IT Act may be amended to protect women in cyberspace

Technology lawyers and cybercrime experts have suggested amending the Information Technology Act, 2000 (“Act”) and introducing a new cybersecurity law to keep up with the increasing instances of crimes against women on the internet, especially social media. The Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) is presently working on revamping the Act to stay on top of the various technological advances in social media, e-commerce, cybercrime and digital payments space.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) which is a statutory body concerned with advising the administration on all policy matters affecting women held a consultation during which various suggestions to revamp the Act in order to protect the women, were put forth.

The panelists deliberated on whether the Act along with Indecent Representation of Women's Act, 1986 and other prevailing laws were sufficient in tackling cybercrimes against women. They also touched upon the Personal Data Protection Bill, which is currently before Parliament.

It was decided that India should have dedicated legal provisions for protecting women in cyberspace and data related to women needs to be specifically protected. There were amendments proposed to the Act, special protection of women related data in the Personal Data Protection Bill was suggested and the possibility of bringing in a new cyber security law. The current provisions of the Act were not considered to be adequate. Section 67, 67A and 67B don’t specifically cover grooming and handholding of women on the Internet for sex crimes. Section 67, 67A and 67B of the IT Act deal with electronic transmission of obscene and sexually explicit material, and children engaged in such acts.

According to Mr. Rohitaashv Sinha, Associate Partner, Agarwal Jetley & Co., the government needs to amend existing laws such as Sections 67 and 67A of the Act, remove the moralizing framework of the law and introduce the element of consent. Instead of bringing in a new law, they should look at reforming the current law. Bad implementation of current laws is the problem. The focus needs to be on gender sensitization and police training.

This update is by Rohitaashv Sinha, Advocate & Associate Partner at Agarwal Jetley & Co., Advocates & Solicitors. Contact: Email: or Mob: (+91) - 9999565393