Since the launch of internet services in India about 18 years ago, there have only been seven convictions in cyber crime cases. Cyber law expert Pavan Duggal tells Deevakar Anand what needs to be done to curb the menace.
Pavan Duggal, cyber law expert and Supreme Court lawyer
Q. What are various forms of cyber crime?
There are three kinds of cyber crime -- crime against property, crime against persons to defame or harass them and crime against states or nations to wage cyber terrorism.
Q. Do we have ample laws to deal with cyber crime?
No. Ever since internet services were commercially launched in India on August 15, 1995, there have only been seven convictions in cyber crime cases. The existing IT Act 2000 and related sections of the IPC are not the distinct laws on cyber crime. Also, after the 2008 amendments in the IT Act, except for few cyber crimes, the rest have been made bailable.
Q. Which crimes are non-bailable?
Cyber terrorism, child pornography and breach of protected cyber system.
Q. What is the maximum punishment under the law for cyber crime?
A minimum of three years and Rs. 5 lakh fine and a maximum life imprisonment and R10 lakh fine.
Q. Is there ample awareness about cyber crime prevention both at the personal level as well as the industry level?
No. People still perceive that cyber crime does not touch their lives. They live in a denial mode.
Q. How prepared do you think our security and investigative agencies are to deal with cyber crime?
We need major capacity building so that crime detection and investigation can be done effectively.
Q. Is there a feeling among cyber criminals that they can get away easily?
There is an implicit assumption among them that they are anonymous in cyber space. However, the fact is identities can be disclosed even by corroborative evidence.
Q. Do you see any pattern in the profile of cyber crime perpetrators, especially those in places like Gurgaon?
Most of them are below 35 years of age and are white collar and computer-literate people as Gurgaon is the hub of IT firms.