As a result of the widespread use of the internet and its accompanying benefits, the concept of cybercrime has grown in scope. The Indian statute that deals with punishments related to such offences is the Information Technology Act of 2000, which was later revised to the IT Amendment Act of 2008.
In recent years, hacking has become increasingly popular, and cyber-crime in India is on the rise. Several government websites have been hacked and are currently unprotected. Some of the most common and often reported types of cybercrime against women include cyberstalking, pornography, morphing, online harassment, libellous or unpleasant comments, trolling or bullying, blackmailing, threat or intimidation, e-mail spoofing, and impersonation.
The Code of Criminal Method, 1973, oversees criminal proceedings, including how to file a criminal complaint or FIR against an accused individual, as well as the procedure for a criminal trial and case disposition. Similarly, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, oversees civil case procedures, including how the plaintiff can start the procedures by filing a plaint in civil court and how the defendant can react to the plaintiff with a written declaration. It also specifies the procedure for bringing a full civil action and resolving a civil complaint.
Cybercrime in India
In India, cybercrime refers to wrongdoings or crimes done via the use of technology. There is no specific definition of cyber-crime; however, it is a white-collar crime when any illegal or criminal activity is carried out with the primary means of operation being a computer. Cybercrime is a broad term that refers to illicit action that involves the use of computers or computer networks as a tool, a target, or a place. It includes anything from identity theft to denial-of-service attacks. Phishing, credit card fraud, bank robbery, illegal downloading, industrial espionage, child pornography, child abduction through chat rooms, scams, cyber terrorism, virus generation and transmission, and spam are all examples of cybercrime. In India, cyber cell departments have been established in almost every state to deal with cyber issues.
Since the number of reports of cyber-crime complaints has increased dramatically in India, cyber cell departments and cyber police have identified a variety of cyber-crimes such as cyberstalking, online theft, cyberbullying, cyber terrorism, phishing, and so on.
In the situations described above, technology such as electronic devices (computers, computer networks, or mobile phones) and the internet were used (social media, e-commerce websites, fraudulent web pages and e-mails, etc.). The term “cyber” refers to everything related to computers, computer networks, computer equipment, software, the internet, e-mails, websites, data storage devices, and other electronic gadgets (mobile phones, ATMs, etc.). As a result, a cybercrime is defined as a crime committed using or involving a computer, computer network, internet, or other online service or electronic device.
How to file a cyber crime complaint?
Cybercrime complaints can be made with the cyber crime cells. The victim has the option of filing the complaint online or offline, depending on whatever manner is most suitable for him or her. Because cybercrime is covered by international law, the victim is not required to register a complaint with the cybercrime cell in the city where he or she lives or where the crime occurred. Instead, the cybercrime complaint can be submitted to any of India’s cybercrime cells. In various Indian towns, cybercrime cells have been established to make it easier for citizens to access assistance in the event of an accident or harm caused by a cybercrime performed against them. These cells have also been spreading information on cybercrime and how to prevent being a victim. Cybercrime investigations are carried out by cybercrime cells, which maintain track of cybercrime reports.
If the victim does not have access to any of the cybercrime cells, he or she can make a police report at the local police station under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The police officer is needed to register an FIR if the cybercrime committed against the victim is a chargeable violation under the Indian Penal Code. If the police officer refuses to submit the victim’s report, the victim may make a formal complaint with the Judicial Magistrate in his or her district, who may order the police officer to conduct an inquiry. Depending on the sort of cybercrime committed against the victim, different materials are required to register a cybercrime FIR (Social Media Crime, Cyber Bullying, and so on).
In recent years, cybercrime has increased considerably, including phishing, identity theft, and fraud. The current laws, on the other hand, do not sufficiently or fully address it. The Personal Data Protection Bill, which was passed and implemented in 2019, was a key cyber law development in India for 2021. Until now, India lacked a comprehensive data protection law. The government tabled the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 in Parliament in December 2019. A Joint Parliamentary Committee would have actively reviewed the Bill by 2020. Enacting personal data privacy legislation would benefit the Indian information technology ecosystem in addition to providing better protection for personal data.