HC directs Telangana police to act against app-based money lenders

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Hyderabad, Feb 4 (PTI) The Telangana High Court on Thursdaydirected the state police to initiate immediate and necessary action againstthe instant app-based money lenders, accused of harassing borrowers overrepayment of loans with higher rate of interest.

When apetition by Kalyan Dileep Sunkara, a lawyer, seeking to ban all illegal online loan applications came up, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohlidirected the state DGP to ensure that such appswere blocked or deleted from Google Play store.

The bench also ordered the police to nabthose running such apps and issuing instant loans.

The petitioner had sought acourt direction to the state government to ban all illegalonline loan apps available on Google Play store.

Posting the matter to March 18, the court also directed thepolice to file a status report on the sanction of loans by instantloan apps, cases registered and on the investigation.

The police submitted that the lending companies, through instant loan apps offer loans to people and levy huge interest and processing charges, among others.

They then resort to systematic abusing, harassing and threatening the defaulters through call centres operating from across the country.

Six cases of suicides, due to harassment by such companies werereported in Telangana since December 2020.

Over 50 cases have been registered and over 30 people, including four Chinese nationals arrested so far even as the Enforcement Directorate is probing these FIRs.

Police said they have also engaged experts for data analysis for studying the voluminous data as a preliminary probe into the financial transactions of the online loan app firms revealed 1.4 crore transactions worth nearly Rs 21,000 crore.

Cases were registered in various police stations in the state based on several complaints alleging that the firms obtained sensitive data such as contacts, photographs from the mobile phones of the customers andusing them to defame or blackmail to get the loan repayment. PTI VVK ROH ROH