Ashok's counsel also argued that the cases being registered against his client were politically motivated.

Data theft row Telangana police has no jurisdiction to file FIR IT Grids CEO to HC
news Controversy Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 08:03

The Telangana High Court on Wednesday heard a petition filed by D Ashok, the director of IT Grids, the firm which provided IT services to Andhra Pradesh's ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), and was at the centre of controversy earlier this month over alleged data theft.

The Telangana police has alleged that IT Grids, which developed TDP's official app, Seva Mitra, stole data from the government database and processed it without consent to profile voters ahead of the upcoming polls in the state. FIRs were also registered against the company and its founder. 

Following this, Ashok moved court, contending that the Telangana police had no jurisdiction to file an FIR as the allegations in this case were over the data breach of voters in Andhra. He also petitioned the court to issue orders and transfer the cases to an appropriate authority in Andhra. Ashok's counsel also argued that the cases being registered against his client were politically motivated.

The counsel also said that he would move an application to implead the Election Commission of India (ECI), AP's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and the Unique Identification Authority of India's (UIDAI) chairman in the case.  

However, the Telangana police argued that the office of IT Grids was in Hyderabad while the accused, Ashok, was also residing in the city, which fell under its jurisdiction. After hearing both sides, the HC bench posted the case for further hearing on next Wednesday.

The Hyderabad police had registered a case against IT Grids on March 2 on a complaint by T. Lokeswara Reddy that sensitive data, including personal information of citizens of Andhra Pradesh, was being processed illegally by the company without the consent of citizens. The case was transferred to a special investigation team (SIT), set up by the Telangana government, on March 6 for a thorough probe. 

Intensifying the probe, the SIT seized the office of the company located in Madhapur in the information technology hub in Hyderabad.The police, which already seized some hard-disks and electronic gadgets, also took possession of computers and some other material and sealed the office.

The police case, raids on Hyderabad-based company and subsequent developments triggered a row between the Telugu states with the TDP government in Andhra Pradesh alleging that their party's data was stolen under a conspiracy by Telangana's ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the YSRCP.

In a tit-for-tat, the Andhra Pradesh government set up a SIT to probe data theft case against Telangana.


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