Information Technology Act, 2000
The information and technology act 2000 The information & technology act 2000 is an act dealing with electronic commerce in India. The act envisages in section 1 about its extent of application, which is while of India including Jammu and Kashmir. This act is not a full fledged comprehensive legislation on electronic commerce. The act also has extra territorial jurisdiction, meaning it could try people outside the Indian territory. Further, this act also stipulates that it is not applicable to negotiable instruments act 1881(except cheques), power of attorney act 1882, Indian trust act 1882 or any document as specified by the government in the official gazette of India. The act also provides for the Regulation of certifying authorities. It provides for a controller of certifying authorities who shall be supervising the activities and also laying down the standards . The act also gives recognition to digital signatures. In section 17, it provides that the central government shall appoint the controller of certifying authorities and other officers which shall perform the functions of specifying the modes of digital signatures, supervision over certifying authorities, facilitating the establishment of electronic commerce, etc. The controller also can delegate his powers to deputy controller or other officers u/s 27 of the act. The act further talks about the penalties laid down in section 43 speaks clearly on it. It says that if a person without the consent of the owner or in charge of a computer elicits information, introduces contaminates virus in computer, damages programmes, disrupts computer access, denies or helps other in accessing the computer shall be liable to pay a damages in aspect of compensation to the aggrieved party not more than Rs.1 crore. In section 48 of the act there is a provision, which mentions the establishment of the Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal(CRAT), which is an appellate body where appeals against the orders passed by the Adjudicating Officers shall be preferred. The presiding officer will head the CRAT. It also details that the CRAT shall not be bound by the principles of the Code of Civil Procedure but shall follow the principles of natural justice and shall have the same powers as those are vested in a Civil Court and against an order or decision of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal, an appeal will lie to the High Court. Also, in section 54 it says that a presiding officer can resign by writing to the central government and shall be removed only on grounds of misbehaviour or incapacity to perform duty ascertained upon the enquiry by a judge of a supreme court. Under section 60 it also contemplates that the limitations act 1963 will also be applicable as far as appeal to CRAT is concerned. Under section 65 it also says that if anyone tampers the computer source which was to be kept as a record, as per the law, shall be punished with an imprisonment not less than 3 years or with fine not exceeding two lakh rupees or with both. It also provides under section 78 of the act that a police officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent of police shall investigate the offences under the act. Furthermore, section 80 empowers a Deputy superintendent of police or any officer authorized by the central or state government, to enter, search, and seize any electronic device or medium used in committing the offence under the act. Also, under section 84, that if any action is believed to be taken in good faith and in consonance of the act shall not be punishable or any appeal to be filed against it. The act also incorporates companies in furtherance of the offences committed under the act. The central government U/S.87, controller U/S.89 and state governments U/S.90 can make rules, regulations with regard to the said act. Conclusion As we all know that information is everything & technology is the future, so when both combined puts up a substantial change that the world is currently witnessing and working upon. This sector has been totally forgotten in India until 2000, when the legislation was brought. The technological advancement of the countries are supported and enhanced further by the legislation only, which sought to protect and give recognition to the domains, activities, etc. The IT Act is the first act in the arena of electronic commerce and towards promoting the growth of electronic commerce so as to recognize, curb and help securing the individual citizens of the country technologically. It is the cornerstone of information technology domain which tends to adjudicate, punish, and establish rules for the better functioning of the Act. The subjects under the act are laid down but few concepts are not exhaustive as such. It still needs a better and a comprehensive legislation by the parliament of India to inherit certain new features followed in the foreign world with ease and comfort. Altogether, this is the first legislation in India and it seems to include various concepts and exclude certain concepts like protection to domain names, IPR, cyber stalking, etc. Therefore, I can righteously conclude that the act of 2000, is not an exhaustive legislation dealing on information technology in India. It should be more protective and include out reaching concepts which might cause problems like cyber stalking, hacking, cyberspace threats, etc.
Author: Rituraj Swami (B.A.LL.B.)