During the last two years of UPA rule, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) was conspicuous by its lack of productive activity. Mr Kapil Sibal who became the Minister in charge of the minister was involved more in the politicking around Baba Ramdev and other dirty tricks management to the extent that even critical aspects of Governance got neglected.
Naavi.org has been crying out about this lack of Governance particularly the fact that no appointment was made to the position of the Chair person of Cyber Appellate Tribunal (CAT). Though the Government had the time to appoint a member Cyber CAT who was a former judge of Madras High Court, he was never designated the “Chair person” and had to cool his heels without any activity for 9 months before retiring. It was amazing how Mr Kapil Sibal was unmindful of the insult he was heaping on Justice S.K.Krishnan who waited for his turn to bat while the ministry wanted to bring in a junior advocate as the Chairperson. Obviously the Chief Justice of India whose concurrence was required never agreed to this proposal and continued to ask for alternate names from the Ministry. True to the arrogant style of Governance pursued by UPA, the ministry preferred to keep the CAT closed rather than agree to suggest an alternate name. MR Sibal had time to appoint a “Head of Department of CAT” and also a “Technical Member for CAT” but had no time or desire to appoint a Chairperson though without such a person the entire establishment remained defunct.
As a result, the Cyber Judiciary system in India came to a standstill in the country. Several cyber crime victims who were waiting for justice could not proceed with their cases and had to keep waiting for the Government to act. To compound the problem, Mr M.N.Vidyashankar, adjudicator of Karnataka delivered a bizarre judgement in favour of Axis Bank with an opinion that “No corporate entity can invoke Section 43 of the Information Technology Act 2008 nor any complaint can be launched on a corporate entity under the section by any other person”. Even an appeal against such a blatantly wrong award got stuck in Mr Kapil Sibal’s desire to get his favoured person into the chair of the CAT.
Despite several attempts by the undersigned to take up the matter with Karnataka Human Rights Commission and Karnataka High Court, the matter remained unresolved since Karnataka High Court also failed to understand the impact and refused to take on the Central Government.
Now the hope is back. We hope that good days will be here again. We are waiting for the new Minister of MCIT from the Modi Government to take charge when we will renew our efforts to open the eyes of the minister to this gross injustice that Cyber Crime victims are suffering since June 2011 because of UPA’s inaction.
Naavi.org has earlier provided several writeups on how CAT was left languishing and there is no need to repeat it here. Those who are interested may kindly go through the earlier articles.