Harassment of Women Online and Indian Laws to Prevent It
A global survey/study which was done across various nations in the world has brought into light that many females irrespective of their age are subjected to online harassment. This survey showed how women in the age group of 15 to 25 face online abuse in India. The abuse and harassment range from abusers threatening girls with sexual abuse to passing racist, sexist comments and stalking girls brutally. Especially now during the Covid – 19 pandemic when everyone is forced to stay home, there has been a five times increase in the online harassment. This has been surveyed and recorded by the National commission for Women. In this day and age, we have all gotten digitalised as even the court procedures in this Corona Pandemic are going on the web. The Internet has impacted everybody in an enormous positive manner, yet it has additionally obliterated lives through harassment and bullying.This is a form of Cyber Crime and the offenders will by severely be punished. Records have shown that almost 41% of users in India are being subjected to online harassment and bullying. Women were not safe in the outside world and now even in their own homes they are not safe because of the sexual and mental torture they experience online. In the year 2016 a total of 930 cases were registered under Sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act of 2000.
Cyber Crime Lawyer in Mumbai
In the light of these cyber-crimes the government of India has also taken various measures to curb the issue. They are:
I. There are various provisions under the IT Act of 200 which mentions that cyber bullying against women and children is form of criminal offence. Sections 66E; 67 and 67A states that the offenders who indulge in Voyeurism, sharing obscene materials will be punished severely.
II. Sections 354A and 354D of the Indian Penal Code states that cyber bullying and stalking are criminal offences and will be punished with appropriate punishments.
III. Information Technology Act of 2000 has in it’s Section 79 certain inspections and examinations which will have to be followed or otherwise will be held liable and punished severely.
IV. The MHA (Ministry of home affairs) has established a center for cyber-crime prevention against women and Children which work on handling all the online abuse cases against women and children and are working towards reducing such crimes.
V. Almost all the states in India have the Cyber – crime cell where they look into the harassment cases. This is done as per the orders of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
VI. The MHA has also created a website where people are able to go and complain. People can register complaint against offenders who do child pornography and post sexually explicit content.
In recent times with huge digitization people tend to use social media a lot. One such bullying that happens in social media is the trolling. Can trolling be considered as an offence? There are no such laws which explicitly mention it as a crime as some people call it as a freedom of speech and others call it cyber offence. It is a combination of both. But with respect to Article 19 of the Indian Constitution the freedom of speech should be limited when deemed necessary. Trolling at times induce fear and threat among people and hence is against public interest. Therefore, after clear investigation and facts people who troll these women and girls online in a very obscene and vulgar manner can be subjected to punishment under law.
Various provisions under various Acts have been established to punish the offenders against women and girls online. Some penalties are from Section 292A of the Indian Penal Code which states that printing obscene images is a criminal offence and the offender will by given prison time or fine. Section 507 of the IPC states that anyone who anonymously communicates and harasses a women will be subjected to punishment of prison time. Women affected by the online abuse and harassment can approach Cyber cells set up in their states, can approach the police station and can approach the National Commission for women.
The online harassing, abusing and bullying of women has increased rapidly and should not be tolerated. Victims can approach lawyers for legal advice as to how to file complaint against the offenders. Adv. Bindu Dubey is one of the finest Cyber Crime lawyer in Mumbai and will guide the clients in the best path after analyzing all the facts and issues of the case.