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Delhi High Court Orders Blocking of Websites Impersonating Cresset Capital

The Delhi High Court has issued a significant order directing the Central government and domain name registrars (DNRs) to block and suspend multiple fraudulent websites that were impersonating US-based investment advisory and asset management services firms, Cresset Capital Management and Cresset Administrative Services Corporation. The order, delivered by Justice Prathiba M Singh on September 1, also involves an investigation by the Delhi Police’s cyber cell due to the websites’ illicit collection of money from unsuspecting consumers.

Impersonation and Collection of Funds:

The plaintiff, Cresset, had filed the plea, alleging that an individual named Karthikeyan Ganesan had registered several domain names using the “Cresset” mark. Consumers had reported investing money in these websites, believing them to be affiliated with Cresset. The fraudulent websites had replicated Cresset’s content, making it difficult for users to discern their fraudulent nature.

Court’s Observations:

Justice Singh examined the websites and found that they were blatantly using the Cresset name and logo with the sole intention of impersonating the company and collecting money from unsuspecting individuals. The Court noted that all domain name registrations were privacy protected, making it challenging to identify the individuals behind the websites. Consequently, the Court ordered the immediate suspension of these domain names to prevent further deception of innocent individuals.

Comprehensive Investigation:

In addition to blocking the websites, the Court directed a thorough investigation through the Delhi Police’s cyber cell to uncover the individuals responsible for these fraudulent websites. The investigation will include inquiries into any bank accounts opened by the website proprietors and the issuance of freezing orders, as necessary.

Legal Representation:

Cresset was represented by Senior Advocate Saurabh Kirpal, along with advocates Anuj Berry, Sourabh Rath, Vibhore Yadav, and Gauri Pasricha.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) Department of Technology (DoT) was represented by Central Government Standing Counsel Harish Vaidyanathan Shankar, along with advocates Gokul Sharma, Srish Kumar Mishra, Sagar Mehlawat, Alexander Mathai Paikaday, Krishnan V, and M Sriram.

This legal action underscores the importance of protecting consumers from fraudulent online activities and impersonation.


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