Ready questionnaires to help probe cybercrimes

To expedite cybercrime investigations, the city crime branch has come up with about 200 fixed questionnaires or request letters (depending upon the nature of the crime), to which answers can be sought from different agencies under section 91 of the CrPC.
During the exercise to design the questionnaires, cyber cell officials found that nearly 50% of cybercrimes take place on social media platforms. About 30% are related to the theft of one time passwords (OTPs) and online banking frauds, and the remaining pertain to matrimonial or online shopping frauds.

A cyber expert working with the cyber cell of the city crime branch, Harshal Patel, said that local police stations investigating cybercrimes were not aware about what details they should ask from the nodal officer of the agency concerned, or to the authorities of the platform on which the crime had been committed.

“They end up asking only the IP address of the device through which the crime has been executed, which either hampers or delays the probe,” Patel said. “We got in touch with about 200 such nodal officers of different agencies and took their email addresses. We then designed a separate set of questionnaires for each category of offence. Hence a police official has to only fill in the form and email it to the nodal officer.” Cybercrime officials said that the questionnaires have been uploaded on cybersamvad.org. “Any police station across the state can download a particular format depending upon the offence they are investigating and email it to the nodal official concerned of the agency for answers,” Patel said.
With the number of cybercrime applications rising, the city police commissioner had issued a notification directing local police stations to investigate the applications and lodge an offence if necessary.
“The readily available format of the request letter will enable local police to speed up the investigation and complete the probe in time,” said deputy commissioner of police, crime branch, Deepan Bhadran.

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