Saturday, May 2, 2009

Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 Of India Has No Legal Applicability

Cyber Law in India is going through a bad phase. The proposed Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 has further complicated the scenario. The issues of cyber security and cyber forensics have also struck the final nail in the coffin. There is an emergent need to reformulate the Information Technology Act 2000 of India by introducing suitable and contemporary cyber law, cyber security and cyber forensics issues, says Mr. Praveen Dalal. Even the Government of India (GOI) seems to be in quandary over the proposed amendments and very soon the new Government may come up with a better draft of the amendments.

Recently there has been lot of confusion regarding the status of proposed Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008 (IT Amendment Act 2008). This confusion is required to be cleared. There is a need to clarify the stage at which a proposed legislation becomes applicable and comes into force. The proposed IT Amendment Act 2008 is still “NOT Applicable” and the previous Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000) is still applicable. There has been no change whatsoever that the proposed IT Amendment Act 2008 has made in the original IT Act, 2000. No new rights and liabilities are arising and can be claimed from the proposed IT Amendment Act 2008 and all rights and liabilities would be governed by the unamended IT Act, 2000 alone.

As per the governmental sources, the IT Act 2008 has not yet been notified. Section 1(2) of the IT Amendment Act 2008 mandates that the Act has to be notified by Central Government in Official Gazette to make it an enforceable law. Till the central government actually notifies the date, the IT Act 2008 would remain a paper work alone, says Mr. Praveen Dalal. There has been no sign of “Notification" of the same.

The misinformed information spreading these days should not confuse all those who are interested in the Indian cyber law. All that the Central Government has done is publication of the “fact” that the IT Act 2008 has received the “President’s assent”. It does not tell anything else. Those who are not familiar with the process of law making and its notification have been confused by this declaration and spreading rumours about its notification.

The cyber law observers must consult the only authentic source of information in this regard. If the IT Amebdment Act 2008 is made applicable, the same would be notified at the abovementioned techno-legal resource. It would be a good idea if the government openly declares that the IT Amendment Act 2008 has been withdrawn or would be reformulated by the Parliament of India in the next session.


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