Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000) was a landmark piece of legislation for India as it provided the base for Indian cyber law and matters related to the same. With gradual developments and amendments, issues pertaining to cyber crimes, cyber forensics, electronic evidences, cyber security, etc were also incorporated into the IT Act 2000.
Although the need for a comprehensive and holistic techno legal framework is still haunting Indian government yet there is no escape from the conclusion that Indian cyber law must also be repealed and replaced by a better piece of legislation. At the same time Indian law enforcement agencies must be suitably trained in the matters of cyber law, cyber crimes investigation, cyber forensics, etc.
In short, a techno legal skills development is need of the hour for our law enforcement agencies, lawyers, judges, etc. Presently, US agencies are training Indian law enforcement agencies for cyber related issues including cyber terrorism and Indian government must develop its own online skills development methods to do the same. As has been reported by Cjnews India, lack of adequate cyber forensics expertise is hindering the investigation and prosecution in many cases in India. The Aarushi murder case is one such case where cyber forensics and digital evidences were not properly used by the parties to the litigation. The same news report has been reproduced below for our readers.
In an in-depth research article by Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) it has been revealed that the Aarushi murder case reflects poor cyber forensics usage by CBI and defense lawyers. The way investigation and prosecution was conducted in the Aarushi case, it is clear that electronic evidences were not given the importance that they deserved. It was very much possible to ascertain the truth with great certainty if electronic evidences were forensically acquired by CBI and the defense lawyers used the same while examination and cross examination of the prosecution witnesses.
However, the case was decided merely on the basis of circumstantial evidences that also relying upon many presumptions and circumstances. Some of these presumptions and circumstances could have been proved or disproved by using electronic evidence and cyber forensics methods.
Nevertheless, both CBI and defense lawyers neglected the cyber forensics angle and the case was decided by the lower court based upon the version given by CBI. It is not clear what would the fate of this case at the higher court level be as the High Court has to keep in mind many more considerations besides the circumstantial evidences on the basis of which the prosecution case rests.
The logs, details and data from the accessed websites, computer’s hard disk, router’s logs, etc could have provided valuable lead and evidences regarding the case, opines Praveen Dalal, the leading techno legal lawyer of Asia. The digital evidence from all available technology platforms and instruments must have been analysed in depth and they must have been used by the parties to the case for claiming rights and avoiding liabilities, says Dalal.
India has recently announced the digital India initiatives that intend to strengthen e-delivery of services in India. However, along with e-delivery of services, Indian government must also be ready to deal with increased cyber crimes. We have very few initiatives in India that are catering to the requirements of cyber crimes investigation and cyber forensics analysis of the growing cyber crimes and cyber contraventions happening in India. Indian government must ensure modernisation of law enforcement agencies of India as soon as possible along with making them accountable to the Parliament of India.