4 employees of IT firm accused of data theft produced in court

Four employees of a city-based IT firm, accused of theft of data of voters in Andhra Pradesh, were produced by police Monday before the Telangana High Court following which it closed a petition that alleged they had been detained illegally.

As it was a court holiday on account of Maha Shivaratri, they were produced at the residence of a judge, complying with the court’s direction Sunday on the habeas corpus petition filed by the IT company’s director, a senior police official said.

State Advocate General B S Prasad later told reporters that the four employees informed the judge that they were not detained by the police following which the court closed the petition.

Habeas corpus petition is filed seeking to produce persons suspected to be under illegal detention.

On Saturday, the Hyberabad police had registered a case against the company based on a complaint by a data analyst and carried out searches at its office following allegations of stealing data of Andhra Pradesh voters through a mobile app and misusing it.

The case was booked against the firm, which developed the ‘Seva Mitra’ mobile app used by the ruling Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh (for registered cadre), under relevant sections of IPC and Information Technology Act.

The four employees were called by the police for questioning as part of investigation on Saturday.

Alleging that the four had been missing and were under illegal custody of police, the company’s director moved the court for setting them free.

“We produced the four before the court which dismissed the allegations levelled against the Telangana police,” the police official told PTI.

The investigations were on and further action would be initiated based on sufficient evidence, the official said.

Andhra Pradesh Information Technology Minister N Lokesh, reacting to the search on the company, in a tweet had alleged that the Telangana police was harassing the IT firms that have been hired to curate information whose complete rights were held by the TDP.

“They are trying hard to steal the information of registered party members and Seva Mitras,” he had said.

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