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Set up international courts for cyber crimes: industry body

By A Staff Reporter

In view of fast increasing threat to national security, a day long conference on ‘Cyber Security & Cyber Law’ has unanimously recommended formation of international court for cyber crimes and independent cyber police department in India.

The conference organized by ASSSOCHAM recently in the Capital was addressed by additional secretary, Ministry of Law & Justice, Mr. P.K. Malhotra, joint secretary (Centre States), Ministry of Home Affairs, Dr. N.S. Kalsi; Head Government Verticals, Systematic India, Mr. Nitraj Singh and Chairman, ASSOCHAM Cyber Law Committee, Mr. Pavan Duggal and its secretary general, Mr. D S Rawat. In it police officials of over a dozen states were also present on the occasion.

It has also recommended that Cyber Appellate Tribunal should also be empowered with more teeth to ensure that all its judgments can only be challenged in the supreme court of India and not referred to High Courts as is the practice as of now.

In addition, it called for constitution of International Court of Cyber Justice since cyber crimes have no borders for which India should take a lead because it happens to be one of the leaders in the field of Information Technology in the world.

The consensus view amongst the experts was that in view of increasing cyber crimes, Indian government needs to evolve a National Security Policy which should be implemented in all government departments with perfect harmony and awareness. The cyber crimes cannot be effectively handled unless the proposed policy is put in place said, Mr. Malhotra.

Mr. Duggal who is also a Senior Supreme Court Advocate emphasized that IT Act originally provided for grant of no bail on guilt for committing cyber crimes. However, with IT amendment Act of 2008 which became operational in December 2009 made such crimes bailable.

As a result, cyber criminals are not dealt with stringent provisions of law and often escape the legitimately required punishment. This needs to be reviewed and cyber crimes made non-bailable so that it works as a strong deterrent for those who intend to commit such crimes said, Mr. Malhotra and Mr. Singh.

The experts also felt that Cyber Appellate Tribunal currently lacks sufficient teeth as its judgments can be questioned even in High Courts. What is needed is more legal and judicial empowerment for this tribunal to make sure that its pronouncements can be referred only to Supreme Court.

According to additional secretary, Ministry of Law & Justice, “India being one of the leaders in IT and ITEs needs to initiate an exercise for constitution of International Court of Cyber Crime because, such crimes have no borders. The proposed court could be on the line of International Court of Justice and effectively try cyber crimes. This has become necessary because cyber terrorism has already gained firm grounds in many countries and one way to prevent it could be through constitution of proposed court.”