Citizens' Issues
Gujarat lawyer apologises for alleging two HC judges close to Modi, Amit Shah
The Supreme Court on Wednesday dropped contempt proceedings against senior lawyer of Gujarat High Court Yatin Narendra Oza after he tendered an "unconditional apology" for calling two high court judges close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
Accepting Oza's unconditional apology, a bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice C. Nagappan said that the contempt proceedings before the Gujarat High Court stands dropped.
Tendering unqualified apology, Oza, in a fresh affidavit, said that except in the proceedings before court, he would not speak on the issue in public.
Contempt proceedings were initiated against Oza before the high court after he in a letter to the Chief Justice of India, he had said that Justice M.R.Shah and Justice K.S. Jhaveri owned their allegiance not to the Constitution of the country but same was "mortgaged" at the residences of Prime Minister Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.
Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Oza, told the bench that the lawyer has tendered unqualified apology and in the light of it the matter should be put to rest.
Senior counsel K.K.Venugopal appearing for Gujarat High Court Advocate Association told the bench that bar association has reservation about what is happening. "If everything comes out it is not good for judiciary," he said, telling the bench that the feeling of the bar can't be disregarded, since, after all, it is also a member of the judicial family.
Senior counsel Harin Rawal, appearing for complainant Khemchand Rajaram Koshti, told the bench that Oza had, on an earlier occasion too, tendered a similar kind of apology but betrayed it and again spoke on the issue.
Doubting the sincerity of Oza in really putting a lid on the issue raked by him, Rawal wondered if apology was a tool to get out of contempt.
Seeking to put the issue at rest, senior counsel Venugopal said: "It is a wound that is being turned again and again. This should be closed and let there be peace and harmony."
Another senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that Koshti wants to keep the pot boiling, and described him more loyal than the king.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


Why we need a digital heir after death
As most of us spend a considerable amount of time on various digital platforms -- Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, WhatsApp and the like -- a pertinent question now arises: What happens to our digital possessions once we die?
All those unforgettable personal photos, family videos and friendly posts acquired over a period of time will either be deleted or kept "frozen" unless we have a digital heir who can preserve those precious moments and gift those to future generations in an external hard disk or pen drive.
While several social media platforms, including search engine Google, allow us to safeguard digital memories in some form or the other, there is no such thing as transferring such assets to someone when it comes to cyber law, including in India.
According to legal experts, when someone dies leaving behind his email and social media accounts, these become movable property and any heir of the deceased can seek the right to access them.
"The said heirs can ask the digital/social media companies to get access after giving the necessary proof. Invariably, the service provider may not be inclined to give such access without any requisite order from the court of competent jurisdiction. This could mean getting a succession certificate from a court of competent jurisdiction which could be a time-consuming process," explained Pavan Duggal, one of the nation's top cyber law experts.
According to Duggal, also a Supreme Court advocate, Indian cyber law has not even touched upon -- let alone dwelt on the nuances of -- the issue of one's post-death digital life. 
"Complicating the entire matter is that the Indian cyber law is not applicable to wills or testaments. This has created huge confusion. The ground reality is that people have stopped waiting for the law to change. Instead, they have come up with their own digital wills which provide various methodologies for devolving their digital assets and information to their heirs after their death," Duggal told IANS.
Digital data comes within the ambit of movable property and hence the appropriate succession certificate needs to be applied for in the Indian context. 
"It is pertinent to note that India does not have a dedicated law on digital inheritance which is, indeed, unfortunate, given the rapid adoption of and reliance on digital data by young Indians," Duggal lamented.
The social media giants, however, have formulated their own solutions to the problem.
Facebook will "memorialise" your account and allow you to choose a "legacy contact". No one can log into a "memorialised" account.
The "legacy contact" can "manage" your account by adding a pinned post (like a funeral announcement), respond to new friend requests and change the profile picture and cover photo -- but nothing beyond that.
Google, which owns Gmail, YouTube and Picasa web albums, has an "Inactive Account Manager" feature which allows a user to nominate who has access to his or her information. If people don't log on after a while, their accounts can be deleted or shared with a designated person.
According to Twitter, "In the event of the death of a Twitter user, we can work with a person authorised to act on behalf of the estate or with a verified immediate family member of the deceased to have an account deactivated." The micro-blogging site, however, added: "We are unable to provide account access to anyone regardless of his or her relationship to the deceased."
From the security point of view, one has to safeguard digital impressions in case of death so that they are not used for anti-social purposes.
"Digital signatures/impressions generally have a validity/expiry date which require a yearly renewal and they are also equipped with a unique combination of passkey so even if someone has the digital signatures they must know the access key to use that," noted Lucknow-based social media analyst Anoop Mishra.
According to statistician Hachem Sadikki from the University of Massachusetts, Facebook will become the world's biggest virtual graveyard by the end of this century as there will be more profiles of dead people than of living users. "Facebook, which currently has 1.71 billion users worldwide, will turn into the world's biggest virtual graveyard by 2098," Sadikki claimed.
In such a scenario, preparing a digital will where you appoint a legal heir to take over your digital life is the need of the hour.
The law, however, is silent on this not just in India but abroad too. Several US states have been debating the question of whether families can access someone else's digital assets after they die.
"The law has to instrinsically recognise that digital data and information, as also aspects pertaining to digital life, are integral components of our life and the law must provide for seamless inheritance of digital data," stressed Duggal.
This becomes all the more significant as we have become huge data generators, data publishers and data broadcasters in our lifetimes.
"All eyes are on the governments, including in India; they must come up with requisite legal frameworks to provide for seamless and efficient digital inheritance for the people," Duggal asserted.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


Protect yourself from cybercrimes and know your rights and protection
"With changing times, the face or interface of crime has changed and criminals have become faceless in cyberspace. In the cyberspace, you get fooled because the fraudsters are smarter than you. So be cautious, alert and on the vigil that will protect in the cyberspace," says Sanjay Saxena, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) at Mumbai. He was speaking as Chief Guest at the seventh session under the "Police & You" series. 

Moneylife Foundation with Police Reforms Watch and support from Saraswat Bank have launched the 12-week program (every Wednesday) that aims to spread knowledge about protecting yourself, your rights, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), cybercrime and economic offences. This was the seventh such session.
Mr Saxena, the 1993-barch senior IPS officer, who was Special Inspector General with Force One, an elite counter-terrorism wing of Maharashtra Police formed after 26/11 terror attack, says, "If you have lost money to email or SMS or phone calls, the only thing to blame is your greed. Basic human nature and weaknesses does not change. Even my father lost money to insurance related scam. Your precautions only will save and protect you".
The event was held in the well-appointed auditorium of Saraswat Bank headquarters, Eknath Thakur Bhavan. 
The seventh session of the 12-week series on "The Police & You: Cyber Crime & You: Rights & Protection" was conducted by Adv Prashant Mali and Ramesh Mohite, former Police Officer and Director at Cyber-I Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd.
Adv Mali, who appear as expert legal counsel in cybercrime and electronic and digital evidence related cases, says, "Digital literacy, safety and security comes with dissipated awareness and knowledge of safeguards and laws governing the Internet usage. Laws in India, though enacted with full vigour, are not implemented with the same josh. Common IT user often do not know various sections of laws and there rights under the law. I find it difficult to digest that educated people cannot differentiate between civil or criminal remedies available to them under law."
The incidence of cybercrime is on the increase because of increased use of technology and its careless application. According to Adv Mali, every year there are estimated three crore incidents of bank phishing that cost about crores of rupees to customers. 
"Every month, I handle over 40 cases related with phishing and bank frauds. I would strongly urge everyone to change your passwords often and do not share it with anyone, including your spouse, friends or even children. Secure your computer or laptop by activating firewall, using good anti-virus and malware protection software. On social media like Facebook Twitter and YouTube, keep your security settings at the highest point. Do not forget to secure your mobile phones and use updated apps and softwares. Be careful while sharing your personal information like name, address, contact number and financial information over the internet. And if you are a victim, first report to the police and contact the right lawyer, who knows about cybercrimes," he said.
As per the information submitted in the Parliament, the number of cases related with cybersecurity are increasing rapidly. During 2013, there were 5693 number of cases reported, which increased to 9,622 and 11,592 cases in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
According to Adv Mali, even though penetration of ecommerce and usage of internet banking has increased, the safety related knowledge but knowledge related to remedies under law is yet to sink in with the common person using Internet for commercial activities.
Talking about online defamation or abuses, Adv Mali, says, "For people seeking recourse to the law to fight online defamation or abuse, section 66A of the IT Act, 2000 would be the best option to register a case under, as it is comprehensive in the wordings and can be widely interpreted and applied. The section was included wide amendment of 2008, and deals with the sending of offensive messages through communication services. It is also an anti-spam law of India." 
According to Mr Mohite, who during 2000 started first Cybercrime Investigation Cell while serving in the Maharashtra Police, everybody is at the risk of falling prey to a cyber attack as no network is secure enough to stand the test of hackers’ incessant efforts to break into every network, every computer that contains valuable, critical, secret information, be it a Government owned computer system or a corporate owned server farm.
"Fortunately, Indian Cyber Law, the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008, provides sufficient protection to victims of such cybercrimes and addresses grave concern of cyber victims to a sufficiently large extent. Adjudication authority in the form of Adjudication Officer, bestowed with all the powers of Civil Courts, expeditiously disposes off various litigations filed before them and have given considerable relief to the affected parties. Police authorities have been sufficiently trained to handle the investigative aspect of cybercrime, thus gaining the trust of business community and citizens at large," he said.
Mr Mohite, who was involved in the investigation and arrest of first hacker of India, who had hacked into a law enforcement website under the pseudonyms Dr. Nuker and Da Libran, says, “Digital evidence is volatile in nature and can be easily altered. Hence, from the time the computer crime happens, computer forensic process starts. One of the cardinal principles of handling digital evidence is ‘never work on original evidence’.” 
He said, “The moment any cybercrime incident is reported, the first stage of computer forensic of acquiring digital evidence starts. Since you are not supposed to be working on original evidence, you are barred from directly inspecting the contents of the storage media. This deprives you from having a first glance at the digital trail left by the cybercriminal. Here the computer forensics comes to your rescue and allows you to take exact bit stream copy of the storage media without violating the sanctity of original evidence. Taking bit stream copy of storage media is also called as imaging the media. This helps in tracking and subsequently to the arrest of the cybercriminal.”


The Jamtara connection of fraud calls

Both Adv Mali and Mr Mohite mentioned about a booming business of cyber frauds originating from a far away district of Jamtara in Jharkhand. According to Adv Mali, people, mostly youngsters have formed groups for making calls and duping people across the country by pretending to be calling from a bank. These people assemble in the morning and then split in a group of two-three to start calling people while seating in the bamboo. They have two mobiles handset, one a basic phone and a smartphone.

The basic phone is used to make calls while the smartphone is kept on standby with an e-wallet opened. The caller identifies himself as a bank representative and tells the call received that the account is up for verification or expiry. Once the card details of the individual are entered into the e-wallet, the transaction mostly requires a onetime password (OTP) from the call receiver to authenticate. At this point, the caller tells his target that he had sent across a code for him, which he required to verify the account. Once the call receiver reads out the number, the transaction is complete. So by the time, the call ends, the call receiver may find substantial amount have vanished from his account.

Adv Mali said, the mobile tower outside one village, Kala Jharia sees over 3,000 outgoing calls, mostly to Mumbai, on a daily basis. The average calls originating from a mobile tower is about 700 to 800. "This surge is since past few years. During this period, not many people from Jamtara district moved to Mumbai, so this surge should have alerted mobile operators. But nobody is bothered. All these calls are used to defraud people across the country," he added.

During 2015, police teams from 10 states have arrested 28 individuals from Jamtara in 22 cases, all of them residents of Karmatar police station limits.

According to Adv Mali, there are two ATMs operated by State Bank of India (SBI) in Karmatar in Jamtara district. The Bank deposits around Rs5 to Rs10 lakh in one ATM, while the other gets filled with about Rs15 to Rs20 lakh every day. However, cash from the first ATM gets over in few hours while the cash in the second machine last hardly for a day.





Rajan Vaswani

2 months ago

Banks call us and we do not even know if the phone number from which they called is genuine or not. Till the bank has an identifier with which it is easy for a customer to know it is a genuine contact center, customers are better off avoiding such calls altogether. Good news about receiving money plays on greed, but bad news on loss of money will play on fear and fear will always lead to a "better conversation". Never fall for either and ask the caller to send you a letter to your officially communicated postal address, or an email which you can evaluate for phishing.

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