminals.

It is natural for the victims to seek quick and effective remedies in such “Cyber Investment Crimes”.

Unfortunately, there is no effective support in the Indian law enforcement system to help such victims. The first stop for these victims is the SEBI as the apex regulator of stock markets. SEBI however directs such complaints to the respective stock exchanges which is expected to discipline the erring broking firm. However it is found that the process is lng winding and loaded against the investor since the online broking firm wields enormous influence in the stock exchange which the investors cannot match.

The laws in India provide an effective remedy in such cases through Information Technology Act (ITA 2000) which imposes  both criminal  and civil liability on the erring broking firm and also a fast grievance redressal mechanism through the adjudicators appointed under the Act.

It is however regrettable that these remedies available in ITA 2000 are ot easily accessible to the Investors due to the procedural hurdles that have been created over a time in the system.

These offences are coming under two statutes in India namely the IPC and ITA 2000. The Police have created specialized Cyber Crime Police stations to handle ITA 2000 while the normal police stations handle the IPC crimes. In view of this structuring of Police Station jurisidction, complainants are not able to get the required support from Police and are made to run between Cyber Crime Police Stations and the normal police stations to get justice.

If the cases are registered under IPC  and ITA 2000 provisions are not incorporated in the complaint, it would be difficult for the complainants to invoke the provisions of adjudication.

But Police appear to consider the online investment frauds as mainly an IPC crime and are not inclined to take up investigations under ITA 2000.

The net result of this situation is that the victims of online investment frauds are not getting due justice available in the law.

In oreder to redress their grievances, Naavi who is in the fore front of Netizen welfare in India has initiated formation of an Online Investor’s Association of India (OLIAI).

OLIAI is accessible through www.oliai.in and intends to bring together victims of online ivnestment frauds through an online forum and enable them fight for their rights under ITA 2000. The forum will also provide legal assistance where necessary through its associates.

Online investors may join the forum through www.oliai.in and be part of this new movement of investor empowerment in India.

Naavi

www.naavi.org

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