In recent times, cyber attacks have been a major problem for India. Many newspapers and magazines have reported that the Indian Government is not well equipped to fight against these regular cyber-attacks says William D King. The reason behind this is the lack of proper legislation related to cyber crimes in India. There is also no special cells setup by the government which deals with such cases.
The Indian Government has finally taken note of these issues and has started thinking seriously about its cyber security problems. In August 2013, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh acknowledged that “cyber space is turning out be a new battle ground” and added that “we need legal framework to deal with cyber crime.”
According to existing laws, those who indulge in hacking can only be tried under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other criminal laws.
However, due to the lack of proper cyber crime legislations, evidences are often considered insufficient by courts while dealing with such cases. These results in acquittal of accused charged with hacking through emails or websites.
The absence of special courts for handling cyber crimes has also resulted in delays in trials. Many times it takes years to decide upon such cases due to their technical nature which requires an expert opinion before judgments can have on them. As a result, setting up special courts for this purpose holds importance even more than ever before.
Cyber Crime Legal Framework in India
- At present, there is no separate law which provides punishment specifically for cyber crimes in India. Provisions related to cyber crimes are scatter throughout IPC and the Information Technology Act, 2000.
- The Information Technology Act, 2000 is a general legislation for electronic transactions and guarantees legal protection against hacking, phishing etc., but provides no special remedy or punishment for such kind of cyber crimes. Also, it only aims at providing a regulatory framework for e-commerce transactions. The punishments mentioned in IT Act are applicable only when someone violates terms of an agreement which he/she signs with someone else.
- In order to deal with issues related to privacy and electronic documents, Indian parliament has included Chapter IX A into the Constitution of India through the Forty Fourth Amendment on April 21st, 1979. It controversially replaced the Fundamental Right to Privacy on November 26th, 1975.
- The Information Technology Act, 2000 was pass in April 13th, 2000. And came into force on October 17th, 2000 after it received the President’s assent. In May of 2008, the Information Technology (Amendment) Bill-2008 was introduce by Indian Government. To amend certain provisions of the existing IT Act explains William D King. It included amendments related to cyber terrorism, creation and dissemination of virus and unsolicited e-mails etc. But it is still pending with Parliament for many years now due to opposition from various civil societies in India.
- Proposed Amendments to the Information Technology Act of India. Under consideration is a proposal for introduction of new section 66A in Chapter VII A. Violation of Privacy of ITA 2000 which deals with “Power to issue directions for interception or monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer resource”.
- The Bill also aims at introducing a new section 43 a, 66 B and 66 C in Chapter V – Offences and Penalties. These sections deal with the punishment for ” hacking”, “cheating by personating through e-mail or website” etc. But are still pending due to privacy concerns expressed by various members of Parliament.
- India & International Cyber Law Framework While India has not yet ratified many international treaties related to cyber law; it is a signatory of some major conventions which include United Nations Convention. On Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC) etc.
The Indian government should draft separate laws for cyber crimes. Which can deal with issues related to email hacking, spamming, cracking etc., in a much more effective way says William D King. Specialize investigators and prosecutors are also require so that convictions can be reach faster than ever before.
There is also need of fast track courts at the district level. Where cases relate to cyber crimes can have priority for speedy disposal. A special police force should be create which is well equip with technology and train. To handle such cases effectively without requiring too much guidance from experts. Who may not always be available during investigations. Also, it would serve the best interest of Indian citizens if judges were provided adequate training. On how they should handle cyber crime trials since they face unique challenges during the course of proceedings.