In India, cyber laws are contained in the Information Technology Act, 2000 ("IT
Act") which came into force on October 17, 2000. The main purpose of the Act
is to provide legal recognition to electronic commerce and to acilitate filing of
electronic records with the Government.
The following Act, Rules and Regulations are covered under cyber laws:
1. Information Technology Act, 2000
2. Information Technology (Certifying Authorities) Rules, 2000
3. Information Technology (Security Procedure) Rules, 2004
4. Information Technology (Certifying Authority) Regulations, 2001
Need for cyber law in India
Firstly, India has an extremely detailed and well-defined legal system in place.
Numerous laws have been nacted and implemented and the foremost amongst
them is The Constitution of India. We have inter alia, amongst thers, the
Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act 1872, the Banker's Book Evidence
Act, 1891 and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, the Companies Act, and so
on. However the arrival of Internet signalled the beginning of the rise of new
and complex legal issues. It may be pertinent to mention that all the existing
laws in place in India were enacted way back keeping in mind the relevant
political, social, economic, and cultural scenario of that relevant time. Nobody
then could really visualize about the Internet. Despite the brilliant acumen of
our master draftsmen, the requirements of cyberspace could hardly ever be
anticipated. As such, the coming of the Internet led to the emergence of
numerous ticklish legal issues and problems which necessitated the enactment
of Cyber laws.
Secondly, the existing laws of India, even with the most benevolent and liberal interpretation, could not be interpreted in the light of the emerging cyberspace, to include all aspects relating to different activities in cyberspace. In fact, the practical experience and the wisdom of judgment found that it shall not be without major perils and pitfalls, if the existing laws were to be interpreted in the scenario of emerging cyberspace, without enacting new cyber laws. Hence, the need for enactment of relevant cyber laws.
Thirdly, none of the existing laws gave any legal validity or sanction to the activities in Cyberspace. For example, the Net is used by a large majority of users for email. Yet till today, email is not "legal" in our country. There is no law in the country, which gives legal validity, and sanction to email. Courts and judiciary in our country have been reluctant to grant judicial recognition to the legality of email in the absence of any specific law having been enacted by the Parliament. As such the need has arisen for Cyber law.
Fourthly, Internet requires an enabling and supportive legal infrastructure in tune with the times. This legal infrastructure can only be given by the enactment of the relevant Cyber laws as the traditional laws have failed to
grant the same. E-commerce, the biggest future of Internet, can only be possible if necessary legal infrastructure compliments the same to enable its vibrant growth.
All these and other varied considerations created a conducive atmosphere for the need for enacting relevant cyber laws in India.