Centre to amend IT Act to prevent cybercrime, current law inadequate to tackle it: Fadnavis
MUMBAI: As the present legislation is inadequate to tackle the growing crimes, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre has decided to amend the Information technology Act, 2000.
Replying to the calling attention motion moved by MLAs Jaikumar Rawal and Raees Sheikh pointing out towards incident in Dhule where allegedly morphed and objectionable photos of girls were sent to their respective parents and relatives, Fadnavis said the Maharashtra government was also coming out with a robust platform to take tackle growing number of cybercrime cases soon.
“This project would be implemented in next few months. The objective is to quickly respond to such cases so that if money was siphoned of from the banks, those could be refunded or if anyone’s morphed pictures were posted on any social media platform with a view to defame them, they could be saved. We are bringing all stakeholders like social media platforms, banks, regulators, financial institutions, non-banking financial institutions, and others on a single platform.”
Fadnavis said the project would have trained manpower and a dedicated headquarter on the line of any commissionerate. “The existing law (IT) is inadequate, so the centre has decided to amend law, probably in Parliament’s ongoing budget session. They have invited suggestions from Maharashtra, and we would incorporate concerns raised by the legislators when we send those. The issue of morphing raised by them today in in larger interest of the society.”
Informing that the mode of crimes against women had changed now, MLA Varsha Gaikwad said the accused were now using technology to morph their pictures and defame them. Earlier, they used to throw acid or stabbing them with sharp weapons. “Many girls and women were blackmailed by accused by using their morphed pictures. Unfortunately, even after their complaints, no action has been taken. I sought information from various agencies and came to know that none of the accused were punished so far. We need to activate our cyber cell prevent such crimes against women. The youngsters must be made aware of misuse of the social media platforms and technology. Even the school students should be made aware of it.”
Agreeing with her, Fadnavis said there were two reasons behind low conviction rate in the cybercrimes. “As per the existing IT Act, the inquiry in such cases must be made by the office of rank of police inspector. But he remains so busy that the such cases took a backseat. We have demanded the union home ministry to approve police sub inspector to probe these cases and it had granted an in-principal approval. Even the Supreme Court has delivered conflicting verdicts where it made the offences under the IT Act bailable. We have apprised about it the Centre, which may amend the Act in ongoing session,” he said.