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Commit cyber crime, Get Bail-The Scheme of Section 77-B IT AA, 2008

The IT Amendment Act, 2008 has introduced many new cyber offences like phishing, identity theft, video voyeurism, cyber terrorism etc.  However, at the same time, the legislature as it seems has taken by one hand what it gave with other. Section 77-B has been introduced under the Amendment Act as per which the offence punishable with imprisonment of three years and above shall be cognizable and the offence punishable with imprisonment of three years shall be bailable. Thus, by introducing section 77-B in IT AA, 2008, the legislature has made most of the cyber offences, bailable which would further encourage the cyber criminals to commit the cyber crime with impunity and secure his release by obtaining bail. The hands of the law enforcement officers would be tied as he cannot secure custodial interrogation of the accused persons who may have hacked the system of big corporate house and stolen data worth million of dollars. The custodial interrogation of the accused person is of utmost importance here to trace & prove the incident of cyber crime like; seizure of the system, hard disk, or other vital digital evidences. If the accused person is enlarged on bail, he would soon destroy the fragile digital evidence and his trial would be mere a farce. It is ironical to see that a simple traditional theft u/s 379 IPC is cognizable & non bailable whereas if the same data theft worth million of dollars is committed by hacking the same is bailable which do not make any sense and is grossly illogical. Can we afford to make bailable the offence of data theft or for that matter other heinous cyber offences like phishing, identity theft etc. merely because it has been committed electronically? The legislation should ponder upon this and make this offences non-bailable on the basis of their gravity and not on the basis of the quantum of punishment as has been done under the newly inserted section 77-B ITAA, 2008.

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