Cyber Crimes and Adjudication
National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB) has come out
statistics of Cyber Crimes for the year 2009. Though the statistics
may not indicate the complete picture of the Cyber Crime scenario, in
the absence of better official statistics, it is to be considered as an
indication of the status atleast in reflecting the relative changes from
year to year.
According to the information made available, the
number of Cyber Crime cases registered increased from 288 in 2008 to 420
in 2009 registering a 45.8% increase.
Out of the cases, 233 cases were registered under
Section 66, 139 cases under Sec 67 and 21 cases under Sec 65 of
ITA 2000. Under IPC 146 cases of Cyber Crimes were registered under
"Forgery", 90 under "Criminal Breach" and 28 under other sections.
Totally 551 persons were arrested in connection with
all the 420 cases. 288 of these were arrested on account of crimes
registered under IT Act. 296 of the arrested persons were in the age
group of 18-30 and another 202 in the age group of 30-45.
In summary the statistics confirm that Police are
becoming more active in registering Cyber Crimes and the increase is
actually indicative of police activity. Real incidence of crimes are
expected to be far more than what above statistics indicate.
However, there is no statistics at present of the
number of cases which have been concluded with prosecution of the
criminals. The lack of Criminal prosecution may indicate either the
inadequacies at the Police level to submit proper evidence and pursue
the cases, it may also show indicate the inadequacy of the
Criminal Justice System for Cyber Crimes to the extent that there should
be a serious thought on special magistrates designated exclusively for
Cyber Crimes at least in the top two or three states like Karnataka,
Kerala and Maharashtra.
Another notable feature is that leaving aside
Section 67 crimes, the 233 cases registered under Section 66 and 21
cases registered under Section 65 should have resulted in financial
losses to some victims. In the normal course these 254 cases should have
resulted in Adjudication complaints to the State Adjudicators.
In Karnataka alone out of 97 cases registered, nearly
50 should have resulted in Adjudication applications. However the
adjudication applications received was zero. In Tamil Nadu while two
adjudication applications have been received during the year, there
could have been 8-10 cases which should have been referred to the
The gap between crimes registered and adjudication
applications filed indicates the acute ignorance amongst the victims
about the availability of the adjudication facility. At the same
time, if all eligible cases do get registered as adjudication complaint,
the Adjudicators would find it hard to meet the responsibilities due to
shortage of infrastructure.
In States like Karnataka where there is a heavy
demand for Adjudication, there is a serious thought required to be given
as to the appointment of additional Adjudicators to meet the demand.
Thus the Judicial system both for criminal
prosecution and civil claims appear to be lagging far far behind the
requirements indicated by the registration of offences. We hope that the
administrators both in the State law enforcement as well as the
Judiciary try to address these issues.
January 23, 2011
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