In order to understand the adverse impact of the proposed amendments to ITA-2000
by the Expert committee, it is necessary to check the impact of the proposals
with a crime of the nature reported in Deccan Herald today. This concerns sleazy
MMS clippings doing rounds in Bangalore amongst students.
Apart from the moral degradation this could cause, the possibilities of innocent
girl's faces being morphed to nude pictures is highly probable and would be a
standard of ragging and taking revenge against women. This could lead to family
problems and even suicides. Every such incident should morally be held against
every one of the Expert Committee members who have lent their names to the
The crime mentioned in the article comes under Section 72 and Section 67 of
Under section 72, Police cannot take cognizance of the crime. The victim can
only make a complaint to the magistrate. The victim can claim damages of upto Rs
25 lakhs. But the imprisonment term cannot exceed 1 year. For this the victim
must claim "lack of consent" and perhaps provide the necessary proof.
Under section 67, the intermediaries who are involved will be exempt and the
term of imprisonment cannot exceed 2 years. Police cannot arrest any person
without a warrant and hence it would be difficult to prove the charges.
I would also request the public to consider the impact of the proposed
amendments on online frauds in auction sites a few examples of which are
Mainly online market place frauds consist of selling of fake goods, making false
claims, non delivery of goods etc. In all such cases the victim relies on the
brand name of the intermediary in completing the transaction. If therefore any
fraud takes place, the victim feels that he should have a claim on the
intermediary. However the proposed laws release the intermediary form all his
liabilities since he can claim that he is dealing with "Third party
information". Unless conspiracy, abetment or prior knowledge is proved, the
website will not be held liable either under ITA-2000 or IPC or Consumer Act.
It does not require Police sense to figure out that most fraudsters will now
work with collaborating sites maintaining anonymity to escape any legal action
while the intermediary provides them the marketing support without any fear of
being held liable himself.
This could destabilize the trust of the customer on the e-market place as a
system and gradually erode the market confidence in e-commerce.
Soon this kind of online frauds will descend on stock market transactions,
Banking and Insurance causing a collapse of the e-commerce in India. Readers may
mark my word which I will quote in future when such frauds happen. Each of the
expert committee members will share the moral responsibility for such frauds
since they have deliberately created a protective umbrella for online market
places against the interest of the consumers.
September 11, 2005
MMS sleaze surfaces among City youths