Cyber Law

The Information Technology Act, 2000 (also known as ITA-2000, or the IT Act) is an Act of the Indian Parliament (No 21 of 2000) notified on 17 October 2000. It is the primary law in India dealing with cybercrime and electronic commerce. It is based on the United Nations Model Law on Electronic Commerce 1996 (UNCITRAL Model) recommended by the general assembly of United Nations by a resolution dated 30th January 1997.

Background

The bill was passed in the budget session of 2000 and signed by President K. R. Narayanan on 9 May 2000. The bill was finalized by group of officials headed by then Minister of Information Technology Pramod Mahajan.

Summary

The original Act contained 94 sections, divided in 19 chapters and 4 schedules. The laws apply to the whole of India. Persons of other nationalities can also be indicted under the law, if the crime involves a computer or network located in India.

The Act provides legal framework for electronic governance by giving recognition to electronic records and digital signatures. The formation of Controller of Certifying Authorities was directed by the Act, to regulation issuing of digital signatures. It also defined cyber-crimes and prescribed penalties for them. It also established a Cyber Appellate Tribunal to resolve disputes arising from this new law.

The Act also amended various sections of Indian Penal Code, 1860, Indian Evidence Act, 1872, Banker’s Book Evidence Act, 1891, and Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 to make them compliant with new technologies.