The Information Technology Act, 2000

 

      (No. 21 of 2000)      [9th June, 2000]

 

      An Act to provide legal recognition for 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 filing of documents

      with the Government agencies and further to amend the Indian Penal Code,

      the 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. whereas the General Assembly of the United Nations by

      resolution A/RES/51/162, dated the 30th January, 1997 has adopted the 

      Model Law on Electronic Commerce adopted by the United Nations Commission

      on International Trade Law; and whereas the said resolution recommends

      inter alia that all States give favourable consideration to the said Model

      Law when they enact or revise their laws, in view of the need for

      uniformity of the law applicable to alternatives to paper-cased methods of

      communication and storage of information; and whereas it is considered

      necessary to give effect to the said resolution and to promote efficient

      delivery of Government services by means of reliable electronic records.

      be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-first Year of the Republic of

      India as follows:—

    

 I - PRELIMINARY

 

      1. Short title, extent, commencement and application.

    

      (1) This Act may be called the Information Technology Act, 2000.

      

      (2) It shall extend to the whole of India and, save as otherwise provided

      in this Act, it applies also to any offence or contravention thereunder

      committed outside India by any person.

    

      (3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may,

      by notification, appoint and different dates may be appointed for

      different provisions of this Act and any reference in any such provision

      to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the

      commencement of that provision.

    

      (4) Nothing in this Act shall apply to,  

     

      (a) a negotiable instrument as defined in section 13 of the Negotiable

      Instruments Act, 1881;

     

      (b) a power-of-attorney as defined in section 1A of the Powers-of-                            

       Attorney Act, 1882;

     

      (c) a trust as defined in section 3 of the Indian Trusts Act, 1882;

     

      (d) a will as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Succession

      Act, 1925 including any other testamentary disposition by whatever name

      called;

     

      (e) any contract for the sale or conveyance of immovable property or any

      interest in such property;

     

      (f) any such class of documents or transactions as may be notified by the

      Central Government in the Official Gazette.

 

      2. Definitions.

 

      (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, —

     

      (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 an adjudicating officer appointed under

      subsection (1) of section 46;

     

      (d) "affixing digital 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

      digital 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 licence

      to issue a Digital 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 Digital Signature Certificates;

     

      (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) "computer network" means the interconnection of one or more computers

      through —

    

      (i) the use of satellite, microwave, terrestrial line or other

      communication media; and

    

      (ii) terminals or a complex consisting of two or more interconnected

      computers whether or not the interconnection is continuously maintained;

    

      (k) "computer resource" means computer, computer system, computer        

      network, data,computer data base 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 (1) of section 17;

 

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

      Tribunal established under sub-section (1) of section 48;

 

      (o) "data" means a representation of information, knowledge, facts,

      concepts or instructions which are being prepared or have been prepared in

      a formalised 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 the 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;

 

      (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;

 

      (v) "information" includes data, text, images, sound, voice, codes,

      computer programmes, software and databases or micro film or computer

      generated micro fiche :

 

      (w) "intermediary" with respect to any particular electronic message means

      any person who on behalf of another person receives, stores or transmits

      that message or provides any service with respect to that message;

 

      (x) "key pair", in an asymmetric crypto system, means a private key and

      its mathematically 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 thereunder;

 

      (z) "licence" means a licence 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 unauthorised 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 Digital 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.

 

II - DIGITAL SIGNATURE

 

      3. Authentication of electronic records.

 

      (1) Subject to the provisions of this section 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.

 

      Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-section, "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.

 

III - ELECTRONIC GOVERNANCE

 

      4. Legal recognition of electronic records.

 

      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.

 

      5. Legal recognition of digital signatures.

 

      Where any law provides that information or any other matter shall be

      authenticated by affixing the signature or any document shall be signed or

      bear the signature of any person (hen, 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.

 

      6. Use of electronic records and digital signatures 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 licence, 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).

 

      7. 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, if —

 

      (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 despatch 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 despatched 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.

 

      8. Publication of rule, 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 matter is 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.

 

      9. 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.

 

      10. Power to make rules by Central Government in respect of digital

      signature.

 

      The Central Government may, for the purposes of this Act, by rules,

      prescribe—

 

      (a) the type of digital signature;

 

      (b) the manner and format in which the digital signature shall be affixed;

 

      (c) the manner or procedure which facilitates identification of the person

      affixing the digital 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 digital

      signatures.

 

IV - ATTRIBUTION, ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND DESPATCH OF ELECTRONIC RECORDS

 

      11. Attribution of electronic records.

 

      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.

 

      12. Acknowledgment of receipt.

 

      (1) Where the originator has not agreed with the addressee 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.

 

      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 to 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.

 

V - SECURE ELECTRONIC RECORDS AND SECURE DIGITAL SIGNATURES

 

      14. Secure electronic record.

 

      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.

 

      15. Secure digital signature.

 

      If, by application of a security procedure agreed to by the parties

      concerned, it can be verified that a digital signature, at the time it was

      affixed, was  

 

      (a) unique to the subscriber affixing it;

 

      (b) capable of identifying such subscriber;

 

      (c) created in a manner or using a means under the exclusive control of

      the subscriber and is linked to the electronic record to which it relates

      in such a manner that if the electronic record was altered the digital

      signature would be invalidated, then such digital signature shall be

      deemed to be a secure digital signature.

 

      16. Security procedure.

 

      The Central Government shall for the purposes of this Act prescribe the

      security procedure having regard to commercial circumstances prevailing at

      the time when the procedure was used, including —

 

      (a) the nature of the transaction;

 

      (b) the level of sophistication of the parties with reference to their

      technological capacity;

 

      (c) the volume of similar transactions engaged in by other parties;

 

      (d) the availability of alternatives offered to but rejected by any party;

 

      (e) the cost of alternative procedures; and

 

      (f) the procedures in general use for similar types of transactions or

      communications.

 

 VI - REGULATION OF CERTIFYING AUTHORITIES

 

      17. Appointment of Controller and other officers.

 

      (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette,

      appoint a Controller of Certifying Authorities for the purposes of this

      Act and may also by the same or subsequent notification appoint such

      number of Deputy Controllers and Assistant Controllers as it deems fit.

 

      (2) The Controller shall discharge his functions under this Act subject to

      the general control and directions of the Central Government.

 

      (3) The Deputy Controllers and Assistant Controllers shall perform the

      functions assigned to them by the Controller under the general

      superintendence and control of the Controller.

 

      (4) The qualifications, experience and terms and conditions of service of

      Controller, Deputy Controllers and Assistant Controllers shall be such as

      may be prescribed by the Central Government.

 

      (5) The Head Office and Branch Office of the office of the Controller

      shall be at such places as the Central Government may specify, and these

      may be established at such places as the Central Government may think fit.

 

      (6) There shall be a seal of the Office of the Controller.

 

      18. Functions of Controller.

 

     The Controller may perform all or any of the following functions, namely :—

 

      (a) exercising supervision over the activities of the Certifying

      Authorities;

 

      (b) certifying public keys of the Certifying Authorities;

 

      (c) laying down the standards to be maintained by the Certifying

      Authorities;

 

      (d) specifying the qualifications and experience which employees of the

      Certifying Authorities should possess;

 

      (e) specifying the conditions subject to which the Certifying Authorities

      shall conduct their business;

 

      (f) specifying the contents of written, printed or visual materials and

      advertisements that may be distributed or used in respect of a Digital

      Signature Certificate and the public key;

 

      (g) specifying the form and content of a Digital Signature Certificate and

      the key,

 

      (h) specifying the form and manner in which accounts shall be maintained

      by the Certifying Authorities;

 

      (i) specifying the terms and conditions subject to which auditors may be

      appointed and the remuneration to be paid to them;

 

      (j) facilitating the establishment of any electronic system by a

      Certifying Authority either solely or jointly with other Certifying

      Authorities and regulation of such systems;

 

      (k) specifying the manner in which the Certifying Authorities shall

      conduct their dealings with the subscribers;

 

      (l) resolving any conflict of interests between the Certifying Authorities

      and the subscribers;

 

      (m) laying down the duties of the Certifying Authorities;

 

      (n) maintaining a data base containing the disclosure record of every

      Certifying Authority containing such particulars as may be specified by

      regulations, which shall be accessible to public.

 

      19. Recognition of foreign Certifying Authorities.

 

      (1) Subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be specified by

      regulations, the Controller may with the previous approval of the Central

      Government, and by notification in the Official Gazette, recognise any

      foreign Certifying Authority as a Certifying Authority for the purposes of

      this Act.

 

      (2) Where any Certifying Authority is recognised under sub-section (1),

      the Digital Signature Certificate issued by such Certifying Authority

      shall be valid for the purposes of this Act.

 

      (3) The Controller may, if he is satisfied that any Certifying Authority

      has contravened any of the conditions and restrictions subject to which it

      was granted recognition under sub-section (1) he may, for reasons to be

      recorded in writing, by notification in the Official Gazette, revoke such

      recognition.

 

      20. Controller to act as repository.

 

      (1) The Controller shall be the repository of all Digital Signature

      Certificates issued under this Act.

 

      (2) The Controller shall —

 

      (a) make use of hardware, software and procedures that are secure from 

      intrusion and misuse;

 

      (b) observe such other standards as may be prescribed by the Central

      Government, to ensure that the secrecy and security of the digital

      signatures are assured.

 

      (3) The Controller shall maintain a computerised data base of all public

      keys in such a manner that such data base and the public keys are

      available to any member of the public.

 

      21. Licence to issue Digital Signature Certificates.

 

      (1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), any person may make an

      application, to the Controller, for a licence to issue Digital Signature

      Certificates.

 

      (2) No licence shall be issued under sub-section (1), unless the applicant

      fulfills such requirements with respect to qualification, expertise,

      manpower, financial resources and other infrastructure facilities, which

      are necessary to issue Digital Signature Certificates as may be prescribed

      by the Central Government

 

      (3) A licence granted under this section shall —

 

      (a) be valid for such period as may be prescribed by the Central

      Government;

 

      (b) not be transferable or heritable;

 

      (c) be subject to such terms and conditions as may be specified by the

      regulations.

 

      22. Application for licence.

 

      (1) Every application for issue of a licence shall be in such form as may

      be prescribed by the Central Government.

 

      (2) Every application for issue of a licence shall be accompanied by  

 

      (a) a certification practice statement;

 

      (b) a statement including the procedures with respect to identification of

      the applicant;

 

      (c) payment of such fees, not exceeding twenty-five thousand rupees as may

      be prescribed by the Central Government;

 

      (d) such other documents, as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

 

      23. Renewal of licence.

 

      An application for renewal of a licence shall be 

 

      (a) in such form;

 

      (b) accompanied by such fees, not exceeding five thousand rupees,

      as may be prescribed by the Central Government and shall be made not less

      than forty-five days before the date of expiry of the period of validity

      of the licence.

 

      24. Procedure for grant or rejection of licence.

 

      The Controller may, on receipt of an application under sub-section (1) of

      section 21, after considering the documents accompanying the application

      and such other factors, as he deems fit, grant the licence or reject the

      application :

 

      Provided that no application shall be rejected under this section unless

      the applicant has been given a reasonable opportunity of presenting his

      case.

 

      25. Suspension of licence.

 

      (1) The Controller may, if he is satisfied after making such inquiry, as

      he may think fit, that a Certifying Authority has, 

 

      (a) made a statement in, or in relation to, the application for the issue

      or renewal of the licence, which is incorrect or false in material

      particulars;

 

      (b) failed to comply with the terms and conditions subject to which the

      licence was granted;

 

      (c) failed to maintain the standards specified under clause (b) of

      sub-section (2) of section 20;

 

      (d) contravened any provisions of this Act, rule, regulation or order made

      thereunder, revoke the licence :

 

      Provided that no licence shall be revoked unless the Certifying Authority

      has been given a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the

      proposed revocation.

 

      (2) The Controller may, if he has reasonable cause to believe that there

      is any ground for revoking a licence under sub-section (1), by order

      suspend such licence pending the completion of any inquiry ordered by him:

 

      Provided that no licence shall be suspended for a period exceeding ten

      days unless the Certifying Authority has been given a reasonable

      opportunity of showing cause against the proposed suspension.

 

      (3) No Certifying Authority whose licence has been suspended shall issue

      any Digital Signature Certificate during such suspension.

 

      26. Notice of suspension or revocation of licence.

 

      (1) Where the licence of the Certifying Authority is suspended or revoked,

      the Controller shall publish notice of such suspension or revocation, as

      the case may be, in the database maintained by him.

 

      (2) Where one or more repositories are specified, the Controller shall

      publish notices of such suspension or revocation, as the case may be, in

      all such repositories :

 

      Provided that the data base containing the notice of such suspension or

      revocation, as the case may be, shall be made available through a web site

      which shall be accessible round the clock :

 

      Provided further that the Controller may, if he considers necessary,

      publicise the contents of database in such electronic or other media, as

      he may consider appropriate.

 

      27. Power to delegate.

 

      The Controller may, in writing, authorise the Deputy Controller, Assistant

      Controller or any officer to exercise any of the powers of the Controller

      under this Chapter.

 

      28. Power to investigate contraventions.

 

      (1) The Controller or any officer authorised by him in this behalf shall

      take up for investigation any contravention of the provisions of this Act,

      rules or regulations made thereunder.

 

      (2) The Controller or any officer authorised by him in this behalf shall

      exercise the like powers which are conferred on Income-tax authorities

      under Chapter XIII of the Income-tax Act, 1961 and shall exercise such

      powers, subject to such limitations laid down under that Act.

 

      29. Access to computers and data.

 

      (1) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 69,

      the Controller or any person authorised by him shall, if he has reasonable

      cause to suspect that any contravention of the provisions of this Act,

      rules or regulations made thereunder has been committed, have access to

      any computer system, any apparatus, data or any other material connected

      with such system, for the purpose of searching or causing a search to be

      made for obtaining any information or data contained in or available to

      such computer system.

 

      (2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), the Controller or any person

      authorised by him may, by order, direct any person incharge of, or

      otherwise concerned with the operation of, the computer system, data

      apparatus or material, to provide him with such reasonable technical and

      other assistance as he may consider necessary.

 

      30. Certifying Authority to follow certain procedures.

 

      Every Certifying Authority shall, —

 

      (a) make use of hardware, software and procedures that are secure from

      intrusion and misuse;

 

      (b) provide a reasonable level of reliability in its services which are

      reasonably suited to the performance of intended functions;

 

      (c) adhere to security procedures to ensure that the secrecy and privacy

      of the digital signatures are assured; and

 

      (d) observe such other standards as may be specified by regulations.

 

      31. Certifying Authority to ensure compliance of the Act, etc.

 

      Every Certifying Authority shall ensure that every person employed or

      otherwise engaged by it complies, in the course of his employment or

      engagement, with the provisions of this Act, rules, regulations and orders

      made thereunder.

 

      32. Display of licence.

 

      Every Certifying Authority shall display its licence at a conspicuous

      place of the premises in which it carries on its business.

 

      33. Surrender of licence.

 

      (1) Every Certifying Authority whose licence is suspended or revoked shall

      immediately after such suspension or revocation, surrender the licence to

      the Controller.

 

      (2) Where any Certifying Authority fails to surrender a licence under

      sub-section (1), the person in whose favour a licence is issued, shall be

      guilty of an offence and shall be punished with imprisonment which may

      extend up to six months or a fine which may extend up to ten thousand

      rupees or with both.

 

      34. Disclosure.

 

      (1) Every Certifying Authority shall disclose in the manner specified by

      regulations 

 

      (a) its Digital Signature Certificate which contains the public key

      corresponding to the private key used by that Certifying Authority to

      digitally sign another Digital Signature Certificate;

 

      (b) any certification practice statement relevant thereto;

 

      (c) notice of the revocation or suspension of its Certifying Authority

      certificate, if any; and

 

      (d) any other fact that materially and adversely affects either the

      reliability of a Digital Signature Certificate, which that Authority has

      issued, or the Authority's ability to perform its services.

 

      (2) Where in the opinion of the Certifying Authority any event has

      occurred or any situation has arisen which may materially and adversely

      affect the integrity of its computer system or the conditions subject to

      which a Digital Signature Certificate was granted, then, the Certifying

      Authority shall —

 

      (a) use reasonable efforts to notify any person who is likely to be

      affected by that occurrence; or

 

      (b) act in accordance with the procedure specified in its certification

      practice statement to deal with such event or situation.

 

VII - DIGITAL SIGNATURE CERTIFICATES

 

      35. Certifying Authority to issue Digital Signature Certificate.

 

      (1) Any person may make an application to the Certifying Authority for the

      issue of a Digital Signature Certificate in such form as may be prescribed

      by the Central Government

 

      (2) Every such application shall be accompanied by such fee not exceeding

      twenty-five thousand rupees as may be prescribed by the Central

      Government, to be paid to the Certifying Authority :

 

      Provided that while prescribing fees under sub-section (2) different fees

      may be prescribed for different classes of applicants'.

 

      (3) Every such application shall be accompanied by a certification

      practice statement or where there is no such statement, a statement

      containing such particulars, as may be specified by regulations.

 

      (4) On receipt of an application under sub-section (1), the Certifying

      Authority may, after consideration of the certification practice statement

      or the other statement under sub-section (3) and after making such

      enquiries as it may deem fit, grant the Digital Signature Certificate or

      for reasons to be recorded in writing, reject the application :

 

      Provided that no Digital Signature Certificate shall be granted unless the

      Certifying Authority is satisfied that —

 

      (a) the applicant holds the private key corresponding to the public key to

      be listed in the Digital Signature Certificate;

 

      (b) the applicant holds a private key, which is capable of creating a

      digital signature;

 

      (c) the public key to be listed in the certificate can be used to verify a

      digital signature affixed by the private key held by the applicant :

 

      Provided further that no application shall be rejected unless the

      applicant has been given a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against

      the proposed rejection.

 

      36. Representations upon issuance of Digital Signature Certificate.

 

      A Certifying Authority while issuing a Digital Signature Certificate shall

      certify that --

 

      (a) it has complied with the provisions of this Act and the rules and

      regulations made thereunder,

 

      (b) it has published the Digital Signature Certificate or otherwise made

      it available to such person relying on it and the subscriber has accepted

      it;

 

      (c) the subscriber holds the private key corresponding to the public key,

      listed in the Digital Signature Certificate;

 

      (d) the subscriber's public key and private key constitute a functioning

      key pair,

 

      (e) the information contained in the Digital Signature Certificate is

      accurate; and

 

      (f) it has no knowledge of any material fact, which if it had been

      included in the Digital Signature Certificate would adversely affect the

      reliability of the representations made in clauses (a) to (d).

 

      37. Suspension of Digital Signature Certificate.

 

      (1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), the Certifying Authority

      which has issued a Digital Signature Certificate may suspend such Digital

      Signature Certificate, —

 

      (a) on receipt of a request to that effect from —

 

      (i) the subscriber listed in toe Digital Signature Certificate; or

 

      (ii) any person duly authorised to act on behalf of that subscriber,

 

      (b) if it is of opinion that the Digital Signature Certificate should be

      suspended in public interest

 

      (2) A Digital Signature Certificate shall not be suspended for a period

      exceeding fifteen days unless the subscriber has been given an opportunity

      of being heard in the matter.

 

      (3) On suspension of a Digital Signature Certificate under this section,

      the Certifying Authority shall communicate the same to the subscriber.

 

      38. Revocation of Digital Signature Certificate.

 

      (1) A Certifying Authority may revoke a Digital Signature Certificate

      issued by it  

 

      (a) where the subscriber or any other person authorised by him makes a

      request to that effect; or

 

      (b) upon the death of the subscriber, or

 

      (c) upon the dissolution of the firm or winding up of the company where

      the subscriber is a firm or a company.

 

      (2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3) and without prejudice to

      the provisions of sub-section (1), a Certifying Authority may revoke a

      Digital Signature Certificate which has been issued by it at any time, if

      it is of opinion that  

 

      (a) a material fact represented in the Digital Signature Certificate is

      false or has been concealed;

 

      (b) a requirement for issuance of the Digital Signature Certificate was

      not satisfied;

 

      (c) the Certifying Authority's private key or security system was

      compromised in a manner materially affecting the Digital Signature

      Certificate's reliability;

 

      (d) the subscriber has been declared insolvent or dead or where a

      subscriber is a firm or a company, which has been dissolved, wound-up or

      otherwise ceased to exist

 

      (3) A Digital Signature Certificate shall not be revoked unless the

      subscriber has been given an opportunity of being heard in the matter.

 

      (4) On revocation of a Digital Signature Certificate under this section,

      the Certifying Authority shall communicate the same to the subscriber.

 

      39. Notice of suspension or revocation.

 

      (1) Where a Digital Signature Certificate is suspended or revoked under

      section 37 or section 38, the Certifying Authority shall publish a notice

      of such suspension or revocation, as the case may be, in the repository

      specified in the Digital Signature Certificate for publication of such

      notice.

 

      (2) Where one or more repositories are specified, the Certifying Authority

      shall publish notices of such suspension or revocation, as the case may

      he. in all such repositories.

 

 VIII - DUTIES OF SUBSCRIBERS

 

      40. Generating key pair.

 

      Where any Digital Signature Certificate, the public key of which

      corresponds to the private key of that subscriber which is to be listed in

      the Digital Signature Certificate has been accepted by a subscriber, then,

      the subscriber shall generate the key pair by applying the security

      procedure.

 

      41. Acceptance of Digital Signature Certificate.

 

      (1) A subscriber shall be deemed to have accepted a Digital Signature

      Certificate if he publishes or authorises the publication of a Digital

      Signature Certificate  

 

      (a) to one or more persons;

 

      (b) in a repository, or otherwise demonstrates his approval of the Digital

      Signature Certificate in any manner.

 

      (2) By accepting a Digital Signature Certificate the subscriber certifies

      to all who reasonably rely on the information contained in the Digital

      Signature Certificate that  

 

      (a) the subscriber holds the private key corresponding to the public key

      listed in the Digital Signature Certificate and is entitled to hold the

      same;

 

      (b) all representations made by the subscriber to the Certifying Authority

      and all material relevant to the information contained in the Digital

      Signature Certificate are true;

 

      (c) all information in the Digital Signature Certificate that is within

      the knowledge of the subscriber is true.

 

      42. Control of private key.

 

      (1) Every subscriber shall exercise reasonable care to retain control of

      the private key corresponding to the public key listed in his Digital

      Signature Certificate and take all steps to prevent its disclosure to a

      person not authorised to affix the digital signature of the subscriber.

 

      (2) If the private key corresponding to the public key listed in the

      Digital Signature Certificate has been compromised, then, the subscriber

      shall communicate the same without any delay to the Certifying Authority

      in such manner as may be specified by .the regulations.

 

      Explanation.  For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the

      subscriber shall be liable till he has informed the Certifying Authority

      that the private key has been compromised.

 

IX - PENALTIES AND ADJUDICATION

 

      43. Penalty for damage to computer, computer system, etc.

 

      If any person without permission of the owner or any other person who is

      incharge of a computer, computer system or computer network, —

 

      (a) accesses or secures access to such computer, computer system or

      computer network;

 

      (b) downloads, copies or extracts any data, computer data base or

      information from such computer, computer system or computer network

      including information or data held or stored in any removable storage

      medium;

 

      (c) introduces or causes to be introduced any computer contaminant or

      computer virus into any computer, computer system or computer network;

 

      (d) damages or causes to be damaged any computer, computer system or

      computer network, data, computer data base or any other programmes

      residing in such computer, computer system or computer network;

 

      (e) disrupts or causes disruption of any computer, computer system or

      computer network;

 

      (f) denies or causes the denial of access to any person authorised to

      access any computer, computer system or computer network by any means;

 

      (g) provides any assistance to any person to facilitate access to a

      computer, computer system or computer network in contravention of the

      provisions of this Act, rules or regulations made thereunder;

 

      (h) charges the services availed of by a person to the account of another

      person by tampering with or manipulating any computer, computer system, or

      computer network, e shall be liable to pay damages by way of compensation

      not exceeding one crore rupees to the person so affected.

 

      Explanation.—For the purposes of this section,—

 

      (i) "computer contaminant" means any set of computer instructions that are

      designed  

 

      (a) to modify, destroy, record, transmit data or programme residing within

      a computer, computer system or computer network; or

 

      (b) by any means to usurp the normal operation of the computer, computer

      system, or computer network;

 

      (ii) "computer data base" means a representation of information,

      knowledge, facts, concepts or instructions in text, image, audio, video

      that are being prepared or have been prepared in a formalised manner or

      have been produced by a computer, computer system or computer network and

      are intended for use in a computer, computer system or computer network;

 

      (iii) "computer virus" means any computer instruction, information, data

      or programme that destroys, damages, degrades or adversely affects the

      performance of a computer resource or attaches itself to another computer

      resource and operates when a programme, data or instruction is executed or

      some other event takes place in that computer resource;

 

      (iv) "damage" means to destroy, alter, delete, add, modify or rearrange

      any computer resource by any means.

 

      44. Penalty for failure to furnish information return, etc.

 

      If any person who is required under this Act or any rules or regulations

      made thereunder to —

 

      (a) furnish any document, return or report to the Controller or the

      Certifying Authority fails to furnish the same, he shall be liable to a

      penalty not exceeding one lakh and fifty thousand rupees for each such

      failure;

 

      (b) file any return or furnish any information, books or other documents

      within the time specified therefor in the regulations fails to file return

      or furnish the same within the time specified therefor in the regulations,

      he shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding five thousand rupees for

      every day during which such failure continues;

 

      (c) maintain books of account or records, fails to maintain the same, he

      shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding ten thousand rupees for every

      day during which the failure continues.

 

      45. Residuary penalty.

 

      Whoever contravenes any rules or regulations made under this Act, for .the

      contravention of which no penalty has been separately provided, shall be

      liable to pay a compensation not exceeding twenty-five thousand rupees to

      the person affected by such contravention or a penalty not exceeding

      twenty-five thousand rupees.

 

      46. Power to adjudicate.

 

      (1) For the purpose of adjudging under this Chapter whether any person has

      committed a contravention of any of the provisions of this Act or of any

      rule, regulation, direction or order made thereunder the Central

      Government shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), appoint

      any officer not below the rank of a Director to the Government of India or

      an equivalent officer of a State Government to be an adjudicating officer

      for holding an inquiry in the manner prescribed by the Central Government.

 

      (2) The adjudicating officer shall, after giving the person referred to in

      sub-section (1) a reasonable opportunity for making representation in the

      matter and if, on such inquiry, he is satisfied that the person has

      committed the contravention, he may impose such penalty or award such

      compensation as he thinks fit in accordance with the provisions of that

      section.

 

      (3) No person shall be appointed as an adjudicating officer unless he

      possesses such experience in the field of Information Technology and legal

      or judicial experience as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

 

      (4) Where more than one adjudicating officers are appointed, the Central

      Government shall specify by order the matters and places with respect to

      which such officers shall exercise their jurisdiction.

 

      (5) Every adjudicating officer shall have the powers of a civil court

      which are conferred oh the Cyber Appellate Tribunal under sub-section (2)

      of section 58, and  

 

      (a) all proceedings before it shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings

      within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code;

 

      (b) shall be deemed to be a civil court for the purposes of sections 345

      and 346 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

 

      47. Factors to be taken into account by the adjudicating officer.

 

      While adjudging the quantum of compensation under this Chapter, the

      adjudicating officer shall have due regard to the following factors,

      namely : 

 

      (a) the amount of gain of unfair advantage, wherever quantifiable, made as

      a result of the default;

 

      (b) the amount of loss caused to any person as a result of the default;

 

      (c) the repetitive nature of the default.

 

X - THE CYBER REGULATION  APPELLATE TRIBUNAL

 

      48. Establishment of Cyber Appellate Tribunal.

 

      (1) The Central Government shall, by notification, establish one or more

      appellate tribunals to be known as the Cyber Regulations Appellate

      Tribunal.

 

      (2) The Central Government shall also specify, in the notification

      referred to in sub-section (1), the matters and places in relation to

      which the Cyber Appellate Tribunal may exercise jurisdiction.

 

      49. Composition of Cyber Appellate Tribunal.

 

      A Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall consist of one person only (hereinafter

      referred to as the Residing Officer of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal) to be

      appointed, by notification, by the Central Government.

 

      50. Qualifications for appointment as Presiding Officer of the Cyber

      Appellate Tribunal.

 

      A person shall not be qualified for appointment as the Presiding Officer

      of a Cyber Appellate Tribunal unless he  

 

      (a) is, or has been. or is qualified to be, a Judge of a High Court; or

 

      (b) is or has been a member of the Indian Legal Service and is holding or

      has held a post in Grade I of that Service for at least three years.

 

      51. Term of office.

 

      The Presiding Officer of a Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall hold office for

      a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or

      until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier.

 

      52. Salary, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of

      Presiding Officer.

 

      The salary and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions

      of service including pension, gratuity and other retirement benefits of.

      the Presiding Officer of a Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall be such as may

      be prescribed :

 

      Provided that neither the salary and allowances nor the other terms and

      conditions of service of the Presiding Officer shall be varied to his

      disadvantage after appointment.

 

      53. Filling up of vacancies.

 

      If, for reason other than temporary absence, any vacancy occurs in the

      office n the Presiding Officer of a Cyber Appellate Tribunal, then the

      Central Government shall appoint another person in accordance with the

      provisions of this Act to fill the vacancy and the proceedings may be

      continued before the Cyber Appellate Tribunal from the stage at which the

      vacancy is filled.

 

      54. Resignation and removal.

 

      (1) The Presiding Officer of a Cyber Appellate Tribunal may, by notice in

      writing under his hand addressed to the Central Government, resign his

      office :

 

      Provided that the said Presiding Officer shall, unless he is permitted by

      the Central Government to relinquish his office sooner, continue to hold

      office until the expiry of three months from the date of receipt of such

      notice or until a person duly appointed as his successor enters upon his

      office or until the expiry of his term of office, whichever is the

      earliest.

 

      (2) The Presiding Officer of a Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall not be

      removed from his office except by an order by the Central Government on

      the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after an inquiry made by a

      Judge of the Supreme Court in which the Presiding Officer concerned has

      been informed of the charges against him and given a reasonable

      opportunity of being heard in respect of these charges.

 

      (3) The Central Government may, by rules, regulate the procedure for the

      investigation of misbehaviour or incapacity of the aforesaid Presiding

      Officer.

 

      55. Orders constituting Appellate Tribunal to be final and not to

      invalidate its proceedings.

 

      No order of the Central Government appointing any person as the Presiding

      Officer of a Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall be called in question in any

      manner and no act or proceeding before a Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall be

      called in question in any manner on the ground merely of any defect in the

      constitution of a Cyber Appellate Tribunal.

 

      56. Staff of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal.

 

      (1) The Central Government shall provide the Cyber Appellate Tribunal with

      such officers and employees as that Government may think fit.

 

      (2) The officers and employees of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall

      discharge their functions under general superintendence of the Presiding

      Officer.

 

      (3) The salaries, allowances and other conditions of service of the

      officers and employees or' the Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall be such as

      may be prescribed by the Central Government.

 

      57. Appeal to Cyber Appellate Tribunal.

 

      (1) Save as provided in sub-section (2), any person aggrieved by an order

      made by Controller or an adjudicating officer under this Act may prefer an

      appeal to a Cyber Appellate Tribunal having jurisdiction in the matter.

 

      (2) No appeal shall lie to the Cyber Appellate Tribunal from an order made

      by an adjudicating officer with the consent of the parties.

 

      (3) Every appeal under sub-section (1) shall be filed within a period of

      tony-five days from the date on which a copy of the order made by the

      Controller or the adjudicating officer is received by the person aggrieved

      and it shall be in such form and be accompanied by such fee as may be

      prescribed :

 

      Provided that the Cyber Appellate Tribunal may entertain an appeal after

      the expiry of the said period of tony-five days if it is satisfied that

      there was sufficient cause tor not filing it within that period.

 

      (4) On receipt of an appeal under sub-section (1), the Cyber Appellate

      Tribunal may, after giving the parties to the appeal, an opportunity of

      being heard, pass such orders thereon as it thinks fit, confirming,

      modifying or setting aside the order appealed against.

 

      (5) The Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall send a copy of every order made by

      it to the parties to the appeal and to the concerned Controller or

      adjudicating officer.

 

      (6) The appeal filed before the Cyber Appellate Tribunal under sub-section

      (1) shall be dealt with by it as expeditiously as possible and endeavour

      shall be made by it to dispose of the appeal finally within six months

      from the date of receipt of the appeal.

 

      58. Procedure and powers of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal.

 

      (1) The Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid

      down by the Code of civil Procedure, 1908 but shall be guided by the

      principles of natural justice and, subject to the other provisions of this

      Act and of any rules, the Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall have powers to

      regulate its own procedure including the place at which it shall have its

      sittings.

 

      (2) The Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall have, for the purposes of

      discharging its functions under this Act, the same powers as are vested in

      a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, while trying a

      suit, in respect of the following matters, namely :—

 

      (a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him

      on oath;

 

 

      (b) requiring the discovery and production of documents or other

      electronic records;

 

      (c) receiving evidence on affidavits;

 

      (d) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;

 

      (e) reviewing its decisions;

 

      (f) dismissing an application for default or deciding it ex pane;

 

      (g) any other matter which may be prescribed.

 

      (3) Every proceeding before the Cyber Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed

      to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228,

      and for the purposes of section 196 of the Indian Penal Code and the Cyber

      Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed to be a civil court for the purposes of

      section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

 

      59. Right to legal representation.

 

      The appellant may either appear in person or authorise one or more legal

      practitioners or any of its officers to present his or its case before the

      Cyber Appellate Tribunal.

 

      60. Limitation.

 

      The provisions of the Limitation Act, 1963, shall, as far as may be, apply

      to an appeal made to the Cyber Appellate Tribunal.

 

      61. Civil court not to have jurisdiction.

 

      No court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in

      respect of any matter which an adjudicating officer appointed under this

      Act or the Cyber Appellate Tribunal constituted under this Act is

      empowered by or under this Act to determine and no injunction shall be

      granted by any court or other authority in respect of any action taken or

      to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act.

 

      62. Appeal to High Court.

 

      Any person aggrieved by any decision or order of the Cyber Appellate

      Tribunal may file an appeal to the High Court within sixty days from the

      date of communication of the decision or order of the Cyber Appellate

      Tribunal to him on any question of fact or law arising out of such order

 

      Provided that the High Court may, if it is satisfied that the appellant

      was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal within the said

      period, allow it to be filed within a further period not exceeding sixty

      days.

 

      63. Compounding of contraventions.

 

      (1) Any contravention under this Chapter may, either before or after the

      institution of adjudication proceedings, be compounded by the Controller

      or such other officer as may be specially authorised by him in this behalf

      or by the adjudicating officer, as the case may be, subject to such

      conditions as the Controller or such other officer or the adjudicating

      officer may specify :

 

      Provided that such sum shall not, in any case, exceed the maximum amount

      of the penalty which may be imposed under this Act for the contravention

      so compounded.

 

      (2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall apply to a person who commits the

      same or similar contravention within a period of three years from the date

      on which the first contravention, committed by him, was compounded.

 

      Explanation.   For the purposes of this sub-section, any second or

      subsequent contravention committed after the expiry of a period of three

      years from the date on which the contravention was previously compounded

      shall be deemed to be a first contravention.

 

      (3) Where any contravention has been compounded under sub-section (1), no

      proceeding or further proceeding, as the case may be, shall be taken

      against the person guilty of such contravention in respect of the

      contravention so compounded.

 

      64. Recovery of penalty.

 

      A penalty imposed under this Act, if it is not paid, shall be recovered as

      an arrear of land revenue and the licence or the Digital Signature

      Certificate, as the case may be, shall be suspended till the penalty is

      paid.

 

XI - OFFENCES

 

      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.

 

      66. Hacking with computer system.

 

      (1) Whoever with the intent to cause or knowing that he is likely to cause

      wrongful loss or damage to the public or any person destroys or deletes or

      alters any information residing in a computer resource or diminishes its

      value or utility or affects it injuriously by any means, commits hack :

 

      (2) Whoever commits hacking shall be punished with imprisonment up to

      three years, or with fine which may extend upto two lakh rupees, or with

      both.

 

      67. Publishing of information which is obscene in electronic form.

 

      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 five years and with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees and

      in the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of

      either description for a term which may extend to ten years and also with

      fine which may extend to two lakh rupees.

 

      68. Power of Controller to give directions.

 

      (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

      thereunder.

 

      (2) Any person who 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 three years or to a Fine not

      exceeding two lakh rupees or to both.

 

      69. Directions of Controller to a subscriber to extend facilities to

      decrypt information.

 

      (1) If the Controller is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to

      do in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, the security

      of the State, friendly relations with foreign Stales or public order or

      for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence, for

      reasons to be recorded in writing, by order, direct any agency of the

      Government to intercept any information transmitted through any computer

      resource.

 

      (2) The subscriber or any person incharge 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 decrypt the

      information.

 

      (3) The subscriber or any person who fails to assist the agency referred

      to in sub-section (2) shall be punished with an imprisonment for a term

      which may extend to seven years.

 

      70. Protected system.

 

      (1) The appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official

      Gazette, declare that any computer, computer system or computer network to

      be a protected system.

 

      (2) The appropriate Government may, by order in writing, authorise the

      persons who are authorised 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.

 

      71. Penalty for misrepresentation.

 

      Whoever makes any misrepresentation to, or suppresses any material fact

      from, the Controller or the Certifying Authority for obtaining any licence

      or Digital 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.

 

      72. Penalty for 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 pursuance of any of the powers conferred

      under this Act, rules or regulations made thereunder, 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.

 

      73. Penalty for publishing Digital Signature Certificate false in certain

      particulars.

 

      (1) No person shall publish a Digital 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.

 

      74. Publication for fraudulent purpose.

 

      Whoever knowingly creates, publishes or otherwise makes available a

      Digital 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.

 

      75. Act to apply for offence or contravention 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.

 

      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 thereunder 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 thereunder, 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 authorised by this Act against the person contravening of

      the provisions of this Act, rules, orders or regulations made thereunder

      as it may think fit.

 

      77. Penalties or confiscation not to interfere with other punishments.

 

      No penalty imposed or confiscation made under this Act shall prevent the

      imposition of any other punishment to which the person affected thereby is

      liable under any other law for the time being in force.

 

      78. Power to investigate offences.

 

      Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure,

      1973, a police officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of

      Police shall investigate any offence under this Act.

 

XII - NETWORK SERVICE PROVIDERS NOT TO BE LIABLE IN CERTAIN CASES

 

      79. Network service providers not to be liable in certain cases.

 

      For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that no person providing

      any service as a network service provider shall be liable under this Act,

      rules or regulations made thereunder for any third party information or

      data made available by him if he proves that the offence or contravention

      was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due

      diligence to prevent the commission of such offence or contravention.

 

      Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, —

 

      (a) "network service provider" means an intermediary;

 

      (b) "third party information" means any information dealt with by a

      network service provider in his capacity as an intermediary;

 

XIII - MISCELLANEOUS

 

      80. Power of police officer and other officers to enter, search, etc.

 

      (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure,

      1973, any police officer, not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of

      Police, or any other officer of the Central Government or a State

      Government authorised by the Central Government in this behalf may enter

      any public place and search and arrest without warrant any person found

      therein who is reasonably suspected or having committed or of committing

      or of being about to commit any offence under this Act.

 

      Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-section, the expression "public

      place" includes any public conveyance, any hotel, any shop or any other

      place intended for use by, or accessible to the public.

 

      (2) Where any person is arrested under sub-section (1) by an officer other

      than a police officer, such officer shall, without unnecessary delay, take

      or send the person arrested before a magistrate having jurisdiction in the

      case or before the officer-in-charge of a police station.

 

      (3) The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 shall, subject

      to the provisions of this section, apply, so far as may be, in relation to

      any entry, search or arrest, made under this section.

 

      81. Act to have overriding effect.

 

      The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything

      inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in

      force.

 

      82. Controller, Deputy Controller and Assistant Controllers to be public

      servants.

 

      The Presiding Officer and other officers and employees of a Cyber

      Appellate Tribunal, the Controller, the Deputy Controller and the

      Assistant Controllers shall be deemed to be public servants within the

      meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.

 

      83. Power to give directions.

 

      The Central Government may give directions to any State Government as to

      the carrying into execution in the State of any of the provisions of this

      Act or of any rule, regulation or order made thereunder.

 

      84. Protection of action taken in good faith.

 

      No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against the

      Central Government, the State Government, the Controller or any person

      acting on behalf of him, the Presiding Officer, adjudicating officers and

      the staff of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal for anything which is in good

      faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act or any rule,

      regulation or order made thereunder.

 

      85. Offences by companies.

 

      (1) Where a person committing a contravention of any of the provisions of

      this Act or of any rule, direction or order made thereunder is a company,

      every person who, at the time the contravention was committed, was in

      charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of business

      of the company as well as the company, shall be guilty of the

      contravention and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished

      accordingly :

 

      Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such

      person liable to punishment if he proves that the contravention took place

      without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent

      such contravention.

 

      (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where a

      contravention of any of the provisions of this Act or of any rule,

      direction or order made thereunder has been committed by a company and it

      is proved that the contravention has taken place with the consent or

      connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any

      director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such

      director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be

      guilty of the contravention and shall be liable to be proceeded against

      and punished accordingly.

 

      Explanation.—For the purposes of this section,—

 

      (i) "company" means any body corporate and includes a firm or other

      association of individuals; and

 

      (ii) "director", in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

 

      86. Removal of difficulties.

 

      (1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this

      Act, the Central Government may, by order published in the Official

      Gazette, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this

      Act as appear to it to be necessary or expedient for removing the

      difficulty :

 

      Provided that no order shall be made under this section after the expiry

      of a period of two years from the commencement of this Act.

 

      (2) Every order made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be

      after it is made, before each House of Parliament.

 

      87. Power of Central Government to make rules.

 

      (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette

      and in the Electronic Gazette make rules to carry out the provisions of

      this Act.

 

      (2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the

      foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following

      mailers, namely : 

 

      (a) the manner in which any information or matter may be authenticated by

      means of digital signature under section 5;

 

      (b) the electronic form in which filing, issue, grant or payment shall be

      effected under sub-section (1) of section 6;

 

      (c) the manner and format in which electronic records shall be filed, or

      issued and the method of payment under sub-section (2) of section 6;

 

      (d) the matters relating to the type of digital signature, manner and

      format in which it may be affixed under section 10;

 

      (e) the security procedure for the purpose of creating secure electronic

      record and secure digital signature under section 16;

 

      (f) the qualifications, experience and terms and conditions of service of

      Controller, Deputy Controllers and Assistant Controllers under section 17;

 

      (g) other standards to be observed by the Controller under clause (b) of

      subsection (2) of section 20;

 

      (h) the requirements which an applicant must fulfil under sub-section (2)

      of section 21;

 

      (i) the period of validity of licence granted under clause (a) of

      sub-section (3) of section 21;

 

      (j) the form in which an application for licence may be made under

      sub-section (1) of section 22;

 

      (k) the amount of fees payable under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of

      section 22;

 

      (l) such other documents which shall accompany an application for licence

      under clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 22;

 

      (m) the form and the fee for renewal of a licence and the fee payable

      there of under section 23;

 

      (n) the form in which application for issue of a Digital Signature

      Certificate may be made under sub-section (1) of section 35;

 

      (o) the fee to be paid to the Certifying Authority for issue of a Digital

      Signature Certificate under sub-section (2) of section 35;

 

      (p) the manner in which the adjudicating officer shall hold inquiry under

      subsection (1) of section 46;

 

      (q) the qualification and experience which the adjudicating officer shall

      possess under sub-section (3) of section 46;

 

      (r) the salary, allowances and the other terms and conditions of service

      of the Presiding Officer under section 52;

 

      (s) the procedure for investigation of misbehaviour or incapacity of the

      Presiding Officer under sub-section (3) of section 54;

 

      (t) the salary and allowances and other conditions of service of other

      officers and employees under sub-section (3) of section 56;

 

      (u) the form in which appeal may be filed and the fee thereof under sub

      -section (3) of section 57;

 

      (v) any other power of a civil court required to be prescribed under

      clause (g) of sub-section (2) of section 58; and

 

      (w) any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed.

 

      (3) Every notification made by the Central Government under clause (f) of

      subsection (4) of section 1 and every rule made by it shall be laid, as

      soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it

      is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in

      one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the

      expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive

      sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the

      notification or the rule or both Houses agree that the notification or the

      rule should not be made, the notification or the rule shall thereafter

      have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may

      be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without

      prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that

      notification or rule.

 

      88. Constitution of Advisory Committee.

 

      (1) The Central Government shall, as soon as may be after the commencement

      of this Act, constitute a Committee called the Cyber Regulations Advisory

      Committee.

 

      (2) The Cyber Regulations Advisory Committee shall consist of a

      Chairperson and such number of other official and non-official members

      representing the interests principally affected or having special

      knowledge of the subject-matter as the Central Government may deem fit.

 

      (3) The Cyber Regulations Advisory Committee shall advise  

 

      (a) the Central Government either generally as regards any rules or for

      any other purpose connected with this Act;

 

      (b) the Controller in framing the regulations under this Act.

 

      (4) There shall be paid to the non-official members of such Committee such

      travelling and other allowances as the Central Government may fix.

 

      89. Power of Controller to make regulations.

 

      (1) The Controller may, after consultation with the Cyber Regulations

      Advisory Committee and with the previous approval of the Central

      Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, make regulations

      consistent with this Act and the rules made thereunder to carry out the

      purposes of this Act.

 

      (2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the

      foregoing power, such regulations may provide for all or any of the

      following matters, namely :  

 

      (a) the particulars relating to maintenance of data-base containing the

      disclosure record of every Certifying Authority under clause (m) of

      section 18;

 

      (b) the conditions and restrictions subject to which the Controller may

      recognise any foreign Certifying Authority under sub-section (1) of

      section 19;

 

      (c) the terms and conditions subject to which a licence may be granted

      under clause (c) of sub-section (3) of section 21;

 

      (d) other standards to be observed by a Certifying Authority under clause

      (d) of section 30;

 

      (e) the manner in which the Certifying Authority shall disclose the

      matters specified in sub-section (1) of section 34;

 

      (f) the particulars of statement which shall accompany an application

      under sub-section (3) of section 35;

 

      (g) the manner in which the subscriber shall communicate the compromise of

      private key to the certifying Authority under sub-section (2) of section

      42.

 

      (3) Every regulation made under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be

      after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session,

      for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or

      in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the

      session immediately following the session or the successive sessions

      aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the regulation

      or both Houses agree that the regulation should not be made, the

      regulation shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or he

      of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification

      or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything

      previously done under (hat regulation.

 

      90. Power of State Government to make rules.

 

      (1) The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette,

      make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.

 

      (2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the

      foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following

      matters, namely :  

 

      (a) the electronic form in which filing, issue, grant receipt or payment

      shall be effected under sub-section (1) of section 6;

 

      (b) for matters specified in sub-section (2) of section 6;

 

      (c) any other matter which is required to be provided by rules by the

      State Government.

 

      (3) Every rule made by the State Government under this section shall be

      laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of the State

      Legislature where it consists of two Houses, or where such Legislature

      consists of one House, before that House.

 

      91. Amendment of Act 45 of 1860.

 

      The Indian Penal Code shall be amended in the manner specified in the

      First Schedule to this Act.

 

      92. Amendment of Act 1 of 1872.

 

      The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 shall be amended in the manner specified in

      the Second Schedule to this Act.

 

      93. Amendment of Act 18 of 1891.

 

      The Bankers' Books Evidence Act, 1891 shall be amended in the manner

      specified in the Third Schedule to this Act.

 

      94. Amendment of Act 2 of 1834.

 

      The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 shall be amended in the manner

      specified in the Fourth Schedule to this Act.

 

      SCHEDULES

 

      The First Schedule - Amendments to the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

 

      (See section 91)

 

      Amendments to the Indian Penal Code

 

      (45 of 1860)

 

      1. After section 29, the following section shall be inserted, namely : 

 

      Electronic record.

 

      "29A. The words "electronic record" shall have the meaning assigned to

      them in clause (t) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Information

      Technology Act, 2000."

 

      2. In section 167, for the words "such public servant, charged with the

      preparation or translation of any document, frames or translates that

      document", the words "such public servant, charged with the preparation or

      translation of any document or electronic record, frames, prepares or

      translates that document or electronic record" shall be substituted.

 

      3. In section 172, for the words "produce a document in a Court of

      Justice", the words "produce a document or an electronic record in a Court

      of Justice" shall be substituted.

 

      4. In section 173, for the words "to produce a document in a Court of

      Justice", the words "to produce a document or electronic record in a Court

      of Justice" shall be substituted.

 

      5. In section 175, for the word "document" at both the places where it

      occurs, the words "document or electronic record" shall be substituted.

 

      6. In section 192, for the words "makes any false entry in any book or

      record, or makes any document containing a false statement", the words

      "makes any false entry in any book or record, or electronic record or

      makes any document or electronic record containing a false statement"

      shall be substituted.

 

      7. In section 204, for the word "document" at both the places where it

      occurs, the words "document or electronic record" shall be substituted.

 

      8. In section 463, for the words "Whoever makes any false documents or

      part of a document with intent to cause damage or injury", the words

      "Whoever makes any false documents or false electronic record or part of a

      document or electronic record, with intent to cause damage or injury"

      shall be substituted.

 

      9. In section 464, —

 

      (a) for the portion beginning with the words "A person is said to make a

      false document" and ending with the words "by reason of deception

      practised upon him, he does not know the contents of the document or the

      nature of the alteration", the following shall be substituted, namely :—

 

      "A person is said to make a false document or false electronic record  

 

      First   Who dishonestly or fraudulently —

 

      (a) makes, signs, seals or executes a document or part of a document;

 

      (b) makes or transmits any electronic record or part of any electronic

      record;

 

      (c) affixes any digital signature on any electronic record;

 

      (d) makes any mark denoting the execution of a document or the

      authenticity of the digital signature,with the intention of causing it to

      be believed that such document or part of document, electronic record or

      digital signature was made, signed, sealed, executed, transmitted or

      affixed by or by the authority of a person by whom or by whose authority

      he knows that it was not made, signed, sealed, executed or affixed; or

 

      Secondly   Who, without lawful authority, dishonestly or fraudulently, by

      cancellation or otherwise, alters a document or an electronic record in

      any material part thereof, after it has been made, executed or affixed

      with digital signature either by himself or by any other person, whether

      such person be living or dead at the time of such alteration; or

 

      Thirdly   Who dishonestly or fraudulently causes any person to sign, seal,

      execute or alter a document or an electronic record or to affix his

      digital signature on any electronic record knowing that such person by

      reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication cannot, or that by reason of

      deception practised upon him, he does not know the contents of the

      document or electronic record or the nature of the alteration. " ;

 

 

      (b) after Explanation 2, the following Explanation shall be inserted at

      the end, namely :—

 

      'Explanation 3.—For the purposes of this section, the expression "affixing

      digital signature" shall have the meaning assigned to it in clause (d) of

      subsection (1) of section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.'.

 

      10. In section 466,—

 

      (a) for the words "Whoever forges a document", the words "Whoever forges a

      document or an electronic record" shall be substituted;

 

      (b) the following Explanation shall be inserted at the end, namely :—

 

      'Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, "register" includes any

      list, data or record of any entries maintained in the electronic form as

      defined in clause (r) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Information

      Technology Act, 2000.'.

 

      11. In section 468, for the words "document forged", the words "document

      or electronic record forged" shall be substituted.

 

      12. In section 469, for the words "intending that the document forged",

      the words "intending that the document or electronic record forged" shall

      be substituted.

 

      13. In section 470, for the word "document" in both the places where it

      occurs, the words "document or electronic record" shall be substituted.

 

      14. In section 471, for the word "document" wherever it occurs, the words

      "document or electronic record" shall be substituted.

 

      15. In section 474, for the portion beginning with the words "Whoever has

      in his possession any document" and ending with the words "if the document

      is one of the description mentioned in section 466 of this Code", the

      following shall be substituted, namely : —

 

      "Whoever has in his possession any document or electronic record, knowing

      the same to be forged and intending that the same shall fraudulently or

      dishonestly be used as a genuine, shall, if the document or electronic

      record is one of the description mentioned in section 466 of this Code.".

 

      16. In section 476, for the words "any document", the words "any document

      or electronic record" shall be substituted.

 

      17. In section 477A, for the words "book, paper, writing" at both the

      places where they occur, the words "book, electronic record, paper,

      writing" shall be substituted.

 

      The Second Schedule - Amendments to the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

 

      (See section 92)

 

      Amendments to the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

 

      (1 of 1872)

 

      1. In section 3,—

 

      (a) in the definition of "Evidence", for the words "all documents produced

      for the inspection of the Court", the words "all documents including

      electronic records produced for the inspection of the Court" shall be

      substituted;

 

      (b) after the definition of "India", the following shall be inserted,

      namely:  'the expressions "Certifying Authority", "digital signature",

      "Digital Signature Certificate", "electronic form", "electronic records",

      "information", "secure electronic record", "secure digital signature" and

      "subscriber" shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the

      Information Technology Act, 2000.'.

 

      2. In section 17, for the words "oral or documentary,", the words "oral or

      documentary or contained in electronic form" shall be substituted.

 

      3.After section 22, the following section shall be inserted, namely: —

 

      When oral admission as to contents of electronic records are relevant.

 

      "22A. Oral admissions as to the contents of electronic records are not

      relevant, unless the genuineness of the electronic record produced is in

      question.".

 

      4. In section 34, for the words "Entries in the books of account", the

      words "Entries in the books of account, including those maintained in an

      electronic form" shall be substituted.

 

      5. In section 35, for the word "record", in both the places where it

      occurs, the words "record or an electronic record" shall be substituted.

 

      6. For section 39, the following section shall be substituted, namely: —

 

      What evidence to be given when statement forms part of a conversation,

      document, electronic record, book or series of letters or papers.

 

      "39. When any statement of which evidence is given forms part of a longer

      statement, or of a conversation or pan of an isolated document, or is

      contained in a document which forms part of a book, or is contained in

      part of electronic record or of a connected series of letters or papers,

      evidence shall be given of so much and no more of the statement,

      conversation, document, electronic record, book or series of letters or

      papers as the Court considers necessary in that particular case to the

      full understanding of the nature and effect of the statement, and of the

      circumstances under which it was made.".

 

      7. After section 47, the following section shall be inserted, namely: —

 

      Opinion as to digital signature where relevant.

 

      "47A. When the Court has 10 form an opinion as to the digital signature of

      any person, the opinion of the Certifying Authority which has issued the

      Digital Signature Certificate is a relevant fact.".

 

      8. In section 59, for the words "contents of documents" the words

      "contents of documents or electronic records" shall be substituted.

 

      9. After section 65, the following sections shall be inserted, namely: —

 

      Special provisions as to evidence relating to electronic record.

 

      '65A. The contents of electronic records may be proved in accordance with

      the provisions of section 65B.

 

      Admissibility of electronic records.

 

      65B. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, any information

      contained in an electronic record which is printed on a paper, stored,

      recorded or copied in optical or magnetic media produced by a computer

      (hereinafter referred to as the computer output) shall be deemed to be

      also a document, if the conditions mentioned in this section are satisfied

      in relation to the information and computer in question and shall be

      admissible in any proceedings, without further proof or production of the

      original, as evidence of any contents of the original or of any fact

      stated therein of which direct evidence would be admissible.

 

      (2) The conditions referred to in sub-section (1) in respect of a computer

      output shall be the following, namely: —

 

      (a) the computer output containing the information was produced by the

      computer during the period over which the computer was used regularly to

      store or process information for the purposes of any activities regularly

      carried on over that period by the person having lawful control over the

      use of the computer;

 

      (b) during the said period, information of the kind contained in the

      electronic record or of the kind from which the information so contained

      is derived was regularly fed into the computer in the ordinary course of

      the said activities;

 

      (c) throughout the material part of the said period, the computer was

      operating properly or, if not, then in respect of any period in which it

      was not operating properly or was out of operation during that part of the

      period, was not such as to affect the electronic record or the accuracy of

      its contents; and

 

      (d) the information contained in the electronic record reproduces or is

      derived from such information fed into the computer in the ordinary course

      of the said activities.

 

      (3) Where over any period, the function of storing or processing

      information for the purposes of any activities regularly carried on over

      that period as mentioned in clause (a) of sub-section (2) was regularly

      performed by computers, whether—

 

      (a) by a combination of computers operating over that period; or

 

      (b) by different computers operating in succession over that period; or

 

      (c) by different combinations of computers operating in succession over

      that period; or

 

      (d) in any other manner involving the successive operation over that

      period, in whatever order, of one or more computers and one or more

      combinations of computers, all the computers used for that purpose during

      that period shall be treated for the purposes of this section as

      constituting a single computer; and references in this section to a

      computer shall be construed accordingly.

 

      (4) In any proceedings where it is desired to give a statement in evidence

      by virtue of this section, a certificate doing any of the following

      things, that is to say, —

 

      (a) identifying the electronic record containing the statement and

      describing the manner in which it was produced;

 

      (b) giving such particulars of any device involved in the production of

      that electronic record as may be appropriate for the purpose of showing

      that the electronic record was produced by a computer;

 

      (c) dealing with any of the matters to which the conditions mentioned in

      sub-section (2) relate,

 

      and purporting to be signed by a person occupying a responsible official

      position in relation to the operation of the relevant device or the

      management of the relevant activities (whichever is appropriate) shall be

      evidence of any matter stated in the certificate; and for the purposes of

      this sub-section it shall be sufficient for a matter to be stated to the

      best of the knowledge and belief of the person stating it.

 

      (5) For the purposes of this section, —

 

      (a) information shall be taken to be supplied to a computer if it is

      supplied thereto in any appropriate form and whether it is so supplied

      directly or (with or without human intervention) by means of any

      appropriate equipment;

 

      (b) whether in the course of activities carried on by any official,

      information is supplied with a view to its being stored or processed for

      the purposes of those activities by a computer operated otherwise than in

      the course of those activities, that information, if duly supplied to that

      computer, shall be taken to be supplied to it in the course of those

      activities;

 

      (c) a computer output shall be taken to have been produced by a computer

      whether it was produced by it directly or (with or without human

      intervention) by means of any appropriate equipment.

 

      Explanation.—For the purposes of this section any reference to information

      being derived from other information shall be a reference to its being

      derived therefrom by calculation, comparison or any other process.

 

      10. After section 67, the following section shall be inserted, namely : —

 

      Proof as to digital signature.

 

      "67A. Except in the case of a secure digital signature, if the digital

      signature of any subscriber is alleged to have been affixed to an

      electronic record the fact that such digital signature is the digital

      signature of the subscriber must be proved.".

 

      11. After section 73, the following section shall be inserted, namely: —

 

      Proof as to verification of digital signature.

 

      '73A. In order to ascertain whether a digital signature is that of the

      person by whom it purports to have been affixed, the Court may direct—

 

      (a) that person or the Controller or the Certifying Authority to produce

      the Digital Signature Certificate;

 

      (b) any other person to apply the public key listed in the Digital

      Signature Certificate and verify the digital signature purported to have

      been affixed by that person.

 

      Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, "Controller" means the

      Controller appointed under sub-section (1) of section 17 of the

      Information Technology Act, 2000'.

 

      12. Presumption as to Gazettes in electronic forms.

 

      After section 81, the following section shall be inserted, namely: —

 

      "81A. The Court shall presume the genuineness of every electronic record

      purporting to be the Official Gazette, or purporting to be electronic

      record directed by any law to be kept by any person, if such electronic

      record is kept substantially in the form required by law and is produced

      from proper custody.".

 

      13. Presumption as to electronic agreements.

 

      After section 85, the following sections shall be inserted, namely: —

 

      "85A. The Court shall presume that every electronic record purporting to

      be an agreement containing the digital signatures of the parties was so

      concluded by affixing the digital signature of the parties.

 

      Presumption as to electronic records and digital signatures.

 

      85B. (1) In any proceedings involving a secure electronic record, the

      Court shall presume unless contrary is proved, that the secure electronic

      record has not been altered since the specific point of time to which the

      secure status relates.

 

      (2) In any proceedings, involving secure digital signature, the Court

      shall presume unless the contrary is proved that—

 

      (a) the secure digital signature is affixed by subscriber with the

      intention of signing or approving the electronic record;

 

      (b) except in the case of a secure electronic record or a secure digital

      signature, nothing in this section shall create any presumption relating

      to authenticity and integrity of the electronic record or any digital

      signature.

 

      Presumption as to Digital Signature Certificates.

 

      85C. The Court shall presume, unless contrary is proved, that the

      information listed in a Digital Signature Certificate is correct, except

      for information specified as subscriber information which has not been

      verified, if the certificate was accepted by the subscriber.".

 

      14. Presumption as to electronic messages.

 

      After section 88, the following section shall be inserted, namely: —

 

      '88A. The Court may presume that an electronic message forwarded by the

      originator through an electronic mail server to the addressee to whom the

      message purports to be addressed corresponds with the message as fed into

      his computer for transmission; but the Court shall not make any

      presumption as to the person by whom such message was sent.

 

      Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, the expressions "addressee"

      and "originator" shall have the same meanings respectively assigned to

      them in clauses (b) and (za) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the

      Information Technology Act, 2000.'.

 

      15. Presumption as to electronic records five years old.

 

      After section 90, the following section shall be inserted, namely: —

 

      "90A. Where any electronic record, purporting or proved to be five years

      old, is produced from any custody which the Court in the particular case

      considers proper, the Court may presume that the digital signature which

      purports to be the digital signature of any particular person was so

      affixed by him or any person authorised by him in this behalf.

 

      Explanation.—Electronic records are said to be in proper custody if they

      are in the place in which, and under the care of the person with whom,

      they naturally be; but no custody is improper if it is proved to have had

      a legitimate origin, or the circumstances of the particular case are such

      as to render such an origin probable.

 

      This Explanation applies also to section 81A.".

 

      16. For section 131, the following section shall be substituted, namely: —

 

      Production of documents or electronic records which another person, having

      possession, could refuse to produce.

 

      "131. No one shall be compelled to produce documents in his possession or

      electronic records under his control, which any other person would be

      entitled to refuse to produce if they were in his possession or control,

      unless such last-mentioned person consents to their production.".

 

      The Third Schedule - Amendments to the Bankers' Books Evidence Act, 1891.

 

      (See section 93)

 

      Amendments to the Bankers' Books Evidence Act, 1891

 

      (18 of 1891)

 

      1. In section 2 —

 

      (a) for clause (3), the following clause shall be substituted, namely :—

 

      '(3) "bankers' books" include ledgers, day-books, cash-books,

      account-books and all other books used in the ordinary business of a bank

      whether kept in the written form or as printouts of data stored in a

      floppy, disc, tape or any other form of electro-magnetic data storage

      device;

 

      (b) for clause (8), the following clause shall be substituted, namely:  

      '(8) "certified copy" means when the books of a bank,—

 

      (a) are maintained in written form, a copy of any entry in such books

      together with a certificate written; the foot of such copy that it is a

      true copy of such entry, that such entry is contained in one of the

      ordinary books of the bank and was made in the usual and ordinary course

      of business and that such book is still in the custody of the bank, and

      where the copy was obtained by a mechanical or other process which in

      itself ensured the accuracy of the copy, a further certificate to that

      effect, but where the book from which such copy was prepared has been

      destroyed in the usual course of the bank's business after the date on

      which the copy had been so prepared, a further certificate to that effect,

      each such certificate being dated and subscribed by the principal

      accountant or manager of the bank with his name and official title; and

 

      (b) consist of printouts of data stored in a floppy, disc, tape or any

      other electro-magnetic data storage device, a printout of such entry or a

      copy of such printout together with such statements certified in

      accordance with the provisions of section 2A.'.

 

      2. After section 2, the following section shall be inserted, namely:  

 

      Conditions in the printout.

 

      "2A. A printout of entry or a copy of printout referred to in sub-section

      (8) of section 2 shall be accompanied by the following, namely: —

 

      (a) a certificate to the effect that it is a printout of such entry or a

      copy of such printout by the principal accountant or branch manager; and

 

      (b) a certificate by a person in-charge of computer system containing a

      brief description of the computer system and the particulars of—

 

      (A) the safeguards adopted by the system to ensure that data is entered or

      any other operation performed only by authorised persons;

 

      (B) the safeguards adopted to prevent and detect unauthorised change of

      data;

 

      (C) the safeguards available to retrieve data that is lost due to systemic

      failure or any other reasons;

 

      (D) the manner in which data is transferred from the system to removable

      media like floppies, discs, tapes or other electro-magnetic data storage

      devices;

 

      (E) the mode of verification in order to ensure that data has been

      accurately transferred to such removable media;

 

      (F) the mode of identification of such data storage devices;

 

      (G) the arrangements for the storage and custody of such storage devices;

 

      (H) the safeguards to prevent and detect any tampering with the system;

      and

 

      (I) any other factor which will vouch for the integrity and accuracy of

      the system.

 

      (c) a further certificate from the person in-charge of the computer system

      to the effect that to the best of his knowledge and belief, such computer

      system operated properly at the material time, he was provided with all

      the relevant data and the printout in question represents correctly, or is

      appropriately derived from, the relevant data.".

 

      The Fourth Schedule - Amendment to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

 

      (See section 94)

 

      Amendment to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934

 

      (2 of 1934)

 

      In the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, in section 58, in sub-section (2),

      after clause (p), the following clause shall be inserted, namely :—

 

      "(pp) the regulation of fund transfer through electronic means between the

      banks or between the banks and other financial institutions referred to in

      clause (c) of section 45-1, including the laying down of the conditions

      subject to which banks and other financial institutions shall participate

      in such fund transfers, the manner of such fund transfers and the rights

      and obligations of the participants in such fund transfers;".

 

      SUBHASH C. JAIN,

      Secy. to the Govt. of India.

 

      PRINTED BY THE MANAGER, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA PRESS (PLU), MINTO ROAD, NEW

      DELHI AND PUBLISHED BY THE CONTROLLER OF PUBLICATIONS, DELHI, 2000.

 

      MGIP (PLU) MRND—1359G1—14-6-2000.