Cyberbullying Laws in India

Cyberbullying happens when any person threatens or harasses other person over any digital device or by using any technology. It is done through digital devices like mobile phones, laptop/computers via social media website or through messages or email or through any online social group where people can exchange messages. Sending messages related to someone that is mean, harmful, or is false information defines bullying. These types of activities are specified as criminal activities under Indian laws.  

Cyberbullying can occur over social media, via messages, SMS, Instant message, or through email. Posting humiliating content about someone over the internet, hacking of someone’s social media account, posting, or sending vulgar messages to someone, stalking any person over the internet, threatening a person to commit an act forbidden by law, child pornography, these are the acts that can constitute cyberbullying and all these acts are criminal acts and are punishable under Indian law. Cyberbullying is different from traditional form of bullying as the identity of the person bullying is not known to the victim, but the mental torture that it does to the victim is more severe in case of cyberbullying as in recent times people are more dependent on internet and are more involved in social media websites, so cyberbullying can affect the victim in more severe form and can alter the mental state of that person permanently.

It was found in a study that victims of cyberbullying are 5 times more prone to commit suicide. Cyberbullying is a major crime in today’s world as social media is just not a place to interact with other people, but it has become a part of their life and people are earning money by posting things over the internet. So, cyberbullying is affecting the people now more than ever and it has become a big problem for the youth.

LEGAL PROVISIONS RELATED TO CYBERBULLYING IN INDIA:  

Cyberbullying is not stated as a crime under any specific statute in Indian law, but there are provisions in some of the Acts that state or punish activities that come under the wide scope of cyberbullying. There are provisions under IT Act, 2000 and IPC, 1860 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

  • Under the Information Technology Act, section 66 of the act deals with the offences related to computer in which the person is held liable for imprisonment of maximum three years or can also be charged with fine up to five lakh or both. Also, section 66C of the act deals with punishment for theft of identity.
  • Section 66D of IT Act, deals with theft or cheating done through or by using computer or online sources. Section 66E states punishment for violating someone’s privacy. Section 67 deals with sending or publishing obscene material through a digital device or through electronic form.
  • Provisions of IPC that deals with cyber crimes are, section 292A delas with printing of grossly matter or matter that is used for blackmailing someone.

Section 354D that deals with stalking, along with Section 507 that deals with criminal intimidation through any anonymous communications.

  • Section 504 deals with punishing the people who intend to insult the modesty of women or invade their privacy by using any word or gesture.

So, these are certain provisions that are specified under Indian laws related to cyberbullying.

Cases of cyberbullying are seen almost every day. There are certain steps or safeguards that a person can take to avoid or report these bullies that are:

  • He/she should not retaliate to the bully, as these people are sometime looking for the person to retaliate and if you retaliate the other person gets more power and does not stop that bullying.
  • Keep the evidence of bullying safe, it is one of the advantages for the victim that in case of cyberbullying the victim can keep the evidence of bullying and it can be use later to form a case of cyberbullying on that person.
  • Reach out for help from the authorities that are made by the government for help and report the people or person who is bullying you.
  • Social media apps provide for reporting the person who is sending invalid or obscene materials or talking trash about other person, so use that option and report the person doing such acts.
  • Keep the social media profile and social interaction over the social media safe

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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