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Blog | Escalation of Cyber crimes in India

Updated: May 27

Abstract:

The mechanism of internet is no less than a spider’s web. The internet can be thought of as a boon as well as a bane depending on its utilization. Developing nations such as India record major Cyber crimes each passing year. While the development of the IT sector has been a prime concern of the government, emergence of all sorts of Cyber crime is surpassing the nation. Internet has acted as the ultimate course of action for the white collar criminals. The major Cyber crimes reported in India are usually Cyber stalking, Cyber theft, SPAM, sending viruses and worms, piracy, pornography, phishing etc. This paper throws light on the happening Cyber crimes, Cyber securities provided, steps taken by the governmental as well as non governmental organizations and solutions to tackle the issue.


Keywords: Criminal, Cyber, Internet, Nation


Introduction:


With the invention of the computer, life has become yet more easier to maintain a smooth cum easy life. In short, we can say that computers are such machines which can create, store as well as manipulate data or information as instructed by the instructor. Most users are using computers either for inexact purposes either for one’s own benefit or for giving birth to Cyber crimes which has led to activities which are considered as illegal by the law as well as the society. We can define Cyber Crime as crimes committed using computers or computer network and usually taking place over the cyber space especially the Internet. For regulating the cyber crimes happening, there are also certain laws known as the Cyber laws which govern the cyberspace, specifically the internet. In spite of awareness programmes, campaigns, and all sorts of advertisements, there are people who still don’t open up in front of media and the police from the fear of getting humiliated.


Objective of the study:


The foremost intent of this paper is to spread awareness regarding the cyber crimes and offences taking place in the so called modernized society through the cyberspace, along with the laws against those crimes and criminals and also basic rules and regulations for general public regarding using the internet.


Cyber Crime:


The term ‘cybercrime’ is not defined in any book. The word ‘Cyber’ is itself a slang for anything that is related to computer, technology, internet, and virtual reality. One can find laws penalizing Cyber crimes, and offenses in a number of statues and also in various regulations. The Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act) and the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) has provisions of Cyber crimes and predictably there are various such laws in both IT Act and IPC which overlap with each other.

Collateral Provisions of IPC and IT Act:


Many of the Cyber crimes falling under both these provisions have similar ingredients and are even cognomen.

Hacking and data theft: Section 43 and section 66 of the Information Technology Act define many such web crimes as illegal, starting from hacking into someone’s computer network, data theft, sending viruses to a different computer, damaging computer programmes and many more. For such illegal activities, the maximum punishment mentioned in IT Act is imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of INR.5,00,000 (Rupees Five Lakh) or both. [1]

Section 378 of the Indian Penal Code relating to ‘theft’ of movable property will also apply to theft of any data online, or otherwise section 22 of the IPC states that the words ‘movable property’ are intended to include corporeal property of every description, except land and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth. The maximum punishment for theft under section 378 of the IPC is imprisonment of up to 3 (three) years or a fine or both.[2]


Obscenity:


Sections 67 of the IT Act, 2000- punishment for publishing or transmitting, in electronic form obscene material whose punishment prescribed for the offence under the above section is, imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 3 (three) years. The provisions of sections 292 and 294 of the IPC would also be applicable for offences of the nature described under sections 67, 67A and 67B of the IT Act. Section 292 of the IPC provides that any person who, inter alia, sells, distributes, publicly exhibits or in any manner puts into public circulation of such things or has in his possession any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, drawing, painting, representation or figure or any other obscene object whatsoever shall be punishable on a first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 2 (two) years, and with fine which may extend to Rs. 2,000 (Rupees two thousand).


Whether Cyber Crime is compoundable, cognizable and Bailable:


Section 77A of the IT Act provides that, subject to certain specified exceptions, all offences under the IT Act for which the punishment is imprisonment for a term of three years or less, are compoundable or can be compromised. The provisions of sections 265B and 265C of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) shall apply with respect to such compounding. Section 77B of the IT Act provides that not withstanding anything contained in the CrPC, all offences punishable with imprisonment of three years and above under the IT Act shall be cognizable and all offences punishable with imprisonment of three years or less shall be bailable. Most of the Cyber-crimes covered under the IT Act are punishable with imprisonment of three years or less. [3]

All of the Cyber-crimes under the IPC are bailable except for the offenses under section 420 i.e., cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, section 468 i.e., for forgery for the purpose of cheating, section 411 i.e., for dishonestly receiving stolen property, section 378 i.e., theft and section 409 I.e., for criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent, which are non-bailable.


Conclusion:


Cyber crime is increasing day by day across the globe and specifically in India, online frauds in the name of lottery, online shopping have become very common these days. This is mainly due to the recklessness of the internet users and also the exploitation of technology. With the rapid emergence of crimes, laws should also me amended in order to cope up with the brilliant criminal minds and also to create a smooth cyber world.



[1] Information Technology Act, 2000 [2] Indian Penal Code [3]Code of Criminal Procedure


Author

Debashrita Manik,

Student of Law from KIIT School of Law, Bhubaneswar, Odisha