Presently a Cyber Crime haven has been created in Karnataka (India) where any hacking or denial of service attacks on a Corporate entity cannot be questioned under Section 66 of Information Technology Act 2000/8.
This follows the order of Karnataka High Court today in WP 21049/2013 filed by Axis Bank against the Adjudicator of Karnataka.
It is not clear if the ramifications of the decision has dawned on the legal and judicial community. Even NASSCOM and the IT Industry has to shudder to think of the impact of this decision on the Indian IT Sector in general and Karnataka IT sector in particular.
Mr Siddaramaiah, the honourable Chief Minister of Karnataka who is also the IT Minister also needs to take note of the development on the reputation of the state of Karnataka as an IT destination.
The order was sustained on a procedural issue of a prior notice not having been served by the Adjudicator on the petitioner before issuing an order on 26th April 2013. This order of 26th April 2013 attempted to correct an earlier defective order of the same office on 27th December 2011 in which it was held that no company can invoke Section 43 of Information Technology Act 2000 nor any complaint can be invoked on a Company under this section. The Karnataka Human Rights Commission and the State Law department had been in favour of the order which today has been quashed by the High Court.
Keeping Section 43 out of the bounds of corporate entities meant that Section 66 which is closely linked to Section 43 for the purpose of definition of criminal offences such as hacking and denial of service was also out of bounds of a Corporate entity.
It is now necessary for the Adjudicator to make corrections for the procedural lapse. Until then Cyber Criminals in Karnataka can rejoice since Information Technology Act 2000/8 cannot touch them. They will be thanking the Karnataka High Court for this unexpected bonanza.
It is unfortunate that neither Axis Bank which asked for this remedy rather than fighting the complaint on merits at the Adjudication table nor the Court which upheld the rights of Axis Bank failed to recognize that in the process the rights of Cyber Crime Victims of all citizens in Karnataka has been adversely affected.
God Save the Cyber Crime victims of Karnataka.