It is a black day in the State of Karnataka. For some time now, Cyber Criminals in Karnataka can rejoice that no case can be booked against them under ITA 2008 for hacking of a Bank or any Company systems.
The reason is that the Karnataka High Court has passed an order of huge ramifications under an extremely narrow procedural view and quashed an order of the Adjudicator of Karnataka dated 26th April 2013. This was a justified corrective order passed by the State Adjudicator in an attempt to correct an earlier defective order to the effect that “No Company can be proceeded against nor no Company can invoke Section 43 of ITA 2000/8”.
Since Section 43 also defines Cyber Crimes under Section 66, what is not applicable in Section 43 is not applicable in Section 66 also. Hence the defective order had the unsavoury effect of nullifying a large part of ITA 2008.
If therefore tomorrow there is a hacking of Infosys or Wipro in Karnataka, the companies cannot invoke Section 66 of ITA 2008. Perhaps they have to invoke the law of “Tresspass” under IPC !
The defective order on Section 43 about “Companies being outside the purview of Section 43” was first given on December 27, 2011 and it prevailed as a precedent until 26th April 2013 when on an intervention of the Karnataka Human Rights Commission, it had been cancelled by the present Adjudicator. Between the period Dec 27, 2011 to 26th April 2013, the Cyber Criminal friendly situation as described above was prevailing.
After 26th April 2013, a silver lining had appeared on the horizon that the office of adjudicator in Karnataka would come back alive.
The reason why the order of 26th April 2013 was quashed is stated to be because of a procedural omission to issue a notice to one of the petitioners who was the respondent in the adjudication complaint. Whatever be the reason, the effect remains the same.
This order today from Karnataka High Court has given the defective order a seal of approval and a pall of gloom has descended on the Cyber Crime victims of Karnataka who are asking whether Karnataka High Court should have victimized these members of public for a simple procedural irregularity which could have been condoned in the interest of the public.
It appears that Karnataka has now slipped from Digital Age to an dark ancient age.
It is therefore a black day for Karnataka in the history of Cyber Crime justice.
Cyber Crime victims of Karnataka have to therefore wait until the procedural irregularity is corrected by the Adjudicator issuing a fresh notice to all the parties to the complaint that he intends cancelling the earlier order and invite objections if any, then consider the objections and come to a conclusion.
Until such time the dark days continue.
ನ್ಯಾಯದೇವತೆಯೇ ಕಣ್ಣು ಬಿಡಮ್ಮ ಎಂದು ನಾವೆಲ್ಲ ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥಿಸೋಣ