DailyPost 2718

Arrests have by far been the hottest topic of the criminal justice system, as perceived by the outside world, it brings the first bout of justice to the victim. What is delivers in the final outcome of the case is another story. The investigation agency can prove that it has teeth, if the arrests are made and too in a swift manner in sensational cases; terrorist, high profile murder, political killings, sexual assault and a bunch of such cases. There are clear cut guidelines about the arrest, yet it generates immense heat and dust. The timing of the arrest is hotly debated topic in the public domain.

The likelihood of arrest of top-class politician or a constitutional functionary can gulp hundreds of hours of prime-time discussion. Arrest is a physical act done by police which is empowered to do so and therein lies its importance to legal process and society. The digital world can throw up crazy situations and “digital arrest” is one of them. Crime and criminality take a totally new dimension in the cyber world and not understanding the nitty gritty of it, can put you in a predicament you would never like to get into. In the physical world only the criminal faces arrest but in the digital world it can be anyone.

The headline screams, “Noida woman duped of Rs.3.7 lakhs over 7-hour Skype call in latest ‘digital arrest’ scam.” Criminals were arrested earlier and now we have criminals arresting anyone on their whims and fancy in the digital world. People are getting trapped as they have no idea of either the gadget or the world around them. The criminals threatened her, forced to sit in one place, and cheating her of money on the pretext of clearing her name in a drugs case. All this on Skype call and for a case that did not exist. Extortion/bribe happened in the real world for real cases, digital world has taken duping to a totally different level.

When you know you have not sent any consignment, then why do you even attend to the call? How much time does it take to cut a Skype call, that too in your own home, with no physical threat of any type anywhere close by? The purported parcel was sent from Mumbai to Taiwan. The power to handle money by lame ducks is a new situation we are in. Seized by customs officials for objectional material and then the call was transferred to police official. Digital threat and digital intimidation for a non-existent case. In a similar case one CEO lost more than Rs.2 Crores in Bangalore recently. Are we so feeble and delicate or giving bribe or getting extorted has become a part and parcel of the Indian way of life.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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