As per the Information Technology Act 2000 and the notification there under of 25th March 2003, IT Secretaries of every State and Union Territory in India act as “Adjudicator” of their respective State or Union Territory.
Such Adjudicator has sole jurisdiction for adjudicating on any contravention of ITA 2000/8 and to award compensation to those who might have suffered a loss where the amount involved is less than Rs 5 crores. He will have the powers of a Civil Court but the procedure for adjudication is like conducting an “Enquiry”. It is not bound by the procedures of a Civil Procedure Code.
Most IT Secretaries are reluctant to take on this responsibility and hence avoid admitting their responsibilities. As a result Cyber Crime victims are unable to pursue civil claims.
At present only the Maharashtra Adjudicator Mr Rajesh Agarwal has been active.
In Karnataka one of the previous adjudicators went to the extent of adjudging to the effect that “Let no cyber crime be recognized under ITA 2008 in Karnataka either for civil or for criminal purpose”. The Chief Minister of the State is unaware that he is ruling a state which is today a “Cyber Crime Haven”. The High Court of Karnataka is also not bothered. One of the Adjudicators tried to correct the situation with the intervention of the Karnataka Human Rights Commission but got silenced by an order of the Karnataka High Court. The new Adjudicator of Karnataka is yet to effectively assume responsibility as “Adjudicator”. Naavi.org is taking up the matter with the Chief Minister of the State so that the state can get back to the regime of proper law and order in Cyber Space.
However, since we keep receiving enquiries from all over India regarding what to do when they are confronted with Cyber crimes especially the Bank frauds, a list of Adjudicating officers in India is provided here along with the name and address. Cyber Crime victims may send a complaint to the adjudicator and pursue justice whenever they have suffered a financial loss.
For the general information of all, a copy of an earlier issue of Cyber Laws 4 CXOs is also available for more information.