Articles Hierarchy
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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT 2000

The syllabus of ITO's Exam with respect to the Information Technoogy Act, 2000 covers Chapter I to Chapter V and Chapter XI.

The Information Technology Act is an Act to provide legal recognition for the transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as "Electronic Commerce", which involve the use of alternatives to paper based methods of communication and storage of information , to facilitate electronic filings of documents with the Government agencies and further to amend the Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, 1872,, The Bankers' Books Evidence Act, 1891, and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

This is cyber age and the Information Technology effects each and everyone's life and such requires rules & Regulations so that smooth implementation be made. The Information Technology Act consists of chapter I to chapter XIII. However course syllabus for ITO exams are dealt with here i.e. chapter I to V and chapter XI.

The chapter I consists of only section 1 and section 2. Section 1 explains general in nature. The Information Technology Act shall extend to the whole of India and, This Act shall also apply to an offence or contravention committed outside India by any person if the act or conduct constituting the offence or contravention involves a computer, computer system or computer network located in India. Information Technology act came into existence in 2000 and further amended in 2006 and in the year 2008.

TThe sub-section (1) of section 2 of the act defines the various terms(words) used in the act and which are necessary for enactment of the Act. These are as under:-

(a) "Access" with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions means gaining entry into, instructing or communicating with the logical, arithmetical, or memory function resources of a computer, computer system or computer network;

(b) "Addressee" means a person who is intended by the originator to receive the electronic record but does not include any intermediary;

(c) "Adjudicating Officer" means adjudicating officer appointed under subsection (1) of section 46;

(d) "Affixing Electronic Signature" with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions means adoption of any methodology or procedure by a person for the purpose of authenticating an electronic record by means of Electronic Signature;

(e) "Appropriate Government" means as respects any matter.

(i) enumerated in List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution;

(ii) relating to any State law enacted under List III of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, the State Government and in any other case, the Central Government;

(f) "Asymmetric Crypto System" means a system of a secure key pair consisting of a private key for creating a digital signature and a public key to verify the digital signature;

(g) "Certifying Authority" means a person who has been granted a license to issue a Electronic Signature Certificate under section 24;

(h) "Certification Practice Statement" means a statement issued by a Certifying Authority to specify the practices that the Certifying Authority employs in issuing Electronic Signature Certificates;

(ha) "Communication Device" means Cell Phones, Personal Digital Assistance (Sic), or combination of both or any other device used to communicate, send or transmit any text, video, audio, or image. (Inserted Vide ITAA 2008)

(i) "Computer" means any electronic, magnetic, optical or other high-speed data processing device or system which performs logical, arithmetic, and memory functions by manipulations of electronic, magnetic or optical impulses, and includes all input, output, processing, storage, computer software, or communication facilities which are connected or related to the computer in a computer system or computer network;

(j) (Substituted vide ITAA-2008) "Computer Network" means the interconnection of one or more Computers or Computer systems or Communication device through-

(i) the use of satellite, microwave, terrestrial line,wire,wireless or other communication media; and

(ii) terminals or a complex consisting of two or more interconnected computers or communication device whether or not the interconnection is continuously maintained;

(k) "Computer Resource" means computer, communication device, computer system, computer network, data, computer database or software;

(l) "Computer System" means a device or collection of devices, including input and output support devices and excluding calculators which are not programmable and capable of being used in conjunction with external files, which contain computer programmes, electronic instructions, input data, and output data, that performs logic, arithmetic, data storage and retrieval, communication control and other functions;

(m) "Controller" means the Controller of Certifying Authorities appointed under sub-section (7) of section 17;

(n) "Cyber Appellate Tribunal" means the Cyber Appellate

(na) (Inserted vide ITAA-2008) "Cyber cafe" means any facility from where access to the internet is offered by any person in the ordinary course of business to the members of the public.

(nb) (Inserted Vide ITAA 2008) "Cyber Security" means protecting information, equipment, devices, computer, computer resource, communication device and information stored therein from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction.

(o) "Data" means a representation of information, knowledge, facts, concepts or instructions which are being prepared or have been prepared in a formalized manner, and is intended to be processed, is being processed or has been processed in a computer system or computer network. ,.and may be in any form (including computer printouts magnetic or optical storage media, punched cards, punched tapes) or stored internally in the memory of the computer;

(p) "Digital Signature" means authentication of any electronic record by a subscriber by means of an electronic method or procedure in accordance with the provisions of section 3;

(q) "Digital Signature Certificate" means a Digital Signature Certificate issued under sub-section (4) of section 35;

(r) "Electronic Form" with reference to information means any information generated, sent, received or stored in media, magnetic, optical, computer memory, micro film, computer generated micro fiche or similar device;

(s) "Electronic Gazette" means official Gazette published in the electronic form;

(t) "Electronic Record" means data, record or data generated, image or sound stored, received or sent in an electronic form or micro film or computer generated micro fiche;

(ta) (Inserted vide ITAA-2006) "electronic signature" means authentication of any electronic record by a subscriber by means of the electronic technique specified in the second schedule and includes digital signature

(tb) (Inserted vide ITAA-2006) "Electronic Signature Certificate" means an Electronic Signature Certificate issued under section 35 and includes Digital Signature Certificate"

(u) "Function", in relation to a computer, includes logic, control, arithmetical process, deletion, storage and retrieval and communication or telecommunication from or within a computer;

(ua) "Indian Computer Emergency Response Team" means an agency established under sub-section (1) of section 70 B

(v) "Information" includes data, message, text, images, sound, voice, codes, computer programmes, software and databases or micro film or computer generated micro fiche; (Amended vide ITAA-2008)

(w) (Substituted vide ITAA-2008) "Intermediary" with respect to any particular electronic records, means any person who on behalf of another person receives, stores or transmits that record or provides any service with respect to that record and includes telecom service providers, network service providers, internet service providers, web hosting service providers, search engines, online payment sites, online-auction sites, online market places and cyber cafes.

(x) "Key Pair", in an asymmetric crypto system, means a private key and itsmathematically related public key, which are so related that the public key can verify a digital signature created by the private key;

(y) "Law" includes any Act of Parliament or of a State Legislature, Ordinances promulgated by the President or a Governor, as the case may be. Regulations made by the President under article 240, Bills enacted as President's Act under sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of article 357 of the Constitution and includes rules, regulations, bye-laws and orders issued or made there under

(z) "License" means a license granted to a Certifying Authority under section 24;

(za) "Originator" means a person who sends, generates, stores or transmits any electronic message or causes any electronic message to be sent, generated, stored or transmitted to any other person but does not include an intermediary;

(zb) "Prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(zc) "Private Key" means the key of a key pair used to create a digital signature;

(zd) "Public Key" means the key of a key pair used to verify a digital signature and listed in the Digital Signature Certificate;

(ze) "Secure System" means computer hardware, software, and procedure that -:

(a) are reasonably secure from unauthorized access and misuse;

(b) provide a reasonable level of reliability and correct operation;

(c) are reasonably suited to performing the intended functions; and

(d) adhere to generally accepted security procedures;

(zf) "Security Procedure" means the security procedure prescribed under section 16 by the Central Government;

(zg) "Subscriber" means a person in whose name the Electronic Signature Certificate is issued;

(zh) "Verify" in relation to a digital signature, electronic record or public key, with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions means to determine whether

(a) the initial electronic record was affixed with the digital signature by the use of private key corresponding to the public key of the subscriber;

(b) the initial electronic record is retained intact or has been altered since such electronic record was so affixed with the digital signature.

(2) Any reference in this Act to any enactment or any provision thereof shall, in relation to an area in which such enactment or such provision is not in force, be construed as a reference to the corresponding law or the relevant provision of the corresponding law, if any, in force in that area.

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The chapter II of the Act deals with DIGITAL SIGNATURE AND ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE (amended vide ITAA 2008) which is necessary for authentication of digital or electronic records. It confirms the electronic records veracity and to be used as evidence in court of law. This chapter contains section 3 and 3A only and elaborately covers the process of creation of digital signature and its use in electronic authentication.

Section 3 explains the Authentication of Electronic Records through digital authentication which is called digital signature.

(1) Any subscriber may authenticate an electronic record by affixing his Digital Signature

(2) The authentication of the electronic record shall be effected by the use of asymmetric crypto system and hash function which envelop and transform the initial electronic record into another electronic record.

"Hash function" means an algorithm mapping or translation of one sequence of bits into another, generally smaller, set known as "Hash Result" such that an electronic record yields the same hash result every time the algorithm is executed with the same electronic record as its input making it computationally infeasible

(a) to derive or reconstruct the original electronic record from the hash result produced by the algorithm;

(b) that two electronic records can produce the same hash result using the algorithm.

(3) Any person by the use of a public key of the subscriber can verify the electronic record.

(4) The private key and the public key are unique to the subscriber and constitute a functioning key pair.

Section 3A inserted vide ITAA and relates to provisions and creation of Electronic Signature and its use.

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 3, but subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), a subscriber may authenticate any electronic record by such electronic signature or electronic authentication technique which-

(a) is considered reliable ; and

(b) may be specified in the Second Schedule

(2) For the purposes of this section any electronic signature or electronic authentication technique shall be considered reliable if-

(a) the signature creation data or the authentication data are, within the context in which they are used, linked to the signatory or , as the case may be, the authenticator and of no other person;

(b) the signature creation data or the authentication data were, at the time of signing, under the control of the signatory or, as the case may be,the authenticator and of no other person;

(c) any alteration to the electronic signature made after affixing such signature is detectable

(d) any alteration to the information made after its authentication by electronic signature is detectable; and

(e) it fulfills such other conditions which may be prescribed.

(3) The Central Government may prescribe the procedure for the purpose of ascertaining whether electronic signature is that of the person by whom it is purported to have been affixed or authenticated

(4) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, add to or omit any electronic signature or electronic authentication technique and the procedure for affixing such signature from the second schedule;

Provided that no electronic signature or authentication technique shall be specified in the Second Schedule unless such signature or technique is reliable

(5) Every notification issued under sub-section (4) shall be laid before each House of Parliament

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The next chapter III deals with legal recognition of all electronic records including the signature which is called "digital signature", retention of electronic records, its publications and power to make such rules to govern the electronic data and documents. This chapter contains section 4 to section 10.

Section 4 provides Legal Recognition of Electronic Records and provides same valuation of records in electronic form as in typed , written or printed form.

Where any law provides that information or any other matter shall be in writing or in the typewritten or printed form, then, notwithstanding anything contained in such law, such requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied if such information or matter is

(a) rendered or made available in an electronic form; and

(b) accessible so as to be usable for a subsequent reference

Section 5 Legal recognition of Electronic Signature

Where any law provides that information or any other matter shall be authenticated by affixing the signature or any document should be signed or bear the signature of any person then, notwithstanding anything contained in such law, such requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied, if such information or matter is authenticated by means of digital signature affixed in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Explanation -For the purposes of this section, "Signed", with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, shall, with reference to a person, mean affixing of his hand written signature or any mark on any document and the expression "Signature" shall be construed accordingly.

Section 6 relates to Use of Electronic Records and Electronic Signature in Government and its agencies

(1) Where any law provides for

(a) the filing of any form, application or any other document with any office, authority, body or agency owned or controlled by the appropriate Government in a particular manner;

(b) the issue or grant of any license, permit, sanction or approval by whatever name called in a particular manner;

(c) the receipt or payment of money in a particular manner, then, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, such requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied if such filing, issue, grant, receipt or payment, as the case may be, is effected by means of such electronic form as may be prescribed by the appropriate Government.

(2) The appropriate Government may, for the purposes of sub-section (1), by rules, prescribe -

(a) the manner and format in which such electronic records shall be filed, created or issued;

(b) the manner or method of payment of any fee or charges for filing, creation or issue any electronic record under clause (a).

Section 6A Delivery of Services by Service Provider (Inserted vide ITAA-2008)

(1) The appropriate Government may, for the purposes of this Chapter and for efficient delivery of services to the public through electronic means authorize, by order, any service provider to set up, maintain and upgrade the computerized facilities and perform such other services as it may specify, by notification in the Official Gazette.

Explanation: For the purposes of this section, service provider so authorized includes any individual, private agency, private company, partnership firm, sole proprietor form or any such other body or agency which has been granted permission by the appropriate Government to offer services through electronic means in accordance with the policy governing such service sector.

(2) The appropriate Government may also authorize any service provider authorized under sub-section (1) to collect, retain and appropriate service charges, as may be prescribed by the appropriate Government for the purpose of providing such services, from the person availing such service.

(3) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), the appropriate Government may authorize the service providers to collect, retain and appropriate service charges under this section notwithstanding the fact that there is no express provision under the Act, rule, regulation or notification under which the service is provided to collect, retain and appropriate e-service charges by the service providers.

(4) The appropriate Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify the scale of service charges which may be charged and collected by the service providers under this section:

Provided that the appropriate Government may specify different scale of service charges for different types of services.

Section 7 relates to Retention of Electronic Records

(1) Where any law provides that documents, records or information shall be retained for any specific period, then, that requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied if such documents, records or information are retained in the electronic form, -

(a) the information contained therein remains accessible so as to be usable for a subsequent reference;

(b) the electronic record is retained in the format in which it was originally generated, sent or received or in a format which can be demonstrated to represent accurately the information originally generated, sent or received;

(c) the details which will facilitate the identification of the origin, destination, date and time of dispatch or receipt of such electronic record are available in the electronic record:

Provided that this clause does not apply to any information which is automatically generated solely for the purpose of enabling an electronic record to be dispatched or received.

(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to any law that expressly provides for the retention of documents, records or information in the form of electronic records. Publication of rules. regulation, etc.. in Electronic Gazette.

Section 7A Audit of Documents etc in Electronic form

Where in any law for the time being in force, there is a provision for audit of documents, records or information, that provision shall also be applicable for audit of documents, records or information processed and maintained in electronic form (ITAA 2008, Standing Committee Recommendation)

Section 8 Publication of rules, regulation, etc, in Electronic Gazette

Where any law provides that any rule, regulation, order, bye-law, notification or any other matter shall be published in the Official Gazette, then, such requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied if such rule, regulation, order, bye-law, notification or any other matter is published in the Official Gazette or Electronic Gazette:

Provided that where any rule, regulation, order, bye-law, notification or any other matters published in the Official Gazette or Electronic Gazette, the date of publication shall be deemed to be the date of the Gazette which was first published in any form

Section 9 provides that Sections 6, 7 and 8 Not to Confer Right to insist document should be accepted in electronic form

Nothing contained in sections 6, 7 and 8 shall confer a right upon any person to insist that any Ministry or Department of the Central Government or the State Government or any authority or body established by or under any law or controlled or funded by the Central or State Government should accept, issue, create, retain and preserve any document in the form of electronic records or effect any monetary transaction in the electronic form.

Secion 10. gives the Power to Make Rules by Central Government in respect of Electronic Signature (Modified Vide ITAA 2008) The Central Government may, for the purposes of this Act, by rules, prescribe

(a) the type of Electronic Signature;

(b) the manner and format in which the Electronic Signature shall be affixed;

(c) the manner or procedure which facilitates identification of the person affixing the Electronic Signature;

(d) control processes and procedures to ensure adequate integrity, security and confidentiality of electronic records or payments; and

(e) any other matter which is necessary to give legal effect to Electronic Signature.

Section 10A relates to Validity of contracts formed through electronic means (Inserted by ITAA 2008).Where in a contract formation, the communication of proposals, the acceptance of proposals, the revocation of proposals and acceptances, as the case may be, are expressed in electronic form or by means of an electronic record, such contract shall not be deemed to be unenforceable solely on the ground that such electronic form or means was used for that purpose.

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After creation of data, authentication by signature, its legal recognition and governance of electronic records then comes attribution, acknowledgement and dispatch of electronic records to be used practically. Chapter IV of Information Technology Act deals with these aspects and consists of section 11 to 13.

Section 11 provides an electronic record shall be attributed to the originator

(a) if it was sent by the originator himself;

(b) by a person who had the authority to act on behalf of the originator in respect of that electronic record; or

(c) by an information system programmed by or on behalf of the originator to operate automatically.



Section 12 is relatable to Acknowledgement of Receipt (Modified by ITAA 2008)

(1) Where the originator has not agreed with stipulated that the acknowledgment of receipt of electronic record be given in a particular form or by a particular method, an acknowledgment may be given by -

(a) any communication by the addressee, automated or otherwise; or

(b) any conduct of the addressee, sufficient to indicate to the originator that the electronic record has been received.

(2) Where the originator has stipulated that the electronic record shall be binding only on receipt of an acknowledgment of such electronic record by him, then unless acknowledgment has been so received, the electronic record shall be deemed to have been never sent by the originator.

(3) Where the originator has not stipulated that the electronic record shall be binding only on receipt of such acknowledgment, and the acknowledgment has not been received by the originator within the time specified or agreed or, if no time has been specified or agreed to within a reasonable time, then the originator may give notice to the addressee stating that no acknowledgment has been received by him and specifying a reasonable time by which the acknowledgment must be received by him and if no acknowledgment is received within the aforesaid time limit he may after giving notice to the addressee, treat the electronic record as though it has never been sent.

Section 13 Time and place of despatch and receipt of electronic record

(1) Save as otherwise agreed to between the originator and the addressee, the dispatch of an electronic record occurs when it enters a computer resource outside the control of the originator.

(2) Save as otherwise agreed between the originator and the addressee, the time of receipt of an electronic record shall be determined as follows, namely –

(a) if the addressee has designated a computer resource for the purpose of receiving electronic records

(i) receipt occurs at the time when the electronic record enters the designated computer resource; or

(ii) if the electronic record is sent to a computer resource of the addressee that is not the designated computer resource, receipt occurs at the time when the electronic record is retrieved by the addressee;

(b) if the addressee has not designated a computer resource along with specified timings, if any, receipt occurs when the electronic record enters the computer resource of the addressee.

(3) Save as otherwise agreed between the originator and the addressee, an electronic record is deemed to "be dispatched at the place where the originator has his place of business, and is deemed to be received at the place where the addressee has his place of business.

(4) The provisions of sub-section (2) shall apply notwithstanding that the place where the computer resource is located may be different from the place where the electronic record is deemed to have been received under sub-section (3).

(5) For the purposes of this section –

(a) if the originator or the addressee has more than one place of business, the principal place of business shall be the place of business;

(b) if the originator or the addressee does not have a place of business, his usual place of residence shall be deemed to be the place of business;

(c) "Usual Place of Residence", in relation to a body corporate, means the place where it is registered.

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The next step with regard to Information Technology Act comes the concern of Security of electronic records and signature. The statute provides security system of law of governance. Without provisions of security system there is no use of electronic records, signature etc. and it will not withstand the taste of legal provisions. Thus the chapter V deals with SECURE ELECTRONIC RECORDS AND SECURE ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES And having arranged provisions in section 14 to 16.



Section 14 explains Secure Electronic Record as under

Where any security procedure has been applied to an electronic record at a specific point of time, then such record shall be deemed to be a secure electronic record from such point of time to the time of verification.

Section 15 relates to Secure Electronic Signature and Substituted vide ITAA 2008. It is explains as An electronic signature shall be deemed to be a secure electronic signature if-

(i) the signature creation data, at the time of affixing signature, was under the exclusive control of signatory and no other person; and

(ii) the signature creation data was stored and affixed in such exclusive manner as may be prescribed

Explanation- In case of digital signature, the "signature creation data" means the private key of the subscriber

Section 16 Security procedures and Practices (Amended vide ITAA 2008)

The Central Government may for the purposes of sections 14 and 15 prescribe the security procedures and practices

Provided that in prescribing such security procedures and practices, the Central Government shall have regard to the commercial circumstances, nature of transactions and such other related factors as it may consider appropriate.

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The next chapter as per syllabus of ITO departmental exams is concerned is Chapter XI of Information Technology Act. It is very important chapter because no act can be implemented in absence of definition of Offences and provisions of penalties & prosecution. Deterrent is essential part by which any Act/rules binds people to follow the Rules. Section 65 to section 78 deals in details of offences with relations to Information Technology and provisions of penalties. The recent development with regard to the Act is that section 66A of this part has been scrapped by the Apex Court.



Section 65 Tampering with Computer Source Documents

Whoever knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroys or alters or intentionally or knowingly causes another to conceal, destroy or alter any computer source code used for a computer, computer programme, computer system or computer network, when the computer source code is required to be kept or maintained by law for the time being in force, shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine which may extend up to two lakh rupees, or with both

Explanation - For the purposes of this section, "Computer Source Code" means the listing of programmes, Computer Commands, Design and layout and programme analysis of computer resource in any form.

Section 66 Computer Related Offences (Substituted vide ITAA 2008)

If any person, dishonestly, or fraudulently, does any act referred to in section 43, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two three years or with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees or with both.

Explanation: For the purpose of this section,-

a) the word "dishonestly" shall have the meaning assigned to it in section 24 of the Indian Penal Code;

b) the word "fraudulently" shall have the meaning assigned to it in section 25 of the Indian Penal Code.

66 A Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc.( Introduced vide ITAA 2008) -------This section has been scrapped by Apex Court hence not given details

Section 66B Punishment for dishonestly receiving stolen computer resource or communication device (Inserted Vide ITA 2008)

Whoever dishonestly receives or retains any stolen computer resource or communication device knowing or having reason to believe the same to be stolen computer resource or

communication device, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to rupees one lakh or with both.

Section 66C Punishment for identity theft. (Inserted Vide ITA 2008)

Whoever, fraudulently or dishonestly make use of the electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature of any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to rupees one lakh.

Section 66D Punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resource(Inserted Vide ITA 2008)



Whoever, by means of any communication device or computer resource cheats by personation, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupees.



Section 66E. Punishment for violation of privacy. (Inserted Vide ITA 2008)

Whoever, intentionally or knowingly captures, publishes or transmits the image of a private area of any person without his or her consent, under circumstances violating the privacy of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine not exceeding two lakh rupees, or with both

Explanation.- For the purposes of this section—

(a) ―transmit means to electronically send a visual image with the intent that it be viewed by a person or persons;

(b) ―capture, with respect to an image, means to videotape, photograph, film or record by any means;

(c) ―private area means the naked or undergarment clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks or female breast;

(d) ―publishes means reproduction in the printed or electronic form and making it available for public;

(e) ―under circumstances violating privacy means circumstances in which a person can have a reasonable expectation that—

(i) he or she could disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that an image of his private area was being captured; or

(ii) any part of his or her private area would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether that person is in a public or private place.



Section 66F. Punishment for cyber terrorism

(1) Whoever,-

(A) with intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in the people or any section of the people by –

(i) denying or cause the denial of access to any person authorized to access computer resource; or

(ii) attempting to penetrate or access a computer resource without authorisation or exceeding authorized access; or

(iii) introducing or causing to introduce any Computer Contaminant. and by means of such conduct causes or is likely to cause death or injuries to persons or damage to or destruction of property or disrupts or knowing that it is likely to cause damage or disruption of supplies or services essential to the life of the community or adversely affect the critical information infrastructure specified under section 70, or

(B) knowingly or intentionally penetrates or accesses a computer resource without authorisation or exceeding authorized access, and by means of such conduct obtains access to information, data or computer database that is restricted for reasons of the security of the State or foreign relations; or any restricted information, data or computer database, with reasons to believe that such information, data or computer database so obtained may be used to cause or likely to cause

injury to the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, group of individuals or otherwise, commits the offence of cyber terrorism.



(2) Whoever commits or conspires to commit cyber terrorism shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to imprisonment for life’.



Section 67 Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form (Amended vide ITAA 2008)

Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published in the electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either

description for a term which may extend to two three years and with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

Section 67A Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form (Inserted vide ITAA 2008)

Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

Exception: This section and section 67 does not extend to any book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation or figure in electronic form-

(i) the publication of which is proved to be justified as being for the public good on the ground that such book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation or figure is in the interest of science,literature,art,or learning or other objects of general concern; or

(ii) which is kept or used bona fide for religious purposes.

Section 67B Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form.

Whoever,-

(a) publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted material in any electronic form which depicts children engaged in sexually explicit act or conduct or

(b) creates text or digital images, collects, seeks, browses, downloads, advertises, promotes, exchanges or distributes material in any electronic form depicting children in obscene or indecent or sexually explicit manner or

(c) cultivates, entices or induces children to online relationship with one or more children for and on sexually explicit act or in a manner that may offend a reasonable adult on the computer resource or

(d) facilitates abusing children online or

(e) records in any electronic form own abuse or that of others pertaining to sexually explicit act with children, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with a fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees:

Provided that the provisions of section 67, section 67A and this section does not extend to any book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation or figure in electronic form-

(i) The publication of which is proved to be justified as being for the public good on the ground that such book, pamphlet, paper writing, drawing, painting, representation or figure is in the interest of science, literature, art or learning or other objects of general

concern; or

(ii) which is kept or used for bonafide heritage or religious purposes

Explanation: For the purposes of this section, "children" means a person who has not completed the age of 18 years.

Section 67C Preservation and Retention of information by intermediaries

(1) Intermediary shall preserve and retain such information as may be specified for such duration and in such manner and format as the Central Government may prescribe.

(2) Any intermediary who intentionally or knowingly contravenes the provisions of sub section (1) ñshall be punished with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 68 Power of Controller to give directions (Amended Vide ITAA 2008)

(1) The Controller may, by order, direct a Certifying Authority or any employee of such Authority to take such measures or cease carrying on such activities as specified in the order if those are necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Act, rules or any regulations made there under.

(2) Any person who intentionally or knowingly (Inserted vide ITAA 2008) fails to comply with any order under sub-section (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding one lakh rupees or to both.

Section 69 Powers to issue directions for interception or monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer resource (Substituted Vide ITAA 2008)

(1) Where the central Government or a State Government or any of its officer specially authorized by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, in this behalf may, if is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient to do in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defense of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above or for investigation of any offence, it may, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), for reasons to be recorded in writing, by order, direct any agency of the appropriate Government to intercept, monitor or decrypt or cause to be intercepted or monitored or decrypted any information transmitted received or stored through any computer resource.

(2) The Procedure and safeguards subject to which such interception or monitoring or decryption may be carried out, shall be such as may be prescribed

(3) The subscriber or intermediary or any person in charge of the computer resource shall, when called upon by any agency which has been directed under sub section (1), extend all facilities and technical assistance to -

(a) provide access to or secure access to the computer resource containing such information; generating, transmitting, receiving or storing such information; or

(b) intercept or monitor or decrypt the information, as the case may be; or

(c) provide information stored in computer resource.

(4) The subscriber or intermediary or any person who fails to assist the agency referred to in sub-section (3) shall be punished with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 69A Power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource

(1) Where the Central Government or any of its officer specially authorized by it in this behalf is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above, it may subject to the provisions of sub-sections (2) for reasons to be recorded in writing, by order direct any agency of the Government or intermediary to block access by the public or cause to be blocked for access by public any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource.

(2) The procedure and safeguards subject to which such blocking for access by the public may be carried out shall be such as may be prescribed.

(3) The intermediary who fails to comply with the direction issued under sub-section (1) shall be punished with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and also be liable to fine.

Section 69B Power to authorize to monitor and collect traffic data or information through any computer resource for Cyber Security

(1) The Central Government may, to enhance Cyber Security and for identification, analysis and prevention of any intrusion or spread of computer contaminant in the country, by notification in the official Gazette, authorize any agency of the Government to monitor and collect traffic data or information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource.

(2) The Intermediary or any person in-charge of the Computer resource shall when called upon by the agency which has been authorized under sub-section (1), provide technical assistance and extend all facilities to such agency to enable online access or to secure and provide online access to the computer resource generating , transmitting, receiving or storing such traffic data or information.

(3) The procedure and safeguards for monitoring and collecting traffic data or information, shall be such as may be prescribed.

(4) Any intermediary who intentionally or knowingly contravenes the provisions of sub-section (2) shall be punished with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation: For the purposes of this section,

(i) "Computer Contaminant" shall have the meaning assigned to it in section

(ii) "traffic data" means any data identifying or purporting to identify any person, computer system or computer network or location to or from which the communication is or may be transmitted and includes communications origin, destination, route, time, date, size, duration or type of underlying service or any other information.

Section 70 Protected system (Amended Vide ITAA-2008)

(1) The appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare any computer resource which directly or indirectly affects the facility of Critical Information Infrastructure, to be a protected system.

Explanation: For the purposes of this section, "Critical Information Infrastructure" means the computer resource, the incapacitation or destruction of which , shall have debilitating impact on national security, economy, public health or safety. (Substituted vide ITAA-2008)

(2) The appropriate Government may, by order in writing, authorize the persons who are authorized to access protected systems notified under sub-section (1)

(3) Any person who secures access or attempts to secure access to a protected system in contravention of the provisions of this section shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.

(4) The Central Government shall prescribe the information security practices and procedures for such protected system. (Inserted vide ITAA 2008)

Section 70A National nodal agency. (Inserted vide ITAA 2008)

(1) The Central Government may, by notification published in the official Gazette, designate any organization of the Government as the national nodal agency in respect of Critical Information Infrastructure Protection.

(2) The national nodal agency designated under sub-section (1) shall be responsible for all measures including Research and Development relating to protection of Critical Information Infrastructure.

(3) The manner of performing functions and duties of the agency referred to in sub-section (1) shall be such as may be prescribed.

Section 70B Indian Computer Emergency Response Team to serve as national agency for incident response

(1) The Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint an agency of the government to be called the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.

(2) The Central Government shall provide the agency referred to in sub-section (1) with a Director General and such other officers and employees as may be prescribed.

(3) The salary and allowances and terms and conditions of the Director General and other officers and employees shall be such as may be prescribed.

(4) The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team shall serve as the national agency for performing the following functions in the area of Cyber Security,-

(a) collection, analysis and dissemination of information on cyber incidents

(b) forecast and alerts of cyber security incidents

(c) emergency measures for handling cyber security incidents

(d) Coordination of cyber incidents response activities

(e) issue guidelines, advisories, vulnerability notes and white papers relating to information security practices, procedures, prevention, response and reporting of cyber incidents

(f) such other functions relating to cyber security as may be prescribed

(5) The manner of performing functions and duties of the agency referred to in sub-section (1) shall be such as may be prescribed.

(6) For carrying out the provisions of sub-section (4), the agency referred to in sub-section (1) may call for information and give direction to the service providers, intermediaries, data centers, body corporate and any other person

(7) Any service provider, intermediaries, data centers, body corporate or person who fails to provide the information called for or comply with the direction under sub-section (6) , shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees or with both.

(8) No Court shall take cognizance of any offence under this section, except on a complaint made by an officer authorized in this behalf by the agency referred to in sub-section (1)

Section 71 Penalty for misrepresentation

Whoever makes any misrepresentation to, or suppresses any material fact from, the Controller or the Certifying Authority for obtaining any license or Electronic Signature Certificate, as the case may be, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.

Section 72 Breach of confidentiality and privacy

Save as otherwise provided in this Act or any other law for the time being in force, any person who, in pursuant of any of the powers conferred under this Act, rules or regulations made there under, has secured access to any electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information, document or other material without the consent of the person concerned discloses such electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information, document or other material to any other person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.

Section 72A Punishment for Disclosure of information in breach of lawful contract (Inserted vide ITAA-2008)

Save as otherwise provided in this Act or any other law for the time being in force, any person including an intermediary who, while providing services under the terms of lawful contract, has secured access to any material containing personal information about another person, with the intent to cause or knowing that he is likely to cause wrongful loss or wrongful gain discloses, without the consent of the person concerned, or in breach of a lawful contract, such material to any other person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with a fine which may extend to five lakh rupees, or with both.

Section 73 Penalty for publishing electronic Signature Certificate false in certain particulars

(1) No person shall publish a Electronic Signature Certificate or otherwise make it available to any other person with the knowledge that

(a) the Certifying Authority listed in the certificate has not issued it; or

(b) the subscriber listed in the certificate has not accepted it; or

(c) the certificate has been revoked or suspended, unless such publication is for the purpose of verifying a digital signature created prior to such suspension or revocation

(2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.

Section 74 Publication for fraudulent purpose

Whoever knowingly creates, publishes or otherwise makes available a Electronic Signature Certificate for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both

Section 75 Act to apply for offence or contraventions committed outside India

(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), the provisions of this Act shall apply also to any offence or contravention committed outside India by any person irrespective of his nationality.

(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), this Act shall apply to an offence or contravention committed outside India by any person if the act or conduct constituting the offence or contravention involves a computer, computer system or computer network located in India.

Section 76 Confiscation

Any computer, computer system, floppies, compact disks, tape drives or any other accessories related thereto, in respect of which any provision of this Act, rules, orders or regulations made there under has been or is being contravened, shall be liable to confiscation:

Provided that where it is established to the satisfaction of the court adjudicating the confiscation that the person in whose possession, power or control of any such computer, computer system, floppies, compact disks, tape drives or any other accessories relating thereto is found is not responsible for the contravention of the provisions of this Act, rules, orders or regulations made there under, the court may, instead of making an order for confiscation of such computer, computer system, floppies, compact disks, tape drives or any other accessories related thereto, make such other order authorized by this Act against the person contravening of the provisions of this Act, rules, orders or regulations made there under as it may think fit.

Section 77 Compensation, penalties or confiscation not to interfere with other punishment.(Substituted Vide ITAA-2008)

No compensation awarded, penalty imposed or confiscation made under this Act shall prevent the award of compensation or imposition of any other penalty or punishment under any other law for the time being in force.

Section 77A Compounding of Offences

(1) A Court of competent jurisdiction may compound offences other than offences for which the punishment for life or imprisonment for a term exceeding three years has been provided under this Act.

Provided that the Court shall not compound such offence where the accused is by reason of his previous conviction, liable to either enhanced punishment or to a punishment of a different kind.

Provided further that the Court shall not compound any offence where such offence affects the socio-economic conditions of the country or has been committed against a child below the age of 18 years or a woman.

(2) The person accused of an offence under this act may file an application for compounding in the court in which offence is pending for trial and the provisions of section 265 B and 265 C of Code of Criminal Procedures, 1973 shall apply.

Section 77B Offences with three years imprisonment to be cognizable

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in Criminal Procedure Code 1973, the offence punishable with imprisonment of three years and above shall be cognizable and the offence punishable with imprisonment of three years shall be bailable.

Section 78 Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, a police officer not below the rank of Inspector shall investigate any offence under this Act. (Amended Vide ITAA 2008)

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ANNEXURE



A. The relevant provision of Income Tax Act, 1961 related to Information Technology Act.

1. Books of Accounts: Clause (12A) of Section 2 provides the books of account or books maintained on computer, the same sanctity as the traditional books of account. As per provisions of section 2(12A) books or books of account‘, includes ledgers, day books, cash books, accounts-books and other books, whether kept in the return form or as print outs as data stored in a floppy, disk, tape or any other form of electro-magnetic data storage device { inserted in section 2 of Income Tax Act, by Finance Act, 2001, with effect from 01-06-2001}

2. Document : Clause(22AA) of section 2 brings electronic records also in the definition of Document. As per this clause; "Document” includes Electronic records as defined in clause (t) of sub section 1 of section 2 of the information technology Act 2000*. { inserted in section 2 of Income Tax Act, by Finance Act, 2001, with effect from 01-06-2001}

As per Information Technology Act, 2000, clause (t) of sub-section (1) of section 2, an "electronic record" means data, record or data generated, image or sound stored, received or sent in an electronic form or micro film or computer generated micro file. This definition of electronic record is wide enough to cover person in possession of computer, storage device, server, mobile phone, i-pod or any such device.



1. Inspect books of account or other documents:

2. Section 132(1)(iib) of Income Tax Act, 1961 This provision was brought on statuette Finance Act, 2002, with effect from 01-06-2002 to remove difficulties in handling digital evidences found during the course of the search. This section "require any person who is found to be in possession or control of any books of account or other documents maintained in the form of electronic record as defined in clause (t) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000), to afford the authorized officer the necessary facility to inspect such books of account or other documents".

3. Provisions of section 275B make failure to comply with provisions of section132(1)(iib) a punishable offence. As per this section, "if a person who is required to afford the authorised officer the necessary facility to inspect the books of account or other documents, as required under [clause (iib) of sub-section (1) of section 132] fails to afford such facility to the authorized officer, he shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine".

In section 282 service of notice is invisaged service as in the form of any electronic record as provided in Chapter IV of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000); this includes service through e mail. The transmission of data as defined in section 13 of information Technology act 2000.

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