Laws on Cyberstalking in India: Lawyers Advice
Cyberstalking is another method of cyber crime. The term cyber relates to the web and therefore the meaning of is to stalk someone or follow him or her digitally. The follow up could also be continuous within the sort of defaming, harassment, threat, etc. Both men and ladies are victims of an equivalent. In lately, the methods employed by Cyber Stalkers to stalk someone is thru E-mail, social media and messages. However, there are not any direct laws in India to tackle Cyber Stalking.
Laws for Cyberstalking under the Information Technology Act, 2000
Information Technology is that the innovation of n Age. It comprises of computers, the web, smartphones, etc. In India, the provisions associated with the violation of fair usage of Information Technology is dealt under the Information Technology Act, 2000. Cyber Stalking is one quite misuse of the digital world. It is a particular act which amounts to punish or prevent such crimes. A number of them are mentioned below:-
Sending offensive messages through the internet:- Section 66A of the Act, prevents an individual or a corporation from sending offensive messages using any computer resource or communication devices. The punishment for such an act is imprisonment up to 3 years along side fine. an equivalent punishment is applicable for sending offensive messages within the sort of information or through electronic message. However, within the case of Shreya Singhal v. Union of India (W.P. (Criminal) No. 167 of 2012), the Court held that The Supreme Court struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, concerning restrictions on online speech, as unconstitutional on grounds of violating the liberty of speech guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.
Fraud & Impersonation:– Under the Information Technology Act, 2000 an individual cannot fraudulently change his identity to steal some vital information from the opposite person’s computer. A corporation or website may through the web for cyberstalking use this identity to shadow truth identity. Such an offence is punishable with the imprisonment of up to 3 years along side the fine of 1 lakh. an equivalent quite punishment is given to an individual or company who acts within the name of fraud names for cyberstalking. Section 66D of the Act deals with this type of action by an individual.
Transmission of Obscene Materials in Electronic Form:– Sometimes, a corporation may transmit some obscene materials for stalking a specific person in another company. It may be to weaken that company. Such a corporation is susceptible to be punished under section 67, 67A and 67B of the Act. The punishment for the act is five or seven years of imprisonment for the one that has conducted on behalf of the corporate such transmissions along side the fine of ten lakhs. Moreover, a corporation is more likely to face legal challenges for an equivalent.
Transmission of Sensitive Information by a Body Corporate:- If a corporation sends some sensitive or tip a few particular person for a few quite stalking or threatening with offensive messages, then such a corporation is susceptible to catch up on its actions. Provision of section 43A deals with such an action by the respective company. similarly, if any entity transfers sensitive data to run a competitive business which is not legal will amount to data theft under section 43(b) of the Act. Moreover, within the case of Dr Rishi Dixit v. Preventine Life Care Limited (Cyber Appeal No. 2 of 2014), The Telecom Disputes and Appellate Tribunal of Delhi, held that the illegal transfer of sensitive and tip from an existing entity to run a competing business results in data theft.
Laws for Cyberstalking under the Indian Penal Code, 1860
In India, there are no direct laws or Acts to punish the person or company involved in cyberstalking. The Indian Courts use some connected laws concerning an equivalent term with its meaning. For cyberstalking, a corporation is often punished under the relevant laws of the Indian Penal Code. The sections that apply to cyberstalk are:-
- Outraging the Modesty of a Woman:- Under section 509 of the Indian Penal Code, an individual or a corporation are punished for outraging the modesty of a woman through the internet or electronic devices for cyberstalking. In Deputy Inspector General v. Samuthiram (Civil Appeal No. 8513 of 2012), the Court observed that sexual harassment like eve-teasing of women amounts to a violation of rights guaranteed under Article 14 and 15. The Court in the absence of effective legislation to contain eve-teasing. Normally, complaints are registered under section 294 or 509 of Indian Penal Code.
- Defamation:- Sometimes, a corporation may attack the opposite competing companies in the way of frequent threatening and other means. An important person in that company may stalk a particular person of the other company to defame him or her respective working or owned offices. It may be in the form of Libel or Slander. In such cases, the company or that person can sue for defamation under section 499 of the Indian Penal Code. Such person shall be liable to be punished under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code for two years of imprisonment along with fines. Nevertheless, in the case of Khushwant Singh v. Maneka Gandhi 2002, the Court held that there is no case for granting an injunction before the publication of anything.
- The person who follows Woman:- Section 354D of the Indian Penal Code, defines the term stalking. According to the section, any person who follows the woman through physical means or electronic means in the way of monitoring shall be held to be committed the offence of cyberstalking. The same is applicable for a company who uses its website to stalk or send offensive messages towards a, particularly targeted woman. The punishment for stalking in any means is imprisonment up to three or five years with fine.
Stalking is a crime in India as well as many other Common Law Jurisdictions. If the offence, of stalking, is committed whether by a person or a company both are punishable under the relevant laws. However, through the relevant sections in the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act, these kinds of crimes especially by the way of using the internet can be reduced to some extent.
Authored By: Adv. Anant Sharma & Muhammad Aslah