Friday, January 8, 2010

India Needs Techno-Legal Capacity Development Says Praveen Dalal

Technical issues pertaining to cyber law, cyber security and cyber forensics have always haunted the law enforcement, lawyers and judges in India. As a result not much has been achieved either legally or judicially in this regard. Even the basic legal enablement of ICT systems in India is missing. Whether it is establishment of e-courts in India or cyber law and cyber forensics training of police officers, lawyers and judges in India, nothing is happening at the appropriate time and in the right direction. The results are very obvious. India is in emergent need of legal and judicial reform to sustain faith and trust in the law enforcement, legal and judicial system.

The problem gets further complicated when technical issues are merged with the complex legal problems. A “Techno-Legal Combination” of technical knowledge and legal acumen becomes an inevitable necessity in these circumstances. According to Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law and the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India, “The situation is really alarming as India is ignoring the seriousness of cyber crimes and technology related issues. There is almost no conviction of cyber criminals in India. To make the matter worst, the Information Technology Act 2008 made almost all the cyber crimes “bailable”. This means that the technically advanced cyber criminals have neither a technical nor a legal fear to prevent them from committing various cyber crimes. Even the law enforcement, lawyers and judges need techno-legal training so that the menace of cyber crimes can be tackled with an iron hand in India”.

Recently Director-General of Police (Criminal Investigation Department and Training) D.V. Guruprasad confessed that the police have no clue how to handle cyber crime. In a marketing fraud case, the police had dumped desktops and laptops of the accused in a storeroom without realising they did not have the hard disks in them. When the head constable was asked about the hard disks, he did not know what they were. If this is the situation, there can be no cyber crimes conviction in India, say experts. Cyber crime labs/cells/police stations are on no use when the cyber criminals cannot be convicted. In the absence of governmental efforts in this regard, world renowned techno-legal firms like Perry4Law can be really helpful in fighting cyber crimes in India.

Issues pertaining to hacking, data thefts, data security, cyber terrorism, financial frauds, privacy violations, etc must not be taken as lightly as has been done by India. There is an emergent need of making proper amendments in the Information Technology Act 2000 of India. Time has come to abdicate targets achieved on “papers only” and do some constructive and actual grounds work in the techno-legal field.