City cops raid office of corporate in Chennai over ‘IPR violation’
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A raid on the offices of Sundaram BNP Paribas Home Finance and Sundaram Infotech Solutions in Chennai were conducted by a team from the Mumbai Police's cyber cell a week ago as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of software hacking and re-engineering with larger implications for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) infringement disputes.
The raid took place at Chennai's White Road premises of Sundaram BNP Paribas HF and Sundaram Infotech Solutions on March 3.
"We went ahead with the raids once the Madras High Court gave an order in our favour. Computers and hard disks have been seized," said Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Niket Kaushik.
The case pertains to an FIR registered in 2010 with the Mumbai Police's Cyber Cell, after Virendra Singh, the owner of a software company, Kensoft Infotech Ltd, alleged that Sundaram BNP Paribas HF, its MD Srinivas Acharya and four senior management hacked, reverse engineered and tampered with a software developed by the firm, thus committing an IPR fraud.
A 1992 home finance software — KEN-HFS — designed and developed by Kensoft, was supplied to Sundaram BNP Paribas on a user licence for seven years. Singh claimed that Sundaram BNP Paribas HF tampered with the software in 2008. To a query he asked, he was told in a "cold email" in December 2008 that Sundaram was the new owner of the code as they had developed the product.
With the matter initially "studied and researched" by IIT-Bombay faculty, the Mumbai Police Crime branch began probing the criminal angle in 2011. After studying the report prepared by two IIT-Bombay professors, Mumbai Police Crime Branch had been trying to take the mirror images of the sever in Chennai since 2011, said senior officials.
In August 2011, the company challenged the territorial and subject jurisdiction of the Mumbai Crime Branch to register an FIR and probe the matter. On January 22, the Madras High Court dismissed the company's appeal to quash the FIR and gave a verdict in favour of Mumbai Crime Branch and Crime Branch's Cyber Cell, both of whom were respondents in the case. The judgment states that the Mumbai Crime Branch has a statutory right to probe the matter and no one can intervene and take that away.
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