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THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, 2000
   ACT 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-based method 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:-

CHAPTER I

 PRELIMINARY

(1)   Short title, extent and commencement.--(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 (26 of 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 (39 of 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 sub-section (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 programme  ,  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 data bases 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) f 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 corresp nding law, if any, in force in that area.

CHAPTER 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 ev ry 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.   

CHAPTER 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 h ve 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 then, notwithstanding anything co tained  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" sh ll  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 ransaction 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.

CHAPTER IV

ATTRIBUTION, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 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. Acknowledgement  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 ackno ledgment 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  despatch of an electronic record occurs when it enters a computer resource outside the control of the originato.

(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 despatched  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 lace 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.

 CHAPTER V  

SECURE ELECTRONIC RECORDS AND SECURE DIGITAL SIGNATURES     

14. Secure electronic record.  

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.  

REGULATION OF CERTIFYING AUTHORITIES      

CHAPTER 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 app int 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. 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.

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 subscriber  

(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, r cognise 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 notificati n  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   Signat   re 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 data base 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 data base 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 anyof 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  (43  of 1961) and shall exercise such powers, subject to such li itations 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 whic 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.

CHAPTER 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 the 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 reposi ory 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 be, in all such repositories.

 

 CHAPTER 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 subscribe 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.

   CHAPTER 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  networ 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, he 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 ystem 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 wh n 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 mannner prescribed y 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 on 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 (45 of 1860);

(b)  shall be deemed to be a civil court for the purposes of  sections 345 and 346 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).

 

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.

  
CHAPTER X


 THE CYBER REGULATIONS 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  Presiding  Officer  of  the   Cyber  Appellate  Tribunal)  to  be appointed, by notification, by the Central Government.

 50. Qualifications  for  appointment  as Presiding Officer  of  the  CyberAppellate Tribunal.

 

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.

 

 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.

 

 

 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 of 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  n  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 of 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  forty-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 forty-five days  if  it  is satisfied  that  there was sufficient cause for 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 appea ed 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 ap eal.

  58. Procedure and powers of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal.

 

  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 (5 of 1908) but shall be  guided by  the  principles  of  natural justice and, subject  to  the  otherprovisions  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 (5 of 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- parte;

 (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 (45  of 1860) and the Cyber Appellate Tribuna shall be deemed to be  a civil  court  for the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of  the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).
  

 59. Right to legal representation.


 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.

 

 60.   Limitation.-The  provisions of the Limitation Act, 1963  (36  of 1963),  shall, as far as may be, apply to an appeal made to the  Cyber Appellate Tribunal.

 61. Civil court not to have jurisdiction.
 

  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 i 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.

 

  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.

 

 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  behal  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.    

 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.     

CHAPTER

OFFENCES

CHAPTER XI

OFFENCES   

 65. Tampering with computer source documents.    

 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, comp ter  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 oth.  

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.    

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 i s value or utility or affects it injuriously by any means, commits hacking.

 (2)  Whoever commits hacking shall be punished with imprisonment up to three  years, or with fine which may extend up to two lakh rupees,  or with both.

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

 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 t 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 exte d 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.    

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 with  the  provisions  of  this Act, rules  or  any  regulations  made thereunder.  as specified in the order if those are necessary to ensure compliance  

(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.    

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  States  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.    

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 l able to fine.

71. Penalty for misrepresentation.  

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 ith  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.    

 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 ot er 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.    

 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.

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.     

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 lo ated in India.   

 76. Confiscation.     

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 accessorie 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.     

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  th  time being in force.   

78. Power to investigate offences.

78.  Power to investigate offences.-Notwithstanding anything contained in  the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), a police officer not   below  the  rank  of   Deputy  Superintendent  of  Police  shall investigate any offence under this Act.    

CHAPTER

NETWORK SERVICE PROVIDERS NOT TO BE LIABLE IN CERTAIN CASES    

CHAPTER XII  

NETWORK SERVICE PROVIDERS NOT TO BE LIABLE IN CERTAIN CASES     

79. 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 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.  Act, rules or regulations made  thereunder for any third party  

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;    

CHAPTER

MISCELLANEOUS     

CHAPTER XIII  

MISCELLANEOUS    

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

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

(1)  Notwithstanding  anything contained in the Code of  Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), any police officer, not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, or any other of icer 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 commi ting 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.     

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  Collector and Assistant Controllers to be  public servants.  

82.   Controller,  Deputy  Collector 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 t be  public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).    

83. Power to give directions.     

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.     

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 officer 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.    

 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 pla e 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 contraven ion 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.    

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 app ar 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.     

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 matters, 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 sub-section (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 (d) of sub-section (2) of section 22;  

(m)  the form and the fee for renewal of a licence and the fee payable thereof 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 sub-section (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  sub-section  (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 peri d 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 suc modification or annulment shall be  without prejudice  to  the  validity of anything previously  done  under  that notification or rule.  

88.  Constitution of Advisory Committee.     

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 Govern ent  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.    

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 cons stent 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 sess ons, 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 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  regulation.  regulation should not be made, the regulation shall thereafter have   

90. Power of State Government to make rules.     

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.    

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.    

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.  

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 1934.    

94. Amendment of Act 2 of 1934.-The Reserve Bank of India Act,  1934 shall  be  amended in the manner specified in the Fourth  Schedule  to this Act.  ----

 

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