This article analyzes the disturbing trend in India of launching prosecution against cyber crimes on the basis of laws that do not exist. A clarification from the Department of Information Technology (DIT) of the Government of India was sought in this regard but there was no reply. The net result is that we are witnessing prosecutions that are not justified by any law in India. This situation shows that there is a dire need of training of police personnel that is presently missing all over India. Cyber crimes require good techno-legal knowledge that is presently missing. We have to do much more than mere “declarations of sufficiency” and claim of opening of cyber crimes police stations and cells.
The Mumbai police registered a case of “cyber terrorism” when a threat email was sent to the BSE and NSE. It can proudly claim to be the first in the State since an amendment to the Information Technology Act has been proposed. The bigger question is how can police consider, much less utlilze, the provisions of a law that has “not come into force yet”? Till the Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008 is “notified” by the Central Government under section 1(2) of the proposed amendments, the amendments cannot come into force. And till the amendments cannot come into force, we cannot apply the provisions contained in it. Then how come the Mumbai police is booking the accused under the amended law?