IMPA&RD organizes workshop on Cyber Laws



JAMMU, Sep 10: The prestigious -IMPA & RD (Institute of Management Public Administration and Rural Development) organized a workshop on implementation on Cyber laws for the Assistant Professors from various Colleges of J&K and other State Govt Officers.
The Guest lecture was delivered by Mr Aseem Sawhney Addl. Advocate General J&K Jammu who is also a Guest Faculty of the IMPA & RD, to the participants who included Asst Professors of the Higher Education Department, Lecturers and Lecturers and several other officers of the J&K Govt to sensitize them on the issues related to Information Technology Act 2000.
The training programme was coordinated by Dr Sunita Zalpuri who initiated the discussion with her thought provoking exercises with the participants.
Mr Aseem Sawhney who is presently on the assignment of Addl. Advocate General J&K Govt was invited as a Guest faculty by the IMPA to deliver a lecture to the participants in his extensive lecture of about two hours dwelled on various issues with case laws and cited several examples for the participants.
While dwelling on the subject Mr Aseem Sawhney highlighted the features of Cyber Law & Crime (Information Technology Act, 2000) which is an Act made by the Parliament of India and extended to the State of J&K. He said that the virtual world of internet is known as cyberspace. and the laws governing this area are known as Cyber laws. All the netizens of this space come under the ambit of these laws.
Basically, cyber law is the law governing computers and the internet. The growth of Electronic Commerce has propelled the need for vibrant and effective regulatory mechanisms which would further strengthen the legal infrastructure, so crucial to the success of Electronic Commerce.All these regulatory mechanisms and legal infrastructures come within the domain of Cyber law.
In today's techno-savvy environment, the world is becoming more and more digitally sophisticated and so are the crimes. Internet was initially developed as a research and information sharing tool and was in an unregulated manner. As the time passed by it became more transactional with e-business, e-commerce, e- governance and e-procurement etc. said Mr Aseem Sawhney.
All legal issues related to internet crime are dealt with through cyber laws. In today's highly digitalized world, almost everyone is affected by cyber law. For example: Almost all transactions in shares are in demat form. Almost all companies extensively depend upon their computer networks and keep their valuable data in electronic form., banking is online these days. Government forms including income tax returns, company law forms etc. are now filled in electronic form. Consumers are increasingly using credit cards for shopping. o Most people are using email, cell phones and SMS messages for communication.
Even in "non-cyber crime" cases, important evidence is found in computers / cell phones e.g. in cases of divorce, murder, kidnapping, tax evasion, organized crime, terrorist operations, counterfeit currency etc. Cyber crime cases such as online banking frauds, online share trading fraud, source code theft, credit card fraud, tax evasion, virus attacks, cyber sabotage, phishing attacks, email hijacking, denial of service, hacking, pornography etc are becoming common.
Digital signatures and e-contracts are fast replacing conventional methods of transacting business. The requirements of cyberspace could hardly ever be anticipated. With the coming of the Internet led to the emergence of numerous ticklish legal issues and problems which necessitated the enactment of Cyber laws. None of the existing laws gave any legal validity or sanction to the activities in Cyberspace. Internet requires an enabling and supportive legal infrastructure in tune with the times. This legal infrastructure can only be given by the enactment of the relevant Cyber laws as the traditional laws have failed to grant the same.
The information Technology Act is an outcome of the resolution dated 30th January 1997 of the General Assembly of the United Nations, which adopted the Model Law on Electronic Commerce on International Trade Law.The Department of Electronics (DoE) in July 1998 drafted the bill. However, it could only be introduced in the House on December 16, 1999 (after a gap of almost one and a half years) when the new IT Ministry was formed. It underwent substantial alteration, with the Commerce Ministry making suggestions related to e-commerce and matters pertaining to World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations.
The Union Cabinet approved the bill on May 13, 2000 and on May 17, 2000, by both the houses. The Bill received the assent of the President on 9th June 2000. Came to be known as the Information Technology Act, 2000. The Act came into force on 17th October 2000 as technology developed further and new methods of committing crime using Internet & computers surfaced, the need was felt to amend the IT Act, 2000. To insert new kinds of cyber offences, plug in other loopholes that posed hurdles in the effective enforcement of the IT Act, 2000. Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 came, which was made effective from 27 October 2009.It is India's mother legislation regulating the use of computers, computer systems and computer networks as also data and information in the electronic format.The Preamble to the Act states that it aims at providing legal recognition for transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as "electronic commerce", which involve the use of alternatives to paper-based methods of communication and storage of information and aims at facilitating electronic filing of documents with the Government agencies. The IT Act of 2000 was developed: to promote the IT industry regulate e- commerce facilitate e-governance prevent cybercrime The IT Act, 2000 consists of 90 sections spread over 13 chapters [Sections 91, 92, 93 and 94 of the principal Act were omitted by the Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008 has 2 schedules.[ Schedules III and IV were omitted by the Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008].
8. Salient FeaturesThe Act provides legal recognition to e-commerce, which facilitates commercial e- transactions. It recognises records kept in electronic form like any other documentary record.The Act also provides legal recognition to digital signatures. Cyber Law Appellate tribunal has been set up to hear appeal against adjudicating authorities. The provisions of the I.T. Act have no application to negotiable instruments, power of attorney, trust, will and any contract for sale or conveyance of immovable property.The Act applies to any cyber offence or contravention committed outside India by a person irrespective of his/her nationality. Consequent to the passing of this Act, the SEBI had announced that trading of securities on the internet will be valid in India said Mr Sawhney.
The term 'digital signature' has been replaced with 'electronic signature' to make the Act more technology neutral. A new section has been inserted to define 'communication device' to mean cell phones, personal digital assistance or combination of both or any other device used to communicate, send or transmit any text video, audio or image. A new definition has been inserted for intermediary. A new section 10A has been inserted to the effect that contracts concluded electronically shall not be deemed to be unenforceable solely on the ground that electronic form or means was used. Sections 66A to 66F has been added to Section 66 prescribing punishment for offences such as obscene electronic message transmissions, identity theft, cheating by impersonation using computer resource, violation of privacy and cyber terrorism. Section 67 of the IT Act, 2000 has been amended: To reduce the term of imprisonment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form to three years from five years and increase in fine from Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 500,000.He also explained the Shreya Singhal's Judgment of the Supreme Court of India where the Court had struck down Section 66 A of the IT Act.
Sections 67A to 67C have also been inserted. oSection 67A and B deals with penal provisions in respect of offences of publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act and child pornography in electronic form. Section 67C deals with the obligation of an intermediary to preserve and retain such information as may be specified for such duration and in such manner and format as the central government may prescribe.
With the increasing threat of terrorism in the country, the new amendments include an amended section 69, giving power to the state to issue directions for interception or monitoring of decryption of any information through any computer resource. sections 69A and B, two new sections, grant power to the state to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource and to authorize to monitor and collect traffic data or information through any computer resource for cyber security.
Amendments related to IPC were contained in Sec.91 The Indian Penal Code was amended by inserting the word 'electronic' thereby treating the electronic records and documents on a par with physical records and documents. The Sections dealing with false entry in a record or false document etc (e.g. 192, 204, 463, 464, 464, 468 to 470, 471, 474, 476 etc) have since been amended as 'electronic record and electronic document' thereby bringing within the ambit of IPC. Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Prior to enactment of ITA, all evidences in a court were in the physical form only. After existence of ITA, the electronic records and documents were recognized. The definition part of Indian Evidence Act was amended as "all documents including electronic records" were substituted.Other words e.g. 'digital signature', 'electronic form', 'secure electronic record' 'information' as used in the ITA, were also inserted to make them part of the evidentiary importance under the Act.The important amendment was seen by recognition of admissibility of electronic records as evidence as enshrined in Section 65B of the Act explained Mr Aseem Sawhney to the participants.

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