A local court has rejected the anticipatory bail application of five persons booked by police for the alleged multi-crore theft of software of ‘Naaptol’ home shopping company and selling it to a rival firm.
Thane Additional Sessions Judge A S Jadhav on Thursday rejected the anticipatory bail of Suraj Singh, ex-assistant vice president of Naaptol, Shankar Srivastav, Gaurag Garg, Sandeep Wankhede and Amol Zambre, all former employees of the company, while observing that prima facie a case was made out against them.
The judge also agreed with the prosecution’s submission that further probe needs to be carried out into the alleged nexus between the ex-employees who were involved in the Rs 100 crore loss to the company on account of the theft of its software and its sale to another firm.
“We have to find out as to how much money has changed hands in the deal and who all are involved in the racket and the role of each and every one in the crime. Hence, the custody of the accused is necessary,” Additional Public Prosecutor Prakash Pujari submitted before the court.
The police needs to examine laptops, PCs, pen drives and hard disks from where the firm’s software had been allegedly stolen and transferred to the other company. The source code and data had been stolen from Naaptol by the 12 accused, the court was told.
However, the court allowed the anticipatory applications of three other accused, including two women ex-employees of the company, while noting that their role was not that important to reject the pre-arrest bail.
Inspector Pratibha Shendge of the Navi Mumbai police Cyber Crime branch is investigating the alleged offence.
All the accused had resigned en masse from Naaptol and joined the new company after the offence.
Kamal Kumar Sabu, 33, who then worked as one of the directors of Naaptol, had access to the data and source code of the software being used in the company.
It is alleged that between January and July this year, he along with the other accused stole the data and source code and sold it to the other company.
Subsequently, he resigned from the services of Naaptol and joined the other company as a director.
Following an offence registered based on the complaint by Naaptol, under sections 420, 406, 120-B of the IPC and under sections 43(B), 43(J) and 66 of the IT Act, the MIDC Rabale police had last month arrested Sabu and another senior ex-employee Vikrant Yadav. Both were in custody for some days and later released on bail by a Thane court.
However, Yadav was killed in a road accident when his two-wheeler collided with a jeep of MIDC Rabale Police Station a few days back.