To  Mrs Pratibha Patil

Honourable President of India,

New Delhi

Sub: Closure of Indian Cyber Crime Judicial System

It was a pleasure to know that while speaking on the occassion of the Golden jubilee celebrerations of the Bangalore Bar Council on the 6th of August 2011, you highlighted the  need for reduction of litigation costs and affordable Justice.
During your speech you are also quoted to have said  “Technology has thrown up issues which were unheard of a few years ago, like cyber crime and  hacking. How to deal with these will require new thinking and new knowledge.” ..”In this background, the one aspect that stands out is the need for constant upgradation of  skills. This could be done through training on issues such as cyber laws, environmental laws,  intellectual property rights and the need for gender sensitivity”..“I therefore, call on our lawyers and our judges, to focus on preparing themselves for future challenges. ”

While it is pleasing to note that you have spoken of the importance of Cyber Laws and need to speedy and affordable justice for Cyber Crime victims etc., It is necessary for me to point out that your words appear ironic since the present Government in Delhi has actually closed down the principal Cyber Court in India namely the Cyber Appellate Tribunal(CAT) from June 30, 2011.

The  CAT is the appellate authority for allthe Adjduicating offices in India which have sole jurisdiction for redressing any grievance arising out of a contravention of InformatioN Technolgy Act 2000 (Cyber Laws of India).

The Chairman of CAT namely Justice Sri Rajesh Tandon attained super annuation on June 30 2011  and demitted his office. Though this was known since his appointment, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) did not take any action to maintain continuity of the office by either appointing a replacement for Justice Rajesh Tandon or providing him an extension of service.

As a result, the Court has closed down and the adjudicators in  28 States and 7 Union territories in  the country have been rendered dysfunctional.

In the process all the Cyber Crime victims who were seeking remedies in these institutions are left wondering when the Government will find time to fill the vacancy of the Chairman of CAT.

I have personally brought this to the attention of every person connected with the appointment including the honourable Minister Mr Kapil Sibal, the Secretary of the IT department as well as the Chief Justice of India. I have also endorsed copies of some of these letters to several members of Parliament.

On 21st June 2011, I also brought this to your attention through a letter.

Despite all these efforts, there has been no action from the MCIT. All my efforts to draw attention of the relevant authorities has also not been successful.

Now that you have expressed a concern for Cyber Law and Cyber Justice, I urge you to kindly take a second look at my letter of June 21, 2011 and catalyze the appointment of the Chairman (with additional members if possible) immediately so that the Cyber Justice system in India is kept alive.

I am forced to bring this matter to your notice through an open letter on the Internet since ordinary citizens like us cannot have access to your attention through letters in the regualr channel and the current Government has no time for citizen welfare activities.

Regards

Naavi of Naavi.org

Netizen Activist

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