Types Of Cyber Crimes And Their Penalties In India Pdf

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An overview of cyber-crimes and cyber law in India and Nepal

Mondaq uses cookies on this website. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies as set out in our Privacy Policy. The term "cyber-crimes" is not defined in any statute or rulebook.

The word "cyber" is slang for anything relating to computers, information technology, internet and virtual reality. Therefore, it stands to reason that "cyber-crimes" are offences relating to computers, information technology, internet and virtual reality. One finds laws that penalise cyber-crimes in a number of statutes and even in regulations framed by various regulators.

Here are a few examples:. Hacking and Data Theft: Sections 43 and 66 of the IT Act penalise a number of activities ranging from hacking into a computer network, data theft, introducing and spreading viruses through computer networks, damaging computers or computer networks or computer programmes, disrupting any computer or computer system or computer network, denying an authorised person access to a computer or computer network, damaging or destroying information residing in a computer etc.

The maximum punishment for the above offences is imprisonment of up to 3 three years or a fine or Rs. Section of the IPC relating to "theft" of movable property will apply to the theft of any data, online or otherwise, since section 22 of the IPC states that the words "movable property" are intended to include corporeal property of every description, except land and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth.

The maximum punishment for theft under section of the IPC is imprisonment of up to 3 three years or a fine or both.

It may be argued that the word "corporeal" which means 'physical' or 'material' would exclude digital properties from the ambit of the aforesaid section of the IPC. The counter argument would be that the drafters intended to cover properties of every description, except land and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth.

Section of the IPC states that " whoever dishonestly or fraudulently conceals or removes any property of himself or any other person, or dishonestly or fraudulently assists in the concealment or removal thereof, or dishonestly releases any demand or claim to which he is entitled, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description 1 for a term which may extend to 2 two years, or with fine, or with both.

The maximum punishment under section is imprisonment of up to 2 two years or a fine or both. Section of the IPC deals with mischief and states that " whoever with intent to cause, or knowing that he is likely to cause, wrongful loss or damage to the public or to any person, causes the destruction of any property, or any such change in any property or in the situation thereof as destroys or diminishes its value or utility, or affects it injuriously, commits mischief ".

Needless to say, damaging computer systems and even denying access to a computer system will fall within the aforesaid section of the IPC. The maximum punishment for mischief as per section of the IPC is imprisonment of up to 3 three months or a fine or both. Receipt of stolen property: Section 66B of the IT Act prescribes punishment for dishonestly receiving any stolen computer resource or communication device. This section requires that the person receiving the stolen property ought to have done so dishonestly or should have reason to believe that it was stolen property.

The punishment for this offence under Section 66B of the IT Act is imprisonment of up to 3 three years or a fine of up to Rs. Section of the IPC too prescribes punishment for dishonestly receiving stolen property and is worded in a manner that is almost identical to section 66B of the IT Act. The punishment under section of the IPC is imprisonment of either description for a term of up to 3 three years, or with fine, or with both.

Please note that the only difference in the prescribed punishments is that under the IPC, there is no maximum cap on the fine.

Identity theft and cheating by personation: Section 66C of the IT Act prescribes punishment for identity theft and provides that anyone who fraudulently or dishonestly makes use of the electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature of any other person shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 3 three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to Rs.

Section 66D of the IT Act prescribes punishment for 'cheating by personation by using computer resource' and provides that any person who by means of any communication device or computer resource cheats by personation, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 3 three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to Rs.

Section of the IPC also prescribes punishment for 'cheating by personation' and provides that any person who cheats by personation shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 3 three years or with a fine or with both. A person is said to be guilty of 'cheating by personation' if such person cheats by pretending to be some other person, or by knowingly substituting one person for another, or representing that he or any other person is a person other than he or such other person really is.

The provisions of sections , and of the IPC dealing with forgery and "forgery for the purpose of cheating", may also be applicable in a case of identity theft. Section of the IPC prescribes punishment for forgery for the purpose of cheating and provides a punishment of imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 7 seven years and also a fine.

Forgery has been defined in section of the IPC to mean the making of a false document or part thereof with the intent to cause damage or injury, to the public or to any person, or to support any claim or title, or to cause any person to part with property, or to enter into any express or implied contract, or with intent to commit fraud or that fraud may be committed.

In this context, reference may also be made to section of the IPC that provides that any person who cheats and thereby dishonestly induces the person deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to make, alter or destroy the whole or any part of a valuable security, or anything which is signed or sealed, and which is capable of being converted into a valuable security shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 7 seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

However, the punishment under section is much higher in that the imprisonment mat extend to 7 seven years.

Further, whilst the IT Act contemplates both the imposition of a fine and imprisonment, the IPC uses the word 'or' indicating that the offence could be punished with imprisonment or by imposing a fine. Most importantly, the fundamental distinction between the IPC and the IT Act in relation to the offence of identity theft is that the latter requires the offence to be committed with the help of a computer resource. Obscenity: Sections 67, 67A and 67B of the IT Act prescribe punishment for publishing or transmitting, in electronic form: i obscene material; ii material containing sexually explicit act, etc.

The punishment prescribed for an offence under section 67 of the IT Act is, on the first conviction, imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 3 three years, to be accompanied by a fine which may extend to Rs. The punishment prescribed for offences under sections 67A and 67B of the IT Act is on first conviction, imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 5 five years, to be accompanied by a fine which may extend to Rs.

The provisions of sections and of the IPC would also be applicable for offences of the nature described under sections 67, 67A and 67B of the IT Act. Section of the IPC provides that any person who, inter alia, sells, distributes, publicly exhibits or in any manner puts into circulation or has in his possession any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, drawing, painting, representation or figure or any other obscene object whatsoever shall be punishable on a first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 2 two years, and with fine which may extend to Rs.

Section of the IPC provides that any person who, to the annoyance of others, does any obscene act in any public place, or sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 3 three months, or with fine, or with both. Section 43 h of the IT Act: Section 43 h read with section 66 of the IT Act penalises an individual who charges the services availed of by a person to the account of another person by tampering with or manipulating any computer, computer system, or computer network.

A person who tampers with the computer system of an electricity supplier and causes his neighbour to pay for his electricity consumption would fall under the aforesaid section 43 h of the IT Act for which there is no equivalent provision in the IPC. Section 65 of the IT Act: Section 65 of the IT Act prescribes punishment for tampering with computer source documents and provides that any person who knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroys or alters or intentionally or knowingly causes another to conceal, destroy, or alter any computer source code i.

Section of the IPC provides that any person who is in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property in his capacity as a public servant or in the way of his business as a banker, merchant, factor, broker, attorney or agent, commits criminal breach of trust in respect of that property, shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 ten years, and shall also be liable to a fine.

However, section 65 of the IT Act does not require that the person who tampers with or damages or destroys computer source documents should have been entrusted with such source code. Under section of the IPC, criminal breach of trust should have been committed by someone to whom the property was entrusted.

Violation of privacy: Section 66E of the IT Act prescribes punishment for violation of privacy and provides that any person who intentionally or knowingly captures, publishes or transmits the image of a private area of any person without his or her consent, under circumstances violating the privacy of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to 3 three years or with fine not exceeding Rs.

Section of the IPC has been discussed above. Section of the IPC provides that if any person intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, such person shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to 1 one year, or with fine, or with both.

Unlike section 66E of the IT Act which applies to victims of both genders, section of the IPC applies only if the victim is a woman. Section 67C of the IT Act: Section 67C of the IT Act requires an 'intermediary' to preserve and retain such information as may be specified for such duration and in such manner and format as the Central Government may prescribe.

The section further provides that any intermediary who intentionally or knowingly contravenes this requirement shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 three years and also be liable to a fine. An 'intermediary' with respect to any particular electronic record, has been defined in the IT Act to mean any person who on behalf of another person receives, stores or transmits that record or provides any service with respect to that record and includes telecom service providers, network service providers, internet service providers, web-hosting service providers, search engines, online payment sites, online-auction sites, online-market places and cyber cafes.

There is no corresponding provision in the IPC. Whoever, with intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in the people or any section of the people, denies or causes the denial of access to any person authorized to access a computer resource, or attempts to penetrate or access a computer resource without authorisation or exceeding authorised access, or introduces or causes the introduction of any computer contaminant, and by means of such conduct causes or is likely to cause death or injuries to persons or damage to or destruction of property or disrupts or knowing that it is likely to cause damage or disruption of supplies or services essential to the life of the community or adversely affect critical information infrastructure, is guilty of 'cyber terrorism'.

Whoever knowingly or intentionally penetrates or accesses a computer resource without authorisation or exceeding authorised access, and by means of such conduct obtains access to information, data or computer database that is restricted for reasons for the security of the State or foreign relations, or any restricted information, data or computer database, with reasons to believe that such information, data or computer database so obtained may be used to cause or likely to cause injury to the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, group of individuals or otherwise, is also guilty of 'cyber terrorism'.

Whoever commits or conspires to commit cyber terrorism shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to imprisonment for life. There is no provision in the IPC that mirrors section 66F of the IT Act, though section of the IPC waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India does cover this offence partially. Section 77A of the IT Act provides that, subject to certain exceptions, all offences under the IT Act for which the punishment is imprisonment for a term of 3 three years or less, are compoundable.

Section 77B of the IT Act provides that notwithstanding anything contained in the CrPC, all offences punishable with imprisonment of 3 three years and above under the IT Act shall be cognizable and all offences punishable with imprisonment of 3 three years or less shall be bailable. Most of the cyber-crimes covered under the IT Act are punishable with imprisonment of 3 three years or less.

The cyber-crimes which are punishable with imprisonment of more than 3 three years are:. All of the cyber-crimes under the IPC are bailable other than offences under section cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property , section forgery for the purpose of cheating , section dishonestly receiving stolen property , section theft and section criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent , which are non-bailable.

Offences under sections and forgery , sections and mischief , section forgery for the purpose of cheating , section forgery for the purpose of harming reputation and section sale, etc. Of these, offences under sections and can be compounded only with the permission of the court. Most of the cyber crimes under the IPC are cognizable other than the offences under sections and mischief and sections and forgery which are non-cognizable.

For instance, in case of hacking and data theft, offences under sections 43 and 66 of the IT Act that are bailable and compoundable while offences under section of the IPC are non-bailable and offences under section of the IPC are non-compoundable.

Further, in case of the offence of receipt of stolen property, the offence under section 66B of the IT Act is bailable while the offence under section of the IPC is non-bailable. Similarly, in case of the offence of identity theft and cheating by personation, the offences under sections 66C and 66D of the IT Act are compoundable and bailable while the offences under sections , and of the IPC are non-compoundable and the offences under sections and of the IPC are non-bailable.

Finally, in case of obscenity, the offences under sections 67, 67A and 67B of the IT Act are non-bailable while the offences under section and of the IPC are bailable. The State of Maharashtra 2 discussed below wherein offences under sections and of the IPC that are non-bailable and cannot be compounded other than with the permission of the court were in conflict with offences under sections 43, 65 and 66 of the IT Act that are bailable and compoundable.

In the case of Sharat Babu Digumarti v. In this case, on November 27, , an obscene video had been listed for sale on baazee. The listing was intentionally made under the category 'Books and Magazines' and sub-category 'ebooks' in order to avoid its detection by the filters installed by Baazee. A few copies were sold before the listing was deactivated. The company Bazee was not arraigned as an accused and this helped Avinash Bajaj get off the hook since it was held that, vicarious liability could not be fastened on Avinash Bajaj under either section of the IPC or section 67 of the IT Act when Avinash's employer Bazee itself was not an accused.

The Supreme Court then considered if, after the charges under section 67 of the IT Act was dropped, a charge under section of the IPC could be sustained. The Supreme Court quashed the proceedings against Sarat Digumarti and ruled that if an offence involves an electronic record, the IT Act alone would apply since such was the legislative intent.

It is a settled principle of interpretation that special laws would prevail over general laws and latter laws would prevail over prior legislation. Further, section 81 of the IT Act states that the provisions of the IT Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force. In the case of Gagan Harsh Sharma v. The State of Maharashtra 4 , certain individuals were accused of theft of data and software from their employer and charged under sections and of the IPC and also under sections 43, 65 and 66 of the IT Act.

All of these sections, other than section of the IPC, have been discussed above. Section of the IPC deals with criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant and states that " whoever, being a clerk or servant or employed as a clerk or servant, and being in any manner entrusted in such capacity with property, or with any dominion over property, commits criminal breach of trust in respect of that property, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine ".

Offences under sections and of the IPC are non-bailable and cannot be compounded other than with the permission of the court. Offences under sections 43, 65 and 66 of the IT Act are bailable and compoundable. Therefore, the petitioners pleaded that the charges against them under the IPC be dropped and the charges against them under the IT Act be investigated and pursued. It was further argued that if the Supreme Court's ruling in Sharat Babu Digumarti were to be followed, the petitioners could only be charged under the IT Act and not under the IPC, for offences arising out of the same actions.

The Bombay High Court upheld the contentions of the petitioners and ruled that the charges against them under the IPC be dropped. We currently have a situation where a number of offences are penalised by both the IPC and the IT Act, even though the ingredients of both offences are the same. There are subtle differences in punishments under these statutes, especially in aspects like whether the offence is bailable or compoundable or cognizable.

An offence such as obscenity may take place through different types of media, both online or offline. However, it could result in unfairness if 2 two different statutes apply to the same offence on the basis of the media used. The sum and substance of the Supreme Court's ruling in the Sharat Babu Digumarti case is that no individual may be charged under the IPC for an offence arising out of certain acts or omissions if the IT Act could also be applied to the same acts or omissions.

Though we are in full agreement with the Supreme Court's ruling, it is our contention that all cyber offences ought to be housed in the IPC and not in the IT Act.

The "cyber" component of an offence is not sufficient reason for differential treatment of sub-categories of the offence. Even though the supreme court's ruling in the Sharat Babu Digumarti case has ensured that no individual may be charged under the IPC for an offence arising out of certain acts or omissions if the IT Act could also be applied to the same acts or omissions, it is a fact that offences such as theft and obscenity will be punished differently if they involve a 'cyber' element.

Currently, an individual who distributes a hard copy book containing obscene materials will be punished under the IPC whilst an individual who distributes obscene materials through the internet will be punished under the IT Act, though the underlying offence is the same.

Cybercrime in India: Laws, Regulations, and Enforcement Mechanisms

Mondaq uses cookies on this website. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies as set out in our Privacy Policy. The term "cyber-crimes" is not defined in any statute or rulebook. The word "cyber" is slang for anything relating to computers, information technology, internet and virtual reality. Therefore, it stands to reason that "cyber-crimes" are offences relating to computers, information technology, internet and virtual reality. One finds laws that penalise cyber-crimes in a number of statutes and even in regulations framed by various regulators. Here are a few examples:.

The technological revolution has ushered in new platforms and methods for a variety of crimes in and though cyber-space. Cyber-crimes can be perpetrated against the government or individual agents, on physical or intangible properties. The borderless nature of cybercrime poses an immediate, grave threat globally, taking on forms ranging from electronic versions of traditional The borderless nature of cybercrime poses an immediate, grave threat globally, taking on forms ranging from electronic versions of traditional robbery, scamming, fraud, and identity theft to entirely new crimes as phishing, hacking, cyber-bullying, etc. Cybercrimes have several varying characteristics to determine the motivating factor behind attempting the crime, strategies that the criminal used and the damage it caused Jahankhani, Al-Nemrat and Hosseinian-Far, ; Kaspersky, ; Wang,


Different kinds of punishments have been Cyber Crime is not defined in Information Technology Act nor in the I.T. Amendment Act nor in any also any offence or contravention there under committed outside India by any person.


The 12 types of Cyber Crime

Chapter I 1. Introduction 1. Identity Theft b. Security Costs c. Monetary Losses d.

These crimes include cyber harassment and stalking, distribution of child pornography, credit card fraud, human trafficking, spoofing, identity theft, and online libel or slander. Some online crimes occur against property, such as a computer or server. These crimes include DDOS attacks, hacking, virus transmission, cyber and typo squatting, computer vandalism, copyright infringement, and IPR violations. When a cybercrime is committed against the government, it is considered an attack on that nation's sovereignty.

Cybercrime involves the use of computers or computer network to commit criminal activity. Cybercrime is not unique to India. As the country has experienced technological innovation in the last two decades, the use and misuse of the Internet also spread across the country. Also, the number of Internet users in India has reached over million in and projected to grow to about million in Statista

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