New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Police’s Cyber Cell to conduct an investigation into a large-scale operation involving the fraudulent collection of money under the name of fashion and lifestyle brand AJIO.
This operation utilises scratch coupons and prize money schemes to deceive individuals.
Justice Prathiba M. Singh stated that the court is convinced that the operation is being carried out by unscrupulous individuals with the
intention of collecting money under the name of ‘AJIO’ and ‘AJIO Online Shopping Private Limited.’
The court said that the fraudulent communications, including letters and scratch cards, are so convincing that recipients are unable to distinguish
them from legitimate communications by AJIO.
The court has directed the Cyber Cell to take urgent action in accordance with law and asked a status report on the investigation’s progress.
Justice Singh also said that the Delhi Police is free to file further applications if additional directions are required to protect the interests
of the general public.
The court’s decision follows a suit filed by Reliance Industries, the operator of the e-commerce platform www.ajio.com.
The suit aimed to protect the “AJIO” mark and logo. It was filed against six individuals and entities accused of sending fraudulent communications
under the name “AJIO Online Shopping Pvt. Ltd.,” on a Kolkata-based address, and collecting money from unsuspecting customers through scams and schemes.
According to AJIO, the perpetrators convinced customers to deposit sums ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,00,000, claiming that they would be
eligible to cash in the scratch cards after making the deposit.
The scammers used various mobile numbers and bank accounts to receive these deposits.
Justice Singh observed that the scammers requested recipients not to use AJIO’s customer care number but to only use the numbers provided by them.
Due to AJIO’s reputation and familiarity, customers naturally believed these communications to be genuine, the court noted.
The court issued an ad interim injunction, prohibiting the defendants from using the “AJIO” mark or sending any further communications to collect
money into any bank accounts, including new accounts.
Additionally, the court ordered the freezing of the relevant bank accounts, a complete statement of account from inception to date, KYC details, and
any other available information.
Telecom service providers were directed to block the involved mobile numbers and provide documentation regarding the identity of the individuals
who registered these numbers.
Justice Singh has put up the matter for next hearing on September 25.