PNJ- PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL JUSTICE

The concept of ‘Principles of Natural Justice’ were derived from the Romans who believed that some Legal Principles need not require a statutory basis but that principles are ‘Natural’ and ‘Self-evident’. Almost all the Judicial and Quasi-Judicial authorities usually adopt this concept before reaching to the judgment of the deciding case.

 

MEANING OF NATURAL JUSTICE:

 

The ‘Natural Justice’ implies fairness, reasonableness, equity and equality. The expression ‘Natural Justice’ is nothing but Justice based upon innates moral feelings of the mankind. Though there is no particular definition has been given but the basic requirements of the natural justice are well known and have been repeatedly affirmed by the Courts of highest authority. ‘Natural Justice’ is also an expression of art that denotes of specific procedural rights in English legal system and systems of other nations based on it, while most of the times the term ‘Natural Justice’ is replaced and extended by the general duty to act fairly and impartially. The term ‘Natural Justice’ can be defined in the following ways such as:

1. ‘Natural Justice’ is a Universal Justice.

2. ‘Natural Justice’ is the administration of justice.

3. ‘Natural Justice’ is natural sense of what is right and wrong.

4. ‘Natural Justice’ is a fundamental justice.

5. ‘Natural Justice’ is a duty to act impartially and action should be taken fairly.

6. ‘Natural Justice’ means to act fairly, bona- fidely, without bias and in judicial temper.

 

Essential Features of Natural Justice:

 

The law requires fairness from a person exercising an administrative power. This is not something that can be set down in anticipation or in a fixed body of rules, as what is fair in any given situation depends on the circumstances. The main features of Natural Justice are as follows:

1. The right to be heard by an unbiased Tribunal

2. The right to have notice of charges of misconduct,

3. The right to be heard in answer to that charge

 

AIM AND OBJECTS OF NATURAL JUSTICE:

 

1. The main aim of the ‘Natural Justice’ is to prevent mis-carriage of justice.

2. To provide a person opportunity of being heard before passing the final order of the case.

3. There should not be involvement of any kind of bias among the judges while deciding the matter.

 

What exactly are these principles?

 

Basically, these are principles, which are necessary for a just and fair decision-making. These principles are often embedded in the rules of procedure, which govern the judiciary. For example, the Civil Procedure Code prescribes a detailed procedure under which the Defendant has the right to reply to the Plaint; both sides have the right to inspect the documents relied upon by the other side and both sides have the right to cross-examine one another’s witnesses. The judgment must give reasons for the decision.

 

PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL JUSTICE:

 

The concepts of social and economic justice that can be seen in the Preamble of the Constitution are based on the principles of natural justice. Article 311 incorporates many of the features of the natural justice without explicitly mentioning it. Violation of natural justice is equal to violation of Equality of the Article 14.

The ‘Principles of Natural Justice’ (PNJ) are those rules, which have been laid down by the courts as being the minimum protection of the rights of the individuals against the arbitrary procedure that may be adopted by a judicial and quasi- judicial authority while making an order affecting those rights. These rules are intended to prevent such authority from doing injustice.

An adjudicating authority must act impartially and Principles of Natural Justice to be adopted before reaching to the judgment of any case. The principles of Natural Justice includes certain rules are as follows:

1. No man should be condemned unheard whereas party should be given a right to be heard.

2. No man shall be a judge in his own cause.

3. A party is entitled to know the reasons for decision.

4. Making available to parties to a statutory enquiry into the matter of dispute.

 

All the above stated Principles of Natural Justice concern about the procedural fairness that protects rights of individuals and enhances public confidence in the process. In English jurisprudence Principles of Natural Justice consists of two elements which are in Latin Maxims but simple are as follows:

 

a) Doctrine of Audi Alteram Partem:

It means hear the other side or no men should be condemned unheard. Whenever a case comes before adjudicating body, each party or individual must be given a fair opportunity to present his case and both the parties should be heard fairly so that no man should be penalized by a decision affecting his fundamental rights.

The authoritative body while deciding the matter must act fairly and in a bona- fide manner by giving an opportunity to both the parties to present their case so that no party will be condemned unheard’ The Doctrine of Audi Alteram Partem or the right of fair hearing includes certain essential elements which are as follows:

1. Prior notice of the hearing.

2. The opportunity to be heard.

3. The conduct of the hearing.

4. The right to legal representation.

5. The decision and reason for it

 

There are also exceptions to the doctrine of Audi Alteram Partem. In the cases of urgency, post decision hearings and where no prejudice has been caused by the person action can be taken without a hearing.

 

b) Doctrine of Nemo Debet Ersse judex in Propria Causa:

A fair and impartial hearing is at the root of this principle.

It means rule against bias or no man judge of his own cause. Bias is a predisposition or an influence or unfairly opinion that prevents a person from impartially evaluating the facts, which were presented for determination. A decision maker of the case must act impartially and in an unbiased manner.

The two essential aspects of the rule against bias are that a person or judge while adjudicating the matter or any litigation must have no pecuniary interest in the outcome of the proceedings. An adjudicating body should not hear the case of a company in which case he is also one of the parties of a dispute.

The term bias can be in the form of actual bias, imputed bias and apparent bias. The ‘Actual Bias’ is established where the Adjudicating Authority was influenced in favour or against one of the party of the case. The ‘Imputed Bias’ is established where the Adjudicating Authority is one of the party to a suit and having a pecuniary interest in the outcome of the decision. The ‘Apparent Bias’ is established where Adjudicating Authority is neither a party to a suit nor influenced by any of the party to a dispute but it is the conduct and behavior of the decision maker, which leads to degree of suspicion that proves the apparent biased.

 

DHAWESH PAHUJA

NOTE ON RIGHT TO INFORMATION

Dhawesh Pahuja

In modern India where politics plays a vital role, Corruption among the Public Officials is growing with a high speed day by day. To bring transparency and openness for the citizens to know about their Governmentary System and its administrative functions, the Government of India repealed ‘Freedom of Information Act, 2002’ and passed a new legislation ‘Right To Information Act, 2005’ called as one of the best transparency laws in the world.

The main aim of ‘Right To Information Act, 2005’ is to ensure accountability in the workings of every public authorities by providing access to information to the citizens and to bring reduction in corruption. As preamble itself speaks that the RTI Act was enacted to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every Public Authority in order to strengthen the core constitutional values of a democratic republic. One of the main purposes is also to make the government free from corruption and arbitrariness. This act has its wider scope in the country like India where almost all the public officials are involved in the cases of corruption.

The Right and Duty/Obligation are correlated to each other. Every citizen of India has right to seek information from the public officer if needed, that is by filing a request or application and it is the duty of public officer to provide such an information without any failure. The right and duty are correlated to each other as two faces of the same coin. When the right is claimed by one person, the obligation arises on the other side.

‘Right’ means a well-founded claim which can always be implied by the nature of the human being. If the claim is founded or given by law, it is a legal right. Men are by their inherent nature moral and social beings, they have therefore mutual claim upon one another. Generally correlation of legal right is legal duty.

‘Information’ means only that information which is recorded in a material form not in a oral form and includes records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to private body which can easily be accessed by the public authority. Information asked should always be administrative in nature.

‘Right To Information’ is a statutory right conferred on the citizens of India which is equivalent to the right to freedom of speech and expression given under Article- 19(1) (a) of the Indian Constitution. Even Corporates and Associations can avail the information from the public authorities but only through the individuals who constitute their management. If the concerned public authority is failed in providing sufficient information then Public Information Officer can be penalized for such offence.

Public Authority means any authority or body or institution which is established by the government and set up under the Indian Constitution.

Procedure for obtaining information: The person, who is willing to obtain any information from the public officer, shall make a request to the Public Information Officer in writing under Form- A or through electronic means. For this he has to pay Rs: 20 by treasury challan and cash. Similarly a sum of Rs: 15 will be charged per hour, or any fraction thereof, to inspect the documents. The cost of photocopying one page has been fixed at Rs: 5, for computer printout Rs: 10 per page and for CDs and Floppies Rs: 100 per piece. The name of the person must be included while requesting for the information, though reason for requesting information need not be stated. Firstly the application should be filed before the Assistant Public Officer and he will transmit the application within 5 days to the Public Information Officer, who has to dispose the application within 30 days. A prescribed fee as above stated should be paid to the public authority along with the application for seeking information. If the accurate information is not provided then complaint or application or appeal can be filed to Central/ State Information Commission. For First Appeal Rs: 40 and for Second Appeal Rs: 50 will also be charged. Public Information Officer is bound to find out sources and availability of the information. Frivolous information will not be entertained by the public authority.

Madhya Pradesh was the only first state in India to become actively engaged in securing the Right to Information for the public in October 1996. After which many states have brought out the act into force in the state.

Exemption from disclosure of information:

a) Information which affect the sovereignty and integrity of India.

b) Information which has been expressely forbidden by any court of law.

c) Information, if disclosed will lead to breach of privilege of parliament.

d) Information, if endangers lives of the whistle blowers.

e) Information received in confidence from foreign countries.

f) Information containing commercial and trade secrets.

If there is failure on the part of Public Information Officer in providing information and that too without any reasonable cause then penalty in the form of fine can be imposed which will be Rs: 250/- per day but should not extend to Rs/- 25000.

 

Case Study:

1. The Central Board of Secondary Education and Another V/S Aditya Bandopadhyay and Others (AIR 2011 SCW 4888)

According to this case question before the court was whether the answer book of a ‘Student’ is a document under ‘Right to Information Act, 2005’. The Court held that when a candidate participate in an examination and submits its answer book containing answers to the examining body for evaluation and declaration of the result, the answer book is a document or record. The evaluated book of the Student is the opinion of the examiner and it can also be considered as ‘information’ under Section: 2 (f) & (i) of the Act.

2. Vijay Prakash V/S Union of India (AIR 2010 DEL 7)

According to this case it is stated that the disclosures of service records of a public servant sought by husband so as to establish his case in matrimonial proceedings. The court held that it shall not be permissible under Section: 8 of the ‘Right to Information Act, 2005’

 

Note on Cross Examination

Dhawesh Pahuja

In India where large number of complaints and cases are filed in civil and criminal courts every day, delay in justice is common as pendency of cases in courts are also growing rapidly. Examination of witnesses plays an important role in the presentation of the evidence in a court of law irrespective of civil or criminal case and admissibility of evidence is also an important aspect which has to be decided by the judges only. Due to which each case will be looked upon clearly and it will take long time to pass the judgment by the court. The examination of witnesses can be classified into three types as defined under ‘Sec: 137’ of ‘Indian Evidence Act, 1872’ as follows:-

Examination-in-chief means the examination of witness by the party who calls him shall be called his examination-in-chief.

Cross-Examination means the examination of witness by the adverse party shall be called his cross-examination.

Re-Examination means the examination of a witness, subsequent to the cross-examination by the party who called him, shall be called his re-examination.

The art of Cross-Examination plays an important role in the trial of each case which involves hard work and talent of lawyers while providing justice to their clients. A perfect lawyer should learn the art of Cross-Examination not by reading newspapers but the successful artist learns by doing it, or watching others do it well; by reading trial and deposition transcripts or, better yet, by conducting the examination personally. The trial lawyer must learn as well to adapt to particular witnesses and different cases.

The right of Cross-Examination is one of the most powerful instrumentalities provided lawyers in the conduct of litigation. One of the most important purposes of Cross-Examination is to attempt to destroy the testimony or the credibility of the opponent’s witnesses. Justice is not served if a witness is unable to communicate credibility to a jury. The search for truth is the ultimate and idealistic end of all litigated matter in a court trial.

The main object of Cross-Examination is to find out the truth and detection of falsehood in human testimony. It is designed either to destroy or weaken the force of evidence which is already given by a witness. Cross-Examination of witness is a duty of every lawyer towards his client and not a matter of glory and fame. It is the most efficacious test to discover the truth and to detect the false statements of the witness. It should be remembered that the Justice should not be defeated by the improper Cross-Examination. One of the purposes of Cross-Examination is to asking questions regarding what the witness has stated in the Examination-in-chief and the answer is the reply by the witness to the question put by the advocate.

Often, however, one needs to spend time with the witness to develop several critical points to counter the impact of the direct examination. Before initiating a Cross-Examination of any witness, the lawyer should clearly bear in mind those points he or she wishes to make with that witness. And then, he or she should write them down. These points also should be discussed with those who are assisting at trial. Patience is the virtue in Cross-Examination and judges must give chance to every party to Cross-Examine the other party’s witness.

A lawyer should use leading questions i.e. “is that correct?” and “isn’t it a fact” etc. at the time of Cross-Examining of the witness because asking only leading questions is perhaps the oldest rule of Cross-Examination. It is an old rule because it is a good one. Leading questions are most effective because they essentially allow the Cross-Examiner to testify and the witness to ratify. The technique advances one of the important dynamics of the courtroom is control. Asking leading questions allows the Cross-Examiner to be forceful, fearless, knowledgeable and informative. Good thing come from leading questions. Usually be aware that leading questions also can grow tiresome. No one likes to hear a hundred questions in a row that end with, “is that correct?” and all the questions put during the trial of Cross-examination must be lawful as permitted under ‘Sec: 146’ of ‘Indian Evidence Act, 1872’.

Questions asked during the Cross-Examination must be relevant to the issue related in the facts of the case and indecent & scandalous questions can also be asked by the advocate at the time of Cross-Examination unless they relate to the fact in issue. Most importantly questions intended to insult or annoy should be forbidden by the court though questions seems to be proper.

The court who has authoritative power to decide the case can recall the witness for the Cross-Examination based on the facts and circumstances of the particular case and a summary procedure does not take away the rights of the parties to Cross-Examine whereas every party has to be given fair deal in the matter of Cross-Examination. There are certain important points which can be considered as chief heads of the Cross-Examination as follows:-

1. To cause the witness to alter or amend his evidence by questioning about his testimony.

2. To modify the evidence given under the Examination-in-chief, by causing the witness to speak to supplementary facts to show the reasons and circumstances.

3. To discredit the evidence of witness by putting questions connected with his character.

4. From reasons arising out of his evidence by causing him to give further evidence.

5. To cause him to give evidence to be received as true.

Case Study:

1. Hari Narayan singh v/s State of West Bengal (2009 CriLJ 4001 [cal.])

(Ratio-Impeaching the credit of a Witness by Cross-Examining)

According to this case court observed that it is not necessary that all the persons who happen to be there should be brought as witnesses. One witness out of several is good enough, if his testimony legally acceptable and believable.

2. Bhagwan Singh v/s State of Bihar (AIR 1976 SC 202)

(Ratio-Cross-Examination of Hostile Witness)

In this case Supreme Court observed “where the court gives permission to the prosecutor to Cross-Examine his own witness thus characterizing him as, hostile witness, that fact does not completely effaces his evidence. The evidence remains admissible in the trial and there is no legal bar to base a conviction upon his testimony if corroborated by other reliable evidence.

Cruelty Against Husband in India

DHAWESH PAHUJA

In India where marriage is the union between man and woman to get social status in the society and marriage is nothing but procreation and caring of the child. According to Westmark Marriage has been often like as an institution made by itself. As there is increase in number of marriages every day, at the same time breakdown of marriages in the society has also been seen to be increasing whether by fault of husband or wife. Though cases filed by wife against husband and in-laws under Domestic Violence Act and 498-A of IPC to claim maintenance and divorce but all complaints are not filed bona-fidely. Freedoms of education, job opportunities, economic independence and social attitude have brought tremendous change in the status of women. The balance of scale has tilted reversely in favour of women.

Cruelty is an inhuman treatment and it is an act that causes mental sufferings and endangers to the life and health of the other. Cruelty may be in the form of physical as well as mental by the act either of the husband or the wife. Though it is the women who have always been subjected to be tortured and harassed by the husband and relatives, in fact saying this will not be proper as cases of torture and harassment against the husband by the wife is increasing day by day. Cruelty is the main ground to seek divorce as defined under ‘Sec 13(1) (i-a)’ of ‘The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955’ and party who is filing a case must prove that living between husband and wife became impossible.

There are many provisions made applicable for the protection of the women, which has got recognition from our constitutional law. The biased nature of these laws is evident from that fact that unlike almost all laws in INDIA the burden to prove innocence lies on the accused and this means as soon as the complaint is made by the aggrieved person/ wife, the result is that the husband and his family may be immediately arrested and will be considered as accused in the eyes of law. According to the ‘Section 498-A’ of the ‘IPC’ the wife and her parental family can charge any or all of the husband’s family of physical or mental cruelty but genuineness of the case has to be looked into by the court as this section is cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable in nature.

What amounts to cruelty against husband? Though it is the duty of the court to decide the case based on facts and circumstances but what amounts to cruelty is an important aspect as misuse of Laws by the wife against husband in society is growing day by day and most apparently some Indian Urban educated women have turned the tables and are using these laws as weapon to unleash personal vendetta on their husbands and innocent relatives and there are certain grounds on which cruelty against husband can be proved:-

• Misuse of Dowry Laws, Domestic Violence Act and ‘Sec: 498-A’ of IPC by wife against husband and in-laws of husband through lodging false complaints.

• Desertion by wife which means wife deliberately intending for separation and to bring cohabitation permanently to an end.

• Adultery by the wife means wife having sexual relationship with some other person during the lifetime of marriage and there must be strict law to punish wife who has committed adultery.

• Wife opting out for second marriage without applying for the divorce proceedings.

• Threatening to leave husband’s home and threat to commit suicide by the wife.

• Cruel behavior of wife where wife tearing the shirt of the husband, refusing to cook food properly or on time and breaking of the mangalsutra in the presence of husband’s relatives.

• Abusing and accusing husband by way of insulting in presence of in-laws and in some cases wife abusing husband in front of office staff members.

• Wife refusing to have sex with husband without any sufficient reasons which can be considered as a ground of cruelty and husband can file a divorce petition.

• Lowering reputation of the husband by using derogatory words in presence of family members and elders.

• Lodging FIR against husband and in-laws which has later proved as false report.

• Conduct and misbehavior of the wife against husband i.e. pressuring husband to leave his home, insisting for the separate residence, mentally torture and disrespectful behavior towards husband and in-laws as well.

• Some other grounds of cruelty i.e. mental disorder and unsoundness of wife, Impotency of wife, illicit relationship of wife with some other person and Wife suffering from the filarial.

• Extra-marital affairs of wife can also be a ground of cruelty against the husband.

• Initiating criminal proceedings against husband and in-laws of husband with mala-fide intention by the wife.

CASE LAWS: situations in Hindu marriage where a wife was held as ‘cruel’ to the husband and the Hindu divorce law was applied by the Supreme Court:

I. Mrs. Deepalakshmi Saehia Zingade v/s Sachi Rameshrao Zingade (AIR 2010 Bom 16)

In this case petitioner/wife filed a false case against her husband on the ground of ‘Husband Having Girl Friend’ which is proved as false in a court of law so it can be considered as cruelty against husband.

II. Anil Bharadwaj v Nimlesh Bharadwaj (AIR 1987 Del 111)

According to this case a wife who refuses to have sexual intercourse with the husband without giving any reason was proved as sufficient ground which amounts to cruelty against husband.

III. Kalpana v. Surendranath (AIR 1985 All 253)

According to this case it has been observed that where a wife who refuses to prepare tea for the husband’s friends was declared by the court as cruelty to husband.

Though the amendments introduced in the penal code are with the laudable object of eradicating the evil of Dowry, such provisions cannot be allowed to be misused by the parents and the relatives of a psychopath wife who may have chosen to end her life for reason which may be many other than cruelty. The glaring reality cannot be ignored that the ugly trend of false implications in view to harass and blackmail an innocent spouse and his relatives, i.e. fast emerging. A strict law need to be passed by the parliament for saving the institution of marriage and to punish those women who are trying to misguide the court by filing false reports just to make the life of men miserable and ‘justice should not only be done but manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done’.

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN INDIA

In India where almost half of the population are women, they have always been ill-treated and deprived of their right to life and personal liberty as provided under the constitution of India. Women are always considered as a physically and emotionally weaker than the males, whereas at present women have proved themselves in almost every field of life affirming that they are no less than men due to their hard work whether at home or working places. Behind closed doors of homes all across our country, people are being tortured, beaten and killed. It is happening in rural areas, towns, cities and in metropolitans as well. It is crossing all social classes, genders, racial lines and age groups. It is becoming a legacy being passed on from one generation to another. But offences against women which reflects the pathetic reality that women are just not safe and secure anywhere. According to a latest report prepared by India’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a crime has been recorded against women in every three minutes in India. Every 60 minutes, two women are raped in this country. Every six hours, a young married woman is found beaten to death, burnt or driven to suicide.

Violence against women is not a new phenomenon. Women have to bear the burns of domestic, public, physical as well as emotional and mental violence against them, which affects her status in the society at the larger extent. The statistics of increasing crimes against women is shocking, where women are subjected to violence attacks i.e. foeticide, infanticide, medical neglect, child marriages, bride burning, sexual abuse of girl child, forced marriages, rapes, prostitution, sexual harassment at home as well as work places etc. In all the above cases women is considered as aggrieved person.

The term used to describe this exploding problem of violence within our homes is ‘Domestic Violence’. This violence is towards someone who we are in a relationship with, be it a wife, husband, son, daughter, mother, father, grandparent or any other family member. It can be a male’s or a female’s atrocities towards another male or a female. Anyone can be a victim and a victimizer. This violence has a tendency to explode in various forms such as physical, sexual or emotional. ‘Domestic Violence’ includes harms or injuries which endangers women’s health, safety, life, limb or well being, whether mental or physical. It may also be through physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic abuse. According to ‘United Nation Population Fund Report’, around two-third of married Indian women are victims of Domestic Violence attacks and as many as 70 per cent of married women in India between the age of 15 and 49 are victims of beating, rape or forced sex. In India, more than 55 percent of the women suffer from Domestic Violence, especially in the states of Bihar, U.P., M.P. and other northern states.

What amounts to domestic violence against women? -Domestic Violence undoubtedly a human right issue where it is very important to know what actually leads to act of domestic violence. The most common causes for women stalking and battering include:- exploitation of women for demanding more dowry, discrimination of women, alienation of women’s self acquired property fraudulently, torture by husband and in-laws of the husband, arguing with the partner, refusing to have sex with the partner, neglecting children, going out of home without telling the partner, not cooking properly or on time, indulging in extra marital affairs, not looking after in-laws, cruelty by husband or in-laws mentally or physically, abusing & insulting by using vulgar language, sexual harassment, molestation, immoral traffic, rape, sodomy and all other inhuman acts. In all above stated causes women are subjected to torture and will be considered as the aggrieved person. Usually violence takes place due to lack of understandings between the couple as well as in the family.

The consequences of domestic violence attack on women, which will affect victim as well as family of the victim. Domestic Violence affects women’s productivity in all forms of life i.e. assaulted women will always get agonized and emotionally disturbed and remain quite after occurrence of the torment. The suicide case of such victimized women is also a deadly consequence and the number of such cases is increasing day by day. A working Indian woman may lose her efficiency in work or drop out from work in some cases. Domestic Violence may affect the life of children at the larger extent because child will be having greater attachment with her mother and once the mother’s grief and sufferings revealed then child may turn silent, reserved and express solace to the mother. In some of the cases violence will lead to maintain distance from the partner whereby sexual life gets affected adversely. Sometimes marriage life will become a burden to the spouse and one of the spouses will opt out for divorce or separation which again affects life of the children.

In a case where wife is beaten up by her husband doesn’t amount to domestic violence unless a sufficient reason of violation of right to life is shown. In another case where the women just not given food, it amounts to domestic violence if it is intended to achieve the ultimate purpose of necking her out of the benefits of shared household.

To prevent violence against women and to protect the rights of aggrieved women, the legislation ‘The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005’ was passed by the parliament. According to this act every women who have been deprived of their right to life by the act of husband or relatives of the husband, can file a complaint to the protection officer, police officer or magistrate in the form of ‘Domestic Incident Report’ (Similar to FIR). Complaint can be filed by the victim /aggrieved person or relatives, it will be considered as the prima-facie evidence of the offence. Every ‘Domestic Incident Report’ has to be prepared by the Protection Officer which will assist in the further investigation of the incidence. The protection officer will pass certain orders i.e. protection of the women, custody of respondent and order of monetary relief to the victim.

The Government of India should come out with some more stringent laws to protect the rights of women who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family, so that it will work as the preventive measure to eradicate the crime. A strict law to be passed to punish those women who are filing a false compliant against husband or relatives by misusing of Domestic Violence Act so that there will be fair justice to all.

 DHAWESH PAHUJA

WILL under Indian Law

Will is the legal declaration of a person’s intention which he wishes to be performed after his death and once the Will is made by the testator it can only be revoke during his lifetime. A person cannot give his ancestors property in the form of a Will but he can make a Will only of his Self-Acquired property. A Will does not involve any transfer, nor affect any transfer inter-vivos, but it is an expression of intending to appoint a person who will look after the properties after his (Testator) death. A Will regulates the succession and provides for succession as declared by the testator.

Historical Background of ‘Wills’: As the time rolled the emergence of the Will became more popular, Indian Law which is governed under ‘Section: 5’ of “The Indian Succession Act, 1925” which provides different rules for intestate succession and testamentary succession in India. It applies to all the communities in India except Muslim community. In India there is a well developed system of succession laws that governs a person’s property after his death. ‘The Indian Succession Act 1925’ applies expressly to Wills and codicils made by Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians but not to Mohammedans as they are largely covered by Muslim Personal Law.

 Statutory Definition of ‘Will’: The term ‘Will’ is defined under ‘Section: 2(h)’ of The “Indian Succession Act, 1925”, means the legal declaration of the intention of a testator with respect to his property which he desires to be carried into effect after his death. A testator is authorised with a power to appoint any person as beneficiary of his Will whereas ‘Section: 5’ deals with the law regulating succession to deceased persons moveable and immovable property

Meaning of ‘will’: A Will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at the time of death. A Will can be made by anyone above 21 years of age in India. A Will is a statement made by a testator in the written form stating the manner in which his estate/property must be distributed after his death. A Will being a testamentary document comes into effect after the death of the testator and if the person dies without writing any Will then he is said to be have died intestate. The person in whose favour the testator bestows the benefits called beneficiary or legatee. A Will is otherwise called as Testament.

 Features of A Valid ‘Will’: There are certain characteristics which should be included in the instrument of will such as :-

• The Name of The Testator: The name of the testator should be mentioned accurately without any error in initials, spelling or grammatical mistake so that it will not affect the instrument of Will. The name of the testator can also be clarified by looking into his birth certificate or any school certificates.

• Right To Appoint Legatee: The testator is having absolute right to appoint any person as a legatee or beneficiary of a Will and legatee should execute the Will carefully and in accordance with the law.

• To Take Effect After Death: A testator who is having power to make the Will during his lifetime, but it will take effect only after his death. A gift made by a person during his lifetime and will take effect during his lifetime, cannot be considered as a Will.

• Revocability Under The Law: In general a Will made by the testator can be revoke at any time during his lifetime and testator can choose any other person as his legatee. There may be chances where a testator wishes to bring some alterations in the Will then he can make some necessary amendments in the prepared Will which is otherwise called as Codicil. A third party can not file a civil suit against the testator on the ground of cancellation of the Will. A Will made by the testator may be irrevocable in some cases where an agreement is entered into contrary to the Will, may bind the testator.

• Intention of The Testator supreme: The testator of the Will has right to revoke Will at any time which can only be proved by the intention of the testator that whether he is intending to revoke the previous testamentary instruments made by him or he can state in his Will that ‘This is my last Will’ then it can be presumed that all the earlier testamentary instruments has been revoked.

• The Declaration to be ‘Last Will’: A person as testator has power to make declaration of Will unnumerable times but it is always the last will of testator which will prevail. The words “I declare this to be my last will” need not be stated in the instrument of the Will. Once the Will is made by the testator Inserting of words ‘Last and Only will’ at the time of death it can be presumed that all the previous Wills will get revoked and fresh Will has to be effected.

• Lost Subsequent ‘Will’: Mere loss of the original Will does not operate a revocation but it has to be inferring by the stringent evidence to prove its revocability and a testator must show the genuine reasons for the loss of the Will. Once it is proved that a original will is lost then ‘Subsequent Will’ will be valid.

 Kinds of ‘Wills’: A testator who has right to make a Will for the future benefits of his family members which will take effect after his death, the there are certain types of Wills which has to be looked into:

1. Privileged ‘Wills’: As it can be understood from the word privilege provided to certain persons. A privileged Will is one which is made by any soldier, airman, navy persons, mariner who are willing to dispose of their estate during their course of employment. A soldier includes officers and all other rank officers of service but does not include a civilian engineer employed by the army, having no military status. A soldier while making an instrument of Will must have attained the age of 18 years and where a will made by the soldier is in the oral form, will be valid only for a month though a written Will always remain operative. A privileged Will may be revoked by the testator by an unprivileged Will or codicil, or buy any act expressing an intention to revoke it and accompanied by such formalities as would be sufficient to give validity to a privileged Will, or by the burning, tearing or otherwise destroying the same by the testator.

2. Unprivileged ‘Wills’: Wills executed according to the provisions of ‘Section 63’ of the ‘Indian Succession Act, 1925’ are called Unprivileged Wills. An unprivileged Will is one which is created by every testator not being a soldier, airman, mariner so employed. An unprivileged Will like Codicil can be revoked by the testator only by another Will or by some writing declaring an intention to revoke the same and to be executed in the manner in which an unprivileged Will can be executed under the Act or by burning, tearing or destroying of the same by the testator or by some other person in his presence and by his directions with the intention of revoking the same.

Who Can Make ‘Will’: Every person who is competent to contract may make a will but he must be major, sound mind and willing to write a Will. Any person who is the sole owner of a self-acquired property can bequeath by way of will. A person of unsound mind can also make a will but only in lucid intervals. A Will cannot be made by some persons i.e. minors, insolvent, persons disqualified under any law by the court. A Will executed by a minor is void and inoperative though a testamentary guardian can be appointed for the minor to dispose off the property. A Will can be made by the deaf and dumb person by showing consent through writing or gestures in sign language. Nothing prevents a prisoner or alien in India from drawing a Will.

For Whom The ‘Will’ Can Be Made: Any person capable of holding property can be a legatee under a will and therefore a minor, lunatic, a corporation, a Hindu deity and other juristic person can be a legatee. Sections 112 to 117 of ‘Indian Succession Act, 1925’ put some restrictions on the disposition of property by will in certain cases. Dispositions of property by will in some cases have been declared void. If the minor person has been named as legatee by a testator then a guardian should be appointed by the testator himself to manage the bequeathed property.

What Can Be Bequeath In A ‘Will’: Any movable or immovable property can be disposed off by a will by its owner, that property must be a self acquired property of that person and it should not be an ancestral property of the testator. According to Section: 30 of ‘Hindu Succession Act, 1956’ provides that any Hindu may dispose off by will or other testamentary disposition any property, which is capable of being so, disposed of by him in accordance with law.

General Procedure To Make A ‘Will’: A ‘Will’ should be prepared with utmost care and must contain several parts to make a complete Will though there is no defined format for making a Will but a general procedure should be adopted while writing a Will by the testator which includes:

1. Declaration In The Beginning: In the first paragraph, person who is making a Will, has to declare that he is making this Will in his full senses and free from any kind of pressure and undue influence and he has to clearly mention his full name, address, age, etc at the time of writing the Will so that it confirms that a person really wishes to write a Will.

2. Details of Property and Documents: The next step is to provide list of items and their current values, like house, land, bank fixed deposits, postal investments, mutual funds, share certificates owned by testator. He must also state the place where he has kept all the documents if the will documents are under safe custody of the bank then testator has to write details about the releasing of the Will from the bank. Here it is the most important duty of the testator to communicate the above matter to the executor of the Will or any other family members, which will make the Will valid after testator death.

3. Details of ownership By The Testator: A testator while making a original Will should specifically mention that who should own his entire property or assets so that it will not affect the interest of the successors after his death. If testator wishes the name of the minor as beneficiary then a custodian of the property should be appointed to manage the property.

4. Attestation of the ‘Will’ : At the end, once the testator complete writing his Will, he must sign the will very carefully in presence of at least two independent witnesses, who have to sign after his signature, certifying that the testator has signed the Will in their presence. The date and place also must be indicated clearly at the bottom of the Will. It is not necessary that a person should sign all the pages of the Will instrument but he must sign to avoid any legal disturbances.

5. Execution of A ‘Will’: On the death of the testator, an executor of the Will or an heir of the deceased testator can apply for probate. The court will ask the other heirs of the deceased if they have any objections to the Will. If there are no objections, the court will grant probate .A probate is a copy of a Will, certified by the court. A probate is to be treated as conclusive evidence of the genuineness of a Will. In case any objections are raised by any of the heirs, a citation has to be served, calling upon them to consent. This has to be displayed prominently in the court. Thereafter, if no objection is received, the probate will be granted and It is only after that Will comes into effect.

 Registration of ‘Wills’: According to the Section: 18 of the ‘Registration Act, 1908’ the registration of a Will is not compulsory. Once a Will is registered, It is a strong legal evidence that the proper parties had appeared before the registering officers and the latter had attested the same after. The process of registration begins when a Will instrument is deposited to the registrar or sub-registrar of jurisdictional area by the testator himself or his authorised agent. Once the scrutiny of Will instrument is done by the registrar and registrar is satisfied with all the documents then registrar will make the entry in the Register-Book by writing year, month, day and hour of such presentation of the document and will issue a certified copy to the testator. In case if registrar refuses to order Will to be registered then testator himself or his authorised agent can institute a civil suit in a court of law and court will pass decree of registration of Will if court is satisfied with the evidence produced by the plaintiff. A suit can only be filed within 30 days after the refusal of registration by the registrar. If the testator willing to withdraw the Will after the process of registration then a sufficient reason has to be given to registrar, if satisfied he will order for the registration of Will.

Revocation of ‘Wills’: A Will is liable to be revoked or altered by the maker of it at any time when he is competent to dispose of his property by Will. A Will can be revoked by testator of the Will at any point of time which can be classified into two aspects such as:-

• Voluntary Revocation: A testator who wishes to revoke his original Will which is made by him on a specified date and time, he can make revocation of the will himself by writing a subsequent Will or codicil duly executed and by destruction of the previous will, means by burning, tearing, destroying or striking out the signature of the original instrument of a Will.

• Involuntary Revocation: According to the Section: 69 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 which deals with revocation of will by the testator’s marriage, however this provision does not apply to Hindus. Section 57 of the Indian Succession Act clearly states that a testator’s marriage will not make the Will invalid.

 Probate: It is the copy of the will which is given to the executor together with a certificate granted under the seal of the court and signed, by one of the registrars, certifying that the will has been proved. The application for probate shall be made by petition along with copy of last Will and testament of the deceased to the court of competent jurisdiction. The copy of the will and grant of administration of the testator’s estate together, form the probate. It is conclusive evidence of the validity and due execution of the will and of the testamentary capacity of the testator. A probate is obtained to authenticate the validity of the will and it is the only proper evidence of the executor’s appointment. The grant of probate to the executor does not confer upon him any title to the property which the testator himself had no right to dispose off which did belong to the testator and over which he had a disposing power with a grant of administration to the estate of the testator. Probate proceedings cannot be referred to Arbitration. The probate court (whether it is the District Court or High Court) has been granted and conferred with exclusive jurisdiction to grant probate of a Will of the deceased.

 ‘Wills’ By Muslims Under ‘Mohammedan Law’: A Will under Mohammedan Law is called as Wasiyat, which means a moral exhortation or a declaration in compliance with moral duty of every Muslim to make arrangements for the distribution of his estate or property. The Mohammedan Law restricts a Muslim person to bequeath his whole property in a will and allows him to bequeath 1/3rd of his estate by writing will, which will take effect after his death. A will may be in the form of oral or written if the will is in writing need not be signed if signed need not be attested. Acc to Shia Law if served bequests are made through a will, priority should be given to determination by the order in which they are mentioned a bequest by way of will. A Will Can be made by a person who is of sound mind, major and possessing a absolute title, in favour of a person who is capable of holding property except unborn persons and heirs. The revocation of will is possible only if the subsequent Will is made by the testator. A Muslim person who is allowed to bequeath 1/3rd of his estate, he can exceed its limit on testamentary power of 1/3rd to 1/4th in case where heirs gives consent or only heir is husband or wife.

Statutes Relating To ‘Wills’: There are many laws which are dealing with the concept of ‘Wills’ as follows:

Indian Succession Act, 1925

• Hindu Law (Hindus Personal Law)

• Muslim Law (Muslims Personal Law)

• Indian Registration Act, 1908

Reverse Mortagage

Reverse Mortagage
Reverse Mortagage

A ‘Mortgage’ means transfer of an interest in a specific immovable property for the purpose of securing the payment of money advanced as a loan, an existed or future debt. The transferor is called a ‘Mortgagor’ and transferee a ‘Mortgagee’ and an instrument by which transfer is made called ‘MORTGAGE DEED’ which actually depends upon the payment of money secured as ‘Mortgage Money’ as defined under ‘Section:58’ of ‘The Transfer Of Property Act, 1882’.

‘Reverse Mortgage’ is the new concept in India and less effective though it is very popular in the western countries, but in India it can be seen as from the numbers of persons i.e. 150 persons have availed its benefit till now and this type of mortgage is basically helps senior citizens to get regular payments from the financial entities or banks against the mortgage of his property. A reverse mortgage is totally a different concept from a regular mortgage process where a person pays the bank for a mortgaged property and unlike other loans, this need not be repaid by the borrower.

‘Reverse Mortgage’ is one of the important types of mortgage where owner of the immovable property surrenders his title of the property to a financial entity or bank. The concept is simple, a senior citizen who holds a house or property, but lacks a regular source of income can put mortgage his property with a bank or housing finance company (HFC) and the bank or financial entity pays the person a regular payment. The good thing is that the person who ‘reverse mortgages’ his property can stay in the same house for his life time and continue to receive the much needed regular payments. So, effectively owner of the property will continue to stay at the same place and also get paid for it. Any house owner over 60 years of age is eligible for a reverse mortgage and the maximum loan which can be granted is up to 60% of the value of residential property. The Reverse Mortgage is otherwise called as lifetime mortgage.

‘Reverse Mortgage’ loan amount based on the three things i.e. value of the property, term of the mortgage agreement and rate of payment with interest which depends upon the age of the owner of the property/ borrower of the loan amount. A mechanism for valuation and computation of the mortgage property depends upon the law of probability which will be assessed by the professionals. The loan amount can be provided through monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually or lump sum money based on the mutual understanding of the parties to the mortgage agreement. The maximum period of a loan which can be provided by the banks to the reverse mortgage borrower is for 15 years but the lender has to revaluate the property at least once in the 5 years so that it will assist him to get more money as a loan from the bank which is totally based on the value of the property. The value of the property is generally revisited periodically, if the value of the property increased then senior citizen will get an option to increase the loan amount.

An advantage of the Reverse Mortgage scheme is that the owner of property will not be liable to pay Income Tax under ‘Income Tax Act’ because in reverse mortgage transaction whatever amount has been received either in lump sum or monthly installment by the owner of the property as loan amount, will not be considered as a Income earned. A reverse mortgage scheme which is basically for the benefit of senior citizens, however in a reverse mortgage transaction any transfer of capital asset will not be considered as transfer or alienation of immovable property as it is also stated by the central government notification, hence it will not attract the provision of capital gains tax.

The financial entity or the bank has authoritative power to recover the loan amount, wherein it has been conferred with a right to sell the mortgage property in the case if incumbent or borrower either passes away or leaves the house. The loan amount can be repaid or prepaid by the legal heirs of the borrower at any time during the period of loan with the accumulated interest amount and have the mortgage released without resorting to the sale of property. In case if there is a sale of mortgage property by the bank for repayment of the loan amount then whatever is the additional amount received by the bank need to be paid to the heirs of the senior citizen but only after clearing the loan amount payment by the bank.

The reverse mortgage scheme offered by some of the leading banks in India could bring the required answers to the suffering senior citizens. Most of the people in the senior age groups, either by inheritance or by virtue of building assets have properties in their names, but they were not able to convert it into instant and regular income stream due to its illiquid nature. The ‘Union Budget 2007-2008’ had a great proposal which introduced the ‘Reverse Mortgage’ scheme. A Reverse Mortgage scheme is always provides more benefits to the senior citizens who does not have any source of income and through this scheme owner of the property can ensure a regular cash flow in times of need and can enjoy the benefit of staying in the property as well. But a reverse mortgage scheme is a big failure in the country like India where number of persons using this scheme is very less. Reverse Mortgage thus, is very beneficial for senior citizens who want a regular income to meet their everyday needs, without leaving their houses.

E-BANKING SYSTEM IN THE BANKING SECTOR

1. Introduction: The process of globalization and liberalization has virtually transformed the way of business across the globe. The technological innovation of improvements in the communication networking helped the banking sector activities through re-engineer its works. E-Banking is considered as an important input for rapid growth of economic development by providing mechanism of electronic inputs to the banking sector. E-banking is the banking of new era. The term Internet Banking or E-Banking Internet both are used as supplement. E-Banking system makes the banking transactions easy for the bankers as well as customers in the modern world where all persons are busy with their hectic schedule. In fact, banks have been using electronic and telecommunication networks for delivering a wide range of value added products and services. The devices have been telephone, personal computers including Automated Teller Machines (ATM).

2. Development of E-Banking System: The wind of globalization has affected each and every sector of its economy and entered into all the activities of the banking sector. Though the E-Banking system developed in the late ‘1980s and referred to the use of a terminal, keyboard and TV (or monitor) to access the banking system using a phone line. ‘Home banking’ can also refer to the use of a numeric keypad to send tones down a phone line with instructions to the bank. Online services started in ‘New York’ in 1981 when four of the city’s major banks (Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Chemical and Manufacturers Hanover) offered home banking services using the videotex system, television system and telephonic system. The UK’s first home online banking services were set up by the ‘Bank of Scotland’ in year 1983. The system (known as ‘Homelink’) allowed on-line viewing of statements, bank transfers and bill payments. In order to make bank transfers and bill payments. Though E-Banking system was more popularized amidst of the foreign countries later on in the early 1990’s E-Banking system developed in India too and development was not possible without creating sufficient infrastructure or presence of sufficient number of users. The experience of ICICI Bank Ltd. and HDFC Bank Ltd. shows that the number of transactions carried out on the internet is very limited in India.

3. Meaning of E-Banking: E-Banking refers to electronic banking and it is an automated delivery of new and traditional banking services which provides electronic facility for business and commercial transactions to its customers. E-banking is the easiest way to carry out banking transactions in today’s hectic schedule. E-Banking is also called as i.e. Internet Banaking, Net Banking, Virtual Banking or Online Banking. E-Banking (or I-banking) means any user with a personal computer and a browser can get connected to his bank’s website to perform any of the virtual banking functions. In internet banking system the bank has a centralized database that is web-enabled. All the services that the bank has permitted on the internet are displayed in menu. The fact is that many services that are now being offered with online banking are almost impossible to avail of in regular banking.

4. Services covered under E-Banking: E-Banking has numerous benefits to offer. Nowadays, all banks provide online banking facility to their customers as an additional advantage. Gone are the days, when one has to transact with a bank which was only in his local limits. Online banking has opened the doors for all customers, to operate beyond boundaries. The popular services covered under E-banking include :-

  •  Automated Teller Machines(ATM)
  •  Credit Cards
  •  Debit Cards
  •  Smart Cards
  •  Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) System
  •  Cheques Truncation Payment System
  •  Mobile Banking
  •  Internet Banking
  •  Telephone Banking 

5. Problems While Using E-Banking Facilities: E-Banking system removes the traditionally geographical basis as it could reach out to all the customers of different countries and regions. The popularity of internet banking is growing rapidly as the transactions are becoming faster and more convenient. Internet banking is the latest development that has added a new dimension to banking transactions by making it more convenient, which has eliminated the long wearisome queues. But, there are some serious problems that a customer may encounter while banking through the internet, due to which many still prefer to go directly to the banks instead of availing this facility. There are certain problems of E-Banking system which are as follows:

  •       Computer and Internet knowledge is very much required for using the facility of E-Banking by the customer because of which limits number of persons willing to avail this facility. Therefore it is the major problem in the country like India where literacy ratio is low.
  •  While banking through the internet, you have to be careful about the security of your internet bank account. The security of your internet bank account depends to a great extent on the security of your computer, password and pin number. Any leakage of information regarding your password or pin number and banking transactions can allow computer hackers to gain access to your bank account, which is the most common internet banking problem. This can even lead to unauthorized and criminal transactions being conducted without your knowledge. By the time you get your bank statement and detect such transactions, it may be too late.
  •  Some proxy websites can easily access customer’s bank account, if they can crack one’s user name, password or pin number. Due to such security problems, many people are apprehensive about internet banking.
  •  Though E-Banking system saves the time of customers but it is very difficult to use this facility by customers who do  Lack of trust on d machines provided by the banks may be another problem as there is no safety of money through online banking.
  •  Technical problems with respect to the computers and internet facilities may be one of the problems which must be taken into consideration.
  •  Customer is always in problem with respect to the security of its password, pin number and bank related information.
  •  Customer care service also does not provide accurate information always as numbers of transactions are increasing along with customers.

6. Advantages of E-Banking System: E-banking system has gained wide acceptance internationally and it can be considered as a remarkable development in the banking sector. In India also the things are changing fast and most of the banks are providing E-Banking services to their customers and there are many advantages of using E-Banking service to the customers which are as follows:

  •  Paying Bills Online is the major advantage to the customer’s who can pay bills i.e. telephone, electricity, shopping, loans amount (EMI) and payment of tickets booking online.
  •  Time saving and easy to get information of bank account.
  •  Customers are no longer required to wait in those long and crowded queues of the banks to request a financial transaction or statement.
  •  E-Banking offers convenience to the customers as they are not required to go to the bank’s premises.
  •  E-Banking provides monthly e-statement facilities to the customers which saves the time of bankers as well as customers.
  •  Low incidence of errors increases the number of users/customers of E-Banking which results in the great advantage.
  •  The customers can obtain funds at any time from ATM machines.
  •  The credit cards and debit cards enables the Customers to obtain discounts from retail outlets.
  •  Reduction in the administrative costs and paperwork related to the transactions. Besides, banks can also cater to the needs of thousands of customers at the same time. All these factors have significantly increased the profit margins of commercial banks by lowering their operating costs.
  •          Transactions of transferring of funds from one person account to another person’s account became much more       faster     and convenient both national and international level.
  •          Accessing bank account information at any day or any time irrespective of banks off working hours.
  •          Quickest way to check and see if a transaction has cleared your account. This can help you to find out the amount of a     transaction after you have lost your receipt.
  •         E-Banking also allows customers to find out about unauthorized transactions of their accounts more quickly and to resolve the issues more quickly.

7. Disadvantages of E-Banking System: In today’s cyber world where when people do not have much time even for their personal work, E-Banking appears as a boon. Internet banking has become very popular in the recent years, as it is quick and easy. Though E-Banking provides more advantages than traditional banking however, it has some disadvantages too which are as listed:

  •  Setting up an account in the bank may take time though the E-Banking facility is provided by the banks.
  •  Internet account of customer with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) which may be another hectic experience.
  •  Banking sites can be difficult to navigate at first by the customers who do not have knowledge of computer and internet so getting acquitted with the banking sites software may require some time to read the tutorials in order to become comfortable in persons virtual lobby. There may be some difficulties to the customer for learning these activities of E-Banking.
  •  Some alterations or changes made in the banks sites due to technological advancement may lead to a problem to customers who have to provide all the personal information once again through online transaction.
  •  E-Banking is time consuming for the customers, though there is option of online transactions, in the end customers have to run to the ATM for withdrawing the cash.
  •  No personal contact with any of the bank staff, and if talk to any bank staff through the telephone, there is no guarantee to the customers that they had talked with a right person or not.
  •  “Hackers” who may access customer’s bank account is the main disadvantage to the customers who takes E-Banking facility very casually.
  •  Security concern is the important issue as cybercrimes activities are clutching up which decreases the number of customers to avail the benefit of E-Banking.
  •  Technical breakdowns where online banking websites sometimes go down. If this happens then, if customer wishes to close his bank account then he will definitely go penniless.
  •  Switching banks due to technical faults can be a major disadvantage of using E-Banking system to the customer.
  •  Increasing online frauds and attacks i.e. Trojan horse (Remote Attacker) are a major disadvantage of using E-Banking.
  •  However, in the case of Internet banking, one will find oneself making endless calls to the customer service department. There have been cases, where the person is put on hold or has been passed around from one person to another.
  •  Hackers and crackers attack on the bank account of customer by stealing passwords or using fake credit cards to cheat a person which will cause loss to the customer’s wealth.

8. Guidelines By Reserve Bank of India: Reserve Bank of India being the highest authoritative bank and main head of all the nationalized banks in India, had set up a ‘Working Group on Internet Banking’ to examine different aspects of Electronic Banking (E-banking). The Group had focused on three major areas of E-banking, i.e. (i) technology and security issues, (ii) legal issues and (iii) regulatory and supervisory issues. Accordingly, the following guidelines are issued for implementation by banks. Banks are also advised that they may be guided by the original report, for a detailed guidance on different issues. These issues can be defined as:

  1.  Technology and Security Issues: Banks should designate a network and database administrator with clearly defined roles as indicated in the Group’s report. Banks should have a security policy duly approved by the Board of Directors. There should be a segregation of duty of Security Officer exclusively with information systems security and Information Technology Division which actually implements the computer systems. Further, Banks should also adopt and implement some new policies relating to security check ups and should inform customers about new technologies concerning E-Banking. Banks should also take steps to
  2.  Legal Issues: There is always an obligation on the parts of banks to keep the proper records of its customers manually as well as electronic. While opening an account of customer by internet a complete identification documents must be collected by the customer and a physical verification need to be done so that it will assist bank to avoid any legal risk. From a legal prospective, security procedure adopted by banks for authenticating users needs to be recognized by law as a substitute for signature. There must be strict rules regarding instructions by the customers for stop-payment and banks should clearly state the consequences in which stop-payment instruction could be accepted by the bank.
  3.  Regulatory and Supervisory Issues: Only such banks which are licensed and supervised in India and have a physical presence in India will be permitted to offer Internet banking products to residents of India. The products and schemes of the bank should be limited to the account holders only but not to the extra territorial jurisdictional account holders. Indian overseas banks must be permitted to offer internet services. A supervisory authority need to be appointed so that it will assist in avoiding any illegal transactions.

9. Risk Involved In Using E-Banking: E-Banking poses some different risks as compared to the traditional banking. These risks are more pronounced in the case of Internet banking. Firstly, the risk of technological changes has to be carefully watched. This is essential to update technologies and remain cost effective and customer friendly. The banks have to be careful about risks involved in agreements with third parties. The security is an important area of risk. In fact it will be very crucial for the expansion of Net Banking. Another important area will emerge out of cross-border implications as ‘E- Banking’ breaks the geographical boundaries. Imposing regularity conditions on such transactions will be a difficult task.

10. E-Banking Frauds: Fraudsters are continuing their switch from traditional card fraud to raiding online bank accounts. According to the new research Fraud losses on UK credit and debit cards totalled £440m in 2009 – a drop of 28% compared with the previous year – the UK Cards Association said. But the number of “phishing” attacks rose by 16% in the same period. This is when fraudsters trick people into entering their personal details on a website or in e-mails. As there is expansion in the illegal activities of the hackers, crackers and Trojan horse there must be a strict law to punish such criminals. Online frauds are very common nowadays because it is easy to access or to obtain password, pin code and account number of customers by hackers. Recently there is a case which is known as ‘ICICI Bank Fraud Case’ where Rs/- 150000 was stolen by the person’s bank account and it was a heavy loss of money to the account holder though the complaint was filed by the account holder but banks are still silent on that issue as banks too have no idea how these activities are taking place.

11. Preventive Measures: As E-Banking is an important aspect for the bankers and customers as well, there must be some measures and policies which should be adopted by the banks before providing E-Banking facilities to the customers which can be taken as precautionary measure. A best preventive measure is that the account holder of the bank must be aware of increasing bank frauds and cybercrimes, and he should not give his password, pin number and credit cards number to anyone by using E-Banking facility. “As it is recognise that cards will always be targeted by criminals, so we are determined not only to continue to prevent, detect and deter those who are behind this type of crime, but also to make sure that innocent victims do not lose out,”. There is always necessity that “Customers need to protect themselves on their computer, remaining vigilant and using good security software.”

“A better-educated consumer is less likely to fall foul of phishing attacks” this saying has its own importance because consumer is the king with respect to the Indian trade and market but here while using E-Banking facilities a consumer need to be more careful of online frauds, so a consumer must take some necessary precautions while opting out for E-Banking facilities.

12. Conclusion: E-banking offers a higher level of convenience for managing one’s finances even from one’s bedroom. However, it continues to present challenges to the financial security and personal privacy. Many people have had their account details compromised, as a result of online banking. Thus, if one is going to use it for financial transactions, he should be aware of the risks involved. Awareness of the risks and problems enables him to take precautions for a more secured online banking experience. E-Banking system is not only popular nationally but also internationally where a person can transfer money through any part of the world. E-banking system is useful for the bankers as well as customers of banks.

Power of Attorney : A Review

Dhawesh Pahuja

Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney

1. Introduction: In the modern world where commerce and industry have assured large and long roles to play, the need for entering into contracts of agreements in relation to business and other transactions have become a common and necessary feature of daily life. As man became busier it became more and more necessary for him to depend on others for getting his things done. The hectic activities of the businessmen and industrialists have made the execution of power of attorney for delegating his functions. Granting a Power of Attorney is a legal process that involves the drafting of a document which assigns to another person the power to act as your legal representative. Principal should be careful while authorising an agent as attorney to avoid inconvenience and expense of any legal proceedings in the future.

2. The Statute: This act may be called as “POWER OF ATTORNEY ACT, 1882”, which was passed in the year 1882 on 24th feb and the act came into force on first day of May, 1882. This act applies to the whole of India except State of Jammu & Kashmir. The main aim of passing this statute is to make it easy for your designated attorney to access your finances and, in that way, take care of your property.

3. Definition: According to the ‘Section: 1A’ of “POWER OF ATTORNEY ACT, 1882”, “A ‘Power Of Attorney’ includes any instruments empowering a specified person to act for and in the name of the person executing it”.

4. Meaning: The term ‘Power Of Attorney’ is an authority given by an instrument by one person, called as the donor or principal, authorising another person, called donee or agent to act on his behalf. There may be possibility of giving ‘Power Of Attorney’ by two or more persons jointly to one or more persons. Here a legal authority is given by the principal to the agent which may be broad or limited and an agent can take all necessary decisions i.e. financial, property related matters and all other matters where principal cannot be present to sign or in the case of principal’s illness and disability. A paper signed by principal giving powers to an agent is sometimes itself called a power of attorney. A paper giving a power of attorney should be clear and understandable.

5. Importance of Power of Attorney: A power of attorney document is an extremely important part of estate planning yet one of the most misunderstood. It is often convenient or even necessary to have someone else act for you as there is advancement in the business and commerce transactions. As many people confuse the power of attorney (POA) with a will (Probate), but these documents are two very different things and have two very different functions. A will comes into effect on the day person die. A POA applies during a person’s lifetime and ceases to apply when he dies. So you actually need both a POA and a will as they complement, and do not overlap, each other. To add a twist to the subject, there are two types of POA: one for property and one for personal care. These two types are completely separate. They deal with different areas of your life and both are required for effective estate planning.

6. Classification of Attorney: The Power of Attorney can be classified into two categories which includes:

I. General Power of Attorney: A general power of attorney is one by which an instrument is executed by the principal authorising the agent to do certain acts in general on his behalf. The word ‘General’ here means that the power must be general regarding the subject matter and not general with regard to powers in respect of a subject matter. If the subject matter is not general but restricted to something either specific or specifically mentioned by the principal while drafting an instrument then it will not constitute a general power of attorney. It is otherwise called as limited power of attorney.

II. Special Power of Attorney: A special power of attorney is one by which a person is appointed by the principal to do some specified act or acts. In this type of power of attorney, an agent conferred with a power to do specific act in a single or specified transactions in the name of the principal.

III. Durable Power of Attorney: A Power of Attorney which specifically says otherwise, agent’s power ends if principal become mentally incapacitated. However, a power of attorney may say that it is to remain in effect in the event of future incapacity of the principal. A power of attorney that says this is called a durable power of attorney.

To ascertain whether power of attorney is of general or special in nature, the subject matter in respect of which power is conferred Is to be seen accurately. The power of attorney is the unilateral document wherein donor or the principal gives authoritative power to the agent by signing the document and the agent’s sign is not always required.

7. Persons Competent To Execute: A power of attorney can be executed by any person who is competent to enter into a contract. However, the married women can execute powers of attorney even if they are minors. A company while executing power of attorney must make conformity with the ‘Articles of Association’ and its common seal. A person must be competent to give power to the appointed person so that it will not affect the legality of the instrument/deed of power of attorney.

8. Authentication of power of Attorney: As per Indian law, a power of attorney is a legal document that has to be properly framed, using the right legal terminology and setting out the objectives and responsibilities that you wish to authorise the appointee to carry out on your behalf. If a person wants to authorise someone to act as a power of attorney on his behalf, it must be signed and notarised by a certified notary advocate, who is able to declare that you are competent at the time of signing the document to issue the said power of attorney. You will need to show your ID to the notary advocate before he/she is able to certify and issue the document. It must be executed and authenticated by the registrar or sub-registrar of assurances as per the ‘Registration Act, 1908’.

9. Presumption About Power of Attorney: A power of attorney is legal written document which has more legal value and the authenticated attorney will be presumed by the court as legal document under ‘Indian Evidence Act, 1872’. According to the Section: 85 of ‘Indian Evidence Act, 1872’, which provides that the court shall presume that every document purporting to be a power of attorney, and has to be clearly authenticate and executed before the notary or magistrate. If there is any issue arises concerning to the genuineness of the attorney then proof of its execution can be called for the verification.

10. Language of The Power of Attorney: An instrument of power of attorney must always use the language known to the donor and if the donor is an illiterate person then scribe and identifier should explain all the contents of the document in the language known by the donor and it has to be certified by the donor that he has understood all the contents and then he has to put thumb mark on the document. Lastly the administrative officer will take the oath from the donor stating that he knows all the contents of the document and he knows the identifier. A sign and seal must be put by the administrative officer after complete verification of the document.

11. Original Documents To Be Verified: A power of attorney which is accurately authenticated by the notary or any magistrate, an affidavit has to be filed with all the original documents of the power of attorney authorising an agent to do certain acts. All the documents will be verified by the court and then court will register power of attorney by putting seal and sign. It is very much essential to make the power of attorney valid.

12. Powers of Attorney by Two or More Persons: A power of attorney may be executed by two or more persons jointly in favour of one or more persons and when there are several persons as attorneys a complete authorisation in letter to be given by one of them for acting severally. A clause should be included while drafting the deed of power of attorney that all the attorneys should act jointly or separately.

13. Duration of Granted Power: A general power of attorney remains in force unless expressly revoked or determined by the death of either of the party. A special power of attorney will be in force until the specified act is not completed. Duration of the power will depend upon the type of the attorney or there may be a fixed period of power granted by the principal which must be included in the deed.

14. Revocation of Power of Attorney: A power of attorney may be revoked at any time by the principal or donor by giving a written notice to the agent, unless it is for a particular fixed period. Revocation usually possible when principal dies or becomes insane or becomes bankrupt. The principal himself can revoke power of attorney if the business for which the agent was appointed is over as mutually agreed upon by the principal and agent. In case if principal has named a spouse or registered domestic partner as his agent, his or her authority to act under the power of attorney is automatically terminated in the event of divorce, legal separation or termination of the registered domestic partnership.

15. Registration: A power of attorney is not compulsorily registrable unless it creates an interest in any immovable property i.e. charge in favour of donee. Registration of power of attorney is optional In India, where the ‘Registration Act, 1908’, is in force, the Power of Attorney should be authenticated by a Sub-Registrar only, otherwise it must be properly notarized by the notary especially where in case power to sell land is granted to the agent. If a power of attorney is in respect of an immovable property of value more than Rs100 it must be registered. Registration of power of attorney authenticates the deed of power of attorney.

16. Stamp Duty: A power of attorney is chargeable under Section: 48 of Schedule 1 of the ‘Indian Stamp Act, 1899’. A stamp duty has to be paid compulsorily by the principal or donor in the jurisdictional registrar’s office.

17. Legal Powers Which Can Be Granted To The Attorney: Broadly speaking a power of attorney provides an agent “all powers that the principal has” to manage the principal’s financial affairs or make health care decisions may be enough for many purposes. An agent may be authorised to:

i. To execute all contracts, deeds, bonds, mortgages, notes, checks, drafts, money orders.

ii. To manage, compromise, settle, and adjust all matters pertaining to real estate.

iii. To lease, collect rents, grant, bargain, sell, or borrow and mortgage.

iv. To sell any and all shares of stocks, bonds, or other securities.

v. To file, sign all tax returns, insurance forms and any other documents.

vi. To enter into contacts, and to perform any contract, agreement, writing, or thing to make, sign, execute, and deliver, acknowledge any contract, agreement.

vii. To make health-care decisions for the donor or his minor children.

viii. To sue on behalf of the principal.

18. Qualifications of An Attorney: It is the duty of the Principal to appoint a responsible person as agent who should act with utmost good faith. An attorney is a person who has been appointed by the donor to act on his behalf. An ideal attorney is that who must be willing to act in that capacity and he has to be impartial having integrity. An attorney should be loyal to the donor and should not disclose any confidential matters related to the business.

19. Duties of The Attorney Holder: An attorney holder is a person who is authorised by donor legally. An attorney must not exceed the authority given under the power of attorney. If the attorney does exceed their authority, he or she may be liable for any damages suffered by the donor or others. The attorney may, however, do all those acts which are authorised, but only by a particular method, if the power of attorney so indicates. If there is a breach of any condition by the attorney then he shall be liable to the donor except in a case where he has acted reasonably. If there is some doubt as to the wording of the power of attorney, a solicitor should always be consulted. The attorney holder must also act towards the donor with the utmost good faith and tell the donor the nature and extent of any interest which may conflict with his or her duty. An attorney may pass on his or her powers and duties to another person but only if authorised to do so by the power of attorney

20. Other Related Aspects:

  1. Construction Rules: The general rule of power of attorney is that it should be strictly construed. Unless an express power is conferred on an agent to enter into contracts of guarantees on behalf of his principal or to execute or negotiate, negotiable instruments for his principal jointly with others. An agent cannot by his acts bind the principal to a larger extent than he is empowered to do under the power of attorney. He cannot be sued or otherwise held responsible for fraud by the agent. If the power does not authorise the agent to carry on a business except with limitations any act done by him in excess of such power will not bind the principal. For example power to dispose of property does not confer a power to mortgage the property. Power to manage immoveable property cannot permit principal’s ornaments which are a moveable proper.
  2.  Drafting of Power of Attorney: A deed of power of attorney must be construed so as to include all powers necessary for its execution. There is no legal requirement that a power of attorney be prepared or reviewed by a lawyer. However, if important powers are going to be given to an agent, it is wise to get individual legal advice before signing a complicated form. A person who signs a power of attorney without fully understanding what it means, and without considering risks and alternatives, is asking for trouble. So a power of attorney must be drafted carefully and after knowing all its clauses written in the deed document.
  3. Risk Involved In Granting Power of Attorney: With a power of attorney, an agent is often entrusted with important decisions. And the agent may have access to some or all of Principal’s money or other property. If the agent is not trustworthy, serious problems can result. For example, if the agent is dishonest and runs away with Principal’s money, it may be difficult or impossible to get the money back. An agent is not permitted to use principal’s property for his or her own benefit unless he is expressly authorised to do so. Also, a principal will ordinarily be bound by the agent’s acts (even foolish acts) and will be responsible for the agent’s negligence while the agent is acting for the principal. For example, if an agent is authorized to manage your financial affairs and signs a contract to purchase something on your behalf, you will ordinarily have to pay for it, like it or not. It is obviously important to choose a trustworthy agent; if no trustworthy candidate is available, a power of attorney should not serve its purpose.

21. Conclusion: A power of attorney is very essential legal document which can be admitted as a evidence in the court of law whenever there is any breach of trust by the attorney holder. It’s therefore essential that principal has great confidence in his designated attorney. An agents must be someone principal can trust, without reservation, to use his property for him and not for themselves, or anyone else.

CYBER CRIMES AND THE LAW

CYBER CRIMES
CYBER CRIMES

In the era of cyber world as the usage of computers became more popular, there was expansion in the growth of technology as well, and the term ‘Cyber’ became more familiar to the people. The evolution of Information Technology (IT) gave birth to the cyber space wherein internet provides equal opportunities to all the people to access any information, data storage, analyse etc. with the use of high technology. Due to increase in the number of netizens, misuse of technology in the cyberspace was clutching up which gave birth to cyber crimes at the domestic and international level as well.

 

Though the word Crime carries its general meaning as “a legal wrong that can be followed by criminal proceedings which may result into punishment” whereas Cyber Crime may be “unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or target or both”.

 

The world 1st computer specific law was enacted in the year 1970 by the German State of Hesse in the form of ‘Data Protection Act, 1970’ with the advancement of cyber technology. With the emergence of technology the misuse of technology has also expanded to its optimum level and then there arises a need of strict statutory laws to regulate the criminal activities in the cyber world and to protect technological advancement system. It is under these circumstances Indian parliament passed its “INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, 2000” on 17th oct to have its exhaustive law to deal with the technology in the field of e-commerce, e-governance, e-banking as well as penalties and punishments in the field of cyber crimes.

 

  • Cyber Crimes Actually Means: It could be hackers vandalizing your site, viewing confidential information, stealing trade secrets or intellectual property with the use of internet. It can also include ‘denial of services’ and viruses attacks preventing regular traffic from reaching your site. Cyber crimes are not limited to outsiders except in case of viruses and with respect to security related cyber crimes that usually done by the employees of particular company who can easily access the password and data storage of the company for their benefits. Cyber crimes also includes criminal activities done with the use of computers which further perpetuates crimes i.e. financial crimes, sale of illegal articles, pornography, online gambling, intellectual property crime, e-mail, spoofing, forgery, cyber defamation, cyber stalking, unauthorized access to Computer system, theft of information contained in the electronic form, e-mail bombing, physically damaging the computer system etc.
  • Classifications Of Cyber Crimes: Cyber Crimes which are growing day by day, it is very difficult to find out what is actually a cyber crime and what is the conventional crime so to come out of this confusion, cyber crimes can be classified under different categories which are as follows:

1. Cyber Crimes against Persons:

There are certain offences which affects the personality of individuals can be defined as:

  • Harassment via E-Mails: It is very common type of harassment through sending letters, attachments of files & folders i.e. via e-mails. At present harassment is common as usage of social sites i.e. Facebook, Twitter etc. increasing day by day.
  • Cyber-Stalking: It means expressed or implied a physical threat that creates fear through the use to computer technology such as internet, e-mail, phones, text messages, webcam, websites or videos.
  • Dissemination of Obscene Material: It includes Indecent exposure/ Pornography (basically child pornography), hosting of web site containing these prohibited materials. These obscene matters may cause harm to the mind of the adolescent and tend to deprave or corrupt their mind.
  • Defamation: It is an act of imputing any person with intent to lower down the dignity of the person by hacking his mail account and sending some mails with using vulgar language to unknown persons mail account.
  • Hacking: It means unauthorized control/access over computer system and act of hacking completely destroys the whole data as well as computer programmes. Hackers usually hacks telecommunication and mobile network.
  • Cracking: It is amongst the gravest cyber crimes known till date. It is a dreadful feeling to know that a stranger has broken into your computer systems without your knowledge and consent and has tampered with precious confidential data and information.
  • E-Mail Spoofing: A spoofed e-mail may be said to be one, which misrepresents its origin. It shows it’s origin to be different from which actually it originates.
  • SMS Spoofing: Spoofing is a blocking through spam which means the unwanted uninvited messages. Here a offender steals identity of another in the form of mobile phone number and sending SMS via internet and receiver gets the SMS from the mobile phone number of the victim. It is very serious cyber crime against any individual.
  • Carding: It means false ATM cards i.e. Debit and Credit cards used by criminals for their monetary benefits through withdrawing money from the victim’s bank account mala-fidely. There is always unauthorized use of ATM cards in this type of cyber crimes.
  • Cheating & Fraud: It means the person who is doing the act of cyber crime i.e. stealing password and data storage has done it with having guilty mind which leads to fraud and cheating.
  • Child Pornography: It involves the use of computer networks to create, distribute, or access materials that sexually exploit underage children.
  • Assault by Threat: refers to threatening a person with fear for their lives or lives of their families through the use of a computer network i.e. E-mail, videos or phones.

2. Crimes Against Persons Property:

As there is rapid growth in the international trade where businesses and consumers are increasingly using computers to create, transmit and to store information in the electronic form instead of traditional paper documents. There are certain offences which affects persons property which are as follows:

  •  Intellectual Property Crimes: Intellectual property consists of a bundle of rights. Any unlawful act by which the owner is deprived completely or partially of his rights is an offence. The common form of IPR violation may be said to be software piracy, infringement of copyright, trademark, patents, designs and service mark violation, theft of computer source code, etc.
  • Cyber Squatting: It means where two persons claim for the same Domain Name either by claiming that they had registered the name first on by right of using it before the other or using something similar to that previously. For example two similar names i.e. www.yahoo.com and www.yaahoo.com.
  • Cyber Vandalism: Vandalism means deliberately destroying or damaging property of another. Thus cyber vandalism means destroying or damaging the data when a network service is stopped or disrupted. It may include within its purview any kind of physical harm done to the computer of any person. These acts may take the form of the theft of a computer, some part of a computer or a peripheral attached to the computer.
  • Hacking Computer System: Hacktivism attacks those included Famous Twitter, blogging platform by unauthorized access/control over the computer. Due to the hacking activity there will be loss of data as well as computer. Also research especially indicates that those attacks were not mainly intended for financial gain too and to diminish the reputation of particular person or company.
  • Transmitting Virus: Viruses are programs that attach themselves to a computer or a file and then circulate themselves to other files and to other computers on a network. They usually affect the data on a computer, either by altering or deleting it. Worm attacks plays major role in affecting the computerize system of the individuals.
  • Cyber Trespass: It means to access someone’s computer without the right authorization of the owner and does not disturb, alter, misuse, or damage data or system by using wireless internet connection.
  • Internet Time Thefts: Basically, Internet time theft comes under hacking. It is the use by an unauthorised person, of the Internet hours paid for by another person. The person who gets access to someone else’s ISP user ID and password, either by hacking or by gaining access to it by illegal means, uses it to access the Internet without the other person’s knowledge. You can identify time theft if your Internet time has to be recharged often, despite infrequent usage.

3. Cybercrimes Against Government:

There are certain offences done by group of persons intending to threaten the international governments by using internet facilities. It includes:

  •  Cyber Terrorism: Cyber terrorism is a major burning issue in the domestic as well as global concern. The common form of these terrorist attacks on the Internet is by distributed denial of service attacks, hate websites and hate e-mails, attacks on sensitive computer networks etc. Cyber terrorism activities endanger the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.
  • Cyber Warfare: It refers to politically motivated hacking to conduct sabotage and espionage. It is a form of information warfare sometimes seen as analogous to conventional warfare although this analogy is controversial for both its accuracy and its political motivation.
  • Distribution of pirated software: It means distributing pirated software from one computer to another intending to destroy the data and official records of the government.
  • Possession of Unauthorized Information: It is very easy to access any information by the terrorists with the aid of internet and to possess that information for political, religious, social, ideological objectives.

4. Cybercrimes Against Society at large:

An unlawful act done with the intention of causing harm to the cyberspace will affect large number of persons. These offences includes:

  •  Child Pornography: It involves the use of computer networks to create, distribute, or access materials that sexually exploit underage children. It also includes activities concerning indecent exposure and obscenity.
  • Cyber Trafficking: It may be trafficking in drugs, human beings, arms weapons etc. which affects large number of persons. Trafficking in the cyberspace is also a gravest crime.
  • Online Gambling: Online fraud and cheating is one of the most lucrative businesses that are growing today in the cyber space. There are many cases that have come to light are those pertaining to credit card crimes, contractual crimes, offering jobs, etc.
  • Financial Crimes: This type of offence is common as there is rapid growth in the users of networking sites and phone networking where culprit will try to attack by sending bogus mails or messages through internet. Ex: Using credit cards by obtaining password illegally.
  • Forgery: It means to deceive large number of persons by sending threatening mails as online business transactions are becoming the habitual need of today’s life style.

Affects To Whom: Cyber Crimes always affects the companies of any size because almost all the companies gain an online presence and take advantage of the rapid gains in the technology but greater attention to be given to its security risks. In the modern cyber world cyber crimes is the major issue which is affecting individual as well as society at large too.

Need of Cyber Law: information technology has spread throughout the world. The computer is used in each and every sector wherein cyberspace provides equal opportunities to all for economic growth and human development. As the user of cyberspace grows increasingly diverse and the range of online interaction expands, there is expansion in the cyber crimes i.e. breach of online contracts, perpetration of online torts and crimes etc. Due to these consequences there was need to adopt a strict law by the cyber space authority to regulate criminal activities relating to cyber and to provide better administration of justice to the victim of cyber crime. In the modern cyber technology world it is very much necessary to regulate cyber crimes and most importantly cyber law should be made stricter in the case of cyber terrorism and hackers.

Penalty For Damage To Computer System: According to the Section: 43 of ‘Information Technology Act, 2000’ whoever does any act of destroys, deletes, alters and disrupts or causes disruption of any computer with the intention of damaging of the whole data of the computer system without the permission of the owner of the computer, shall be liable to pay fine upto 1crore to the person so affected by way of remedy. According to the Section:43A which is inserted by ‘Information Technology(Amendment) Act, 2008’ where a body corporate is maintaining and protecting the data of the persons as provided by the central government, if there is any negligent act or failure in protecting the data/ information then a body corporate shall be liable to pay compensation to person so affected. And Section 66 deals with ‘hacking with computer system’ and provides for imprisonment up to 3 years or fine, which may extend up to 2 years or both.

 

Case Study-Attacks on Cyberspace: 

  • Worm Attack: The Robert Tappan Morris well Known as First Hacker, Son of former National Security Agency Scientist Robert Morris, was the first person to be prosecuted under the ‘Computer and Fraud Act, 1986’. He has created worm while at Cornell as student claiming that he intended to use the worm to check how large the internet was that time. The worm was uncontrollable due to which around 6000 computer machines were destroyed and many computers were shut down until they had completely malfunctioned. He was ultimately sentenced to three years probation, 400 hours of community service and assessed a fine of $10500. So there must be strict laws to punish the criminals who are involved in cyber crime activities.
  • Hacker Attack: Fred Cohen, a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern California wrote a short program in the year 1983, as an experiment, that could “infect” computers, make copies of itself, and spread from one machine to another. It was beginning & it was hidden inside a larger, legitimate program, which was loaded into a computer on a floppy disk and many computers were sold which can be accommodate at present too. Other computer scientists had warned that computer viruses were possible, but Cohen’s was the first to be documented. A professor of his suggested the name “virus”. Cohen now runs a computer security firm.
  • Internet Hacker: Wang Qun, who was known by the nickname of “playgirl”, was arrested by chinese police in the Hubei province first ever arrest of an internet hacker in China. He was a 19 year old computing student, arrested in connection with the alleged posting of pornographic material on the homepages of several government-run web sites. Wang had openly boasted in internet chat rooms that he had also hacked over 30 other web sites too.

 

Preventive Measures For Cyber Crimes:

Prevention is always better than cure. A netizen should take certain precautions while operating the internet and should follow certain preventive measures for cyber crimes which can be defined as:

  • Identification of exposures through education will assist responsible companies and firms to meet these challenges.
  • One should avoid disclosing any personal information to strangers via e-mail or while chatting.
  • One must avoid sending any photograph to strangers by online as misusing of photograph incidents increasing day by day.
  • An update Anti-virus software to guard against virus attacks should be used by all the netizens and should also keep back up volumes so that one may not suffer data loss in case of virus contamination.
  • A person should never send his credit card number to any site that is not secured, to guard against frauds.
  •  It is always the parents who have to keep a watch on the sites that your children are accessing, to prevent any kind of harassment or depravation in children.
  • Web site owners should watch traffic and check any irregularity on the site. It is the responsibility of the web site owners to adopt some policy for preventing cyber crimes as number of internet users are growing day by day.
  • Web servers running public sites must be physically separately protected from internal corporate network.
  •  It is better to use a security programmes by the body corporate to control information on sites.
  • Strict statutory laws need to be passed by the Legislatures keeping in mind the interest of netizens.
  • IT department should pass certain guidelines and notifications for the protection of computer system and should also bring out with some more strict laws to breakdown the criminal activities relating to cyberspace.
  • As Cyber Crime is the major threat to all the countries worldwide, certain steps should be taken at the international level for preventing the cybercrime.
  • A complete justice must be provided to the victims of cyber crimes by way of compensatory remedy and offenders to be punished with highest type of punishment so that it will anticipate the criminals of cyber crime.

Conclusion:

Since users of computer system and internet are increasing worldwide, where it is easy to access any information easily within a few seconds by using internet which is the medium for huge information and a large base of communications around the world. Certain precautionary measures should be taken by netizens while using the internet which will assist in challenging this major threat Cyber Crime.