Computers and humans are inextricably connected with each other. They will be modernised, modified and upgraded every day for us. We are connected, beyond borders and walls we love and hate, and beyond strength. This is the time to understand the effects before they engulf us once. To combat the negative application of computers, we must exercise our tools of defence and positivity in mind. We need to know the concerning laws and their legal applications in case we are affected.
The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 was passed in Pakistan to save people from cyberbullying and harassment online. The centuries-old criminal justice framework needed more attention to counter online threats, spying and stealing identity information and other data. The legislation established new penalties for offenses including hacking (illegal access to data), and interference with data and information systems (Dos and DDOS attacks).
Section 14 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes, 2016 explains electronic fraud and states that, whoever, with the intent for wrongful gain, interferes with or uses any information system, deceives or induces any person to enter into a relationship, or deceives any person or blackmails them, which act or omission is likely to cause damage or harm to that person or any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with a fine which may extend to ten million rupees or both.
Wrongful gains means the gain of property to which a person is not entitled to. Property means anything possessed by the person who is the rightful owner. The offense under Section 14 is non-cognisable, bailable, compoundable and triable by the court. A non-cognisable offense is an offense in which a police officer has no authority to arrest without a warrant. The police cannot investigate without the court’s order. An FIR can be lodged against the accused after the court’s permission. According to Section 45 of this Act, the court may, in addition to awarding any punishment including a fine, make an order for payment of compensation to the victim for any damage or loss. Section 47 extends the remedy in the shape of an appeal to the high court against the final judgment of a session court within thirty days from the date of provision of its certified copy free of cost. If the judgment is passed by a magistrate then the appeal will be filed to the concerned sessions court. This section deals with the assaults or damage to the property and reputation of the victim. The cybercrime wing of FIA gathers complaints, investigates the matter and files cases in courts, which results in punishment or fine or both. Any person who is trapped in a forced relationship can seek remedy against the accused.
Access to the investigating agency and the courts is not easy, especially for middle-class members of the youth. The stage when you realise that you have been tricked or blackmailed; don’t panic, be attentive to the company around you, prudently select your advisor, save your records, collect the evidence and reach your lawyer. The sessions judge or magistrate is required to take the evidence into his own hands.
To assure the accuracy of recording as evidence, the accuracy of recording has to be proved. The voice recorded must be significantly identified. The court is cautious about all sorts of possible tampering and manufacturing. The voice of the person speaking must be duly identified by the matter of the record or by others who know him.