|HOME | BUSINESS | REPORT|
May 17, 2000
Parliament clears IT Bill
The Information Technology Bill, 2000 was passed in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) today with a voice vote. The Lok Sabha has already adopted it.
The bill, aimed at providing legal recognition to transactions carried out through electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication, commonly known as e-commerce, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) earlier today.
Piloting the bill, Information Technology Minister Pramod Mahajan said this bill would involve the use of alternative to paper-based methods of communication and storage of information, and to facilitate electronic filing of documents with the government agencies.
It will also facilitate amendments to the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Banker's Book Evidence Act, 1891 and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto, he said.
Mahajan said that the 21st century will be known as the information century and, with the passage of this bill, digital signature would become a legal entity. The bill, which was unanimously passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, would give a boost to e-commerce and e-governance, he added.
Initiating the discussion on the bill, senior Congress leader A R Kidwai stressed the need for a continuous monitoring of the system to keep a check on its functioning and to detect the defaulters.
Mahajan told the Rajya Sabha that he will write to the Union Home Minister and the states that the police officers dealing with cyber crimes should be educated in computers so that people were not unnecessarily harassed.
Replying to the debate on Information Technology Bill, which gives legal recognition for transactions carried out by means of e-commerce, Mahajan said the standing committee of Parliament, which examined the bill, had recommended that police officers should be computer-savvy.
Mahajan said that members and the media had created an uncalled for scare about the power given to police in arresting those committing cyber crimes.
He explained that the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code gave powers to constables to arrest without warrant, but under the IT Bill this power had been given only to police officers of the rank of deputy superintendent of police, thus limiting it to one per cent of the police force.
How can cops curb cyber crimes when they cannot tell a hair dryer from a revolver? asks Heptulla
How effective could police be in checking cyber crimes when it cannot distinguish between a hair dryer and a revolver?
This question was posed by Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Najma Heptulla during the debate on the Information Technology Bill as member after member opposed the provision relating to the power given to the police to search and arrest without warrant for suspected cyber crimes.
As Mahajan was justifying this power given to the police, Heptulla said that at the airports, police personnel checking baggage were not able to understand whether a certain gadget was a hairdryer or a revolver. How will they understand the crimes committed in cyber space through sophisticated computer machines? she asked.
Meanwhile, Mahajan said that the existing law would have applied and, added, that in the last one year, Parliament had enacted 12 laws from wild life to environment which gave police powers to search and arrest without warrant.
He said those interested in civil liberties should first target the existing laws rather than attack the related provision in the present bill.
|Tell us what you think of this report|
SINGLES | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | MILLENNIUM | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK