No clear definition, computer-aided offence a cybercrime: MHA report

Updated on Jan 22, 2021 07:50 AM IST

“Such offences are dealt as per the legal provisions of the Information Technology Act, Indian Penal Code, POSCO etc,” the ministry has said. It added that government has also straightened the legal framework by dealing with cybercrime cases against women and children as child sex abuse materials.

People familiar with the matter added Union minister Satya Pal Singh asked what the ministry was planning to do regarding cybercrimes such as phishing.(Representative image)
People familiar with the matter added Union minister Satya Pal Singh asked what the ministry was planning to do regarding cybercrimes such as phishing.(Representative image)
ByDeeksha Bhardwaj, New Delhi

The Union home ministry, in its report submitted to the Parliamentary panel on Home Affairs, has said that even as there is no “legislative definition for cybercrime”, any offence committed “against a computer resource or with the aid of a computer resource is called a cybercrime”.

“Such offences are dealt as per the legal provisions of the Information Technology Act, Indian Penal Code, POSCO etc,” the ministry has said.

It added that government has also straightened the legal framework by dealing with cybercrime cases against women and children as child sex abuse materials. Last year, the government rolled out the Cyber Crime prevention against Women and Children scheme, with an online cybercrime reporting platform.

It added that the ministry has also provided 95.77 crores to states and Union territories under the scheme to set up cybercrime forensic cum training laboratories.

The panel was meeting officials from the ministry of Home Affairs to get feedback on the ministry’s action on cybercrime against women and children, and the number of cases it has so far found.

It has also noted that the total number of cases regarding cybercrimes against women were 4,232 in 2018, 6,030 in 2019 and 8,379 in 2020. The number of persons convicted were 30, 31 and 70, respectively.

In February 2019, the ministry of Home Affairs had noted that over 60,000 cybercrime cases had been recorded from 2016-2019. “As per data maintained by National Crime Records Bureau, 12317, 21796 & 27248 cases of cybercrime incidents have been registered in year 2016, 2017 & 2018, respectively. Data pertaining to year 2019 is not compiled. As awareness and recording of cybercrimes has improved, there has been an increase in reporting of cybercrimes,” the home ministry told Lok Sabha in response to an unstarred question.

TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi said that considering the vast nature of cybercrime and transnational implications, a separate ministry should be set up to look into it, people familiar with the matter told Hindustan Times. “The intervention was made by TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi,” a person said. “He said that considering cybercrime transcends geographical boundaries, it requires a separate ministry.”

People familiar with the matter added BJP MP and union minister Satya Pal Singh also asked what the ministry was planning to do regarding cybercrimes such phishing scandal, while BJP MP Rakesh Sinha raised the issue of social media websites being misused to lure women and children.

“He (Sinha) asked if the ministry was considering working in tandem with social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter to adopt a more targeted approach to stop this,” the person mentioned above added.

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