The moment a cyber crime is committed, techno legal efforts to trace the culprit start. However, cyber crime investigation is a complicated process that may involve multiple jurisdictions and cross border organised cyber crimes. Since Internet recognises no boundaries, a cyber crime committed in one jurisdiction may have rippling effects in another jurisdiction. This gives rise to conflict of laws in cyberspace that are difficult to manage.
The framework for cyber crime investigation in India is still developing. In fact, in a Public Interest Litigations (PILs) the Supreme Court of India has issued notice to Centre to seek its views in this regard. Supreme Court was approached to ensure regulations and guidelines for effective investigation of cyber crimes in India.
Like other parts of the world, India is also trying to bridge the gap of skilled cyber workforce and trained law enforcement agencies. However, we have very few cyber crime and cyber security research and development centres in India. Similarly, there are very few cyber law firms in India that are providing legal assistance for cyber crime cases in India.
Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) have been working in the direction of spreading public awareness regarding cyber law on the one hand and cyber crimes investigation on the other. PTLB is managing the exclusive techno legal Centre of Excellence for Cyber Crimes Investigation in India.
PTLB is providing the exclusive techno legal cyber crimes investigation training in India for various stakeholders. PTLB is also managing the exclusive techno legal virtual campus for techno legal trainings in India.
Recently a Constitution Bench (PDF) of Supreme Court of India in Lalita Kumari v. Govt Of UP (2013) SC (5J) (PDF) held that police officers are bound to register FIR upon receiving information of commission of a cognizable offence in India. This means that for cognizable offences, as mentioned in the judgment, police officers would be left with no option but to register an FIR unless the case falls in one of the exceptions mentioned by the Supreme Court. Police officers would now be required to register an FIR for various cyber crimes as well and investigate the same promptly.
In this background, the cyber crime investigation has assumed great importance in India as cyber crimes have increasing a lot in India. Cyber crimes like online defamation, hate speech, fake social media profiles, misuse of social media, hacking, defacing of websites, etc require techno legal expertise to solve. With compulsorily filing of FIR police officials would now be required to investigate all these cyber crimes.
However, investigation of these cyber crimes would require techno legal expertise that is presently missing in India. Realising this fact, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) are planning to hire contractual services of experts. The suggestions regarding rules pertaining to inspection, inquiry and investigation (SFIO) by Perry4Law (PDF) have already been provided and these suggestions equally apply to cyber crime investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies of India.
Indian government must consider these issues on a priority basis. Further, techno legal expertise of firms like Perry4Law and institutions like PTLB must also be utilised by Indian government to fullest extent to make cyber crime investigation in India meaningful and effective.