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CYBER CRIMES IN INDIA

Cyber Crimes in India

Gone are the days when accessing internet was anoverpriced matter for an individual/household; when cyber cafes were the only places to have paid usage and having an internet connection at homecame at exorbitant prices. Now to use internet, all you need is a smartphone with umpteen number of data packs for every income brackets to choose from. Online shopping, social networking, gaming, online jobs – there is hardly anything that internet has failed to cover. The technology has taken everything by storm and internet has only upsurge the convenience quotient for Indians. But along with the boon comes the bane. As much as we appreciate the existence and indispensability of internet in our daily lives, there is no taking away from the fact that Cyber Crime is also one of the dark facets pushed in by the internet and that has questionably jinxed the presence of both technology and internet.

Cyber Crime, can be defined as an act of manhandling technology in an unlawful manner by using a computer device as tool or medium with an intention to illegally conceal or steal a piece of confidential information. However, the term is generally and perceptibly quite wide and covers an assortment of activities under its ambit. The mishaps connoted as phishing, illegal downloading, piracy, industrial espionage are nothing but various types of Cyber Crimes.

Most commonly committed cyber-crimes may be enlisted as follows:

  • Unauthorized Access- in simple words, it means hacking, where a person illegally tries to interface a device and use unlawful means to crack hold of it. It included destructing the existing safety apparatus of a device, replacing the same with a new password(s) with a ready-made computer programs to outbreak the aimed computer/device.
  • Virus Attacks- A virus is a program which when inserted in a computer device, infects the user workspace, makes copies of itself and infect the whole working. The multiplicity of programs destroys the core management of the system and they do it redundantly till the complete mechanism is devastated. Examples of Viruses are Worms, Trojan horse, time bomb, bacterium etc.
  • Piracy–Piracy making an unauthorized copy of anything and then selling in place of original one. This includes trademark violations, steal computer source code, illegally downloading movies, copyright infringements etc.
  • Phishing – When an email is sent to your email box from a seemingly legitimate source, generally renowned companies or job offers, it usually contains a link that asks you leakyour confidential information from your system. This act is known as phishing. These are bogus websites to illegally extract the information from people and then using it to their illicit gains.
  • Email spoofing- Whenthe source of an email is being tempered with, it is known as Spoofing. The intention is generally to have monetary gains.

Although India is regulated by Information Technology Act 2000, the rate of cyber-crime cases has increased 300% between 2011-2014 which only goes up to prove that the real applicability of the law is still being quizzed. It has also been noticed that India has become one primary target of these malpracticers and the crimes are mainly rooted from countries like China, Pakistan, Turkey, UAE and Brazil. A study by Indian Computer Emergency team has stated the number of reported cyber crimes were close to 50000 in 2015. The study also underlined that operational systems built around legal technologies with weaker protocols were more prone to these cyber-attacks.

Much to our dismay, it has also been seen in India, that most cyber crimes’ cases don’t have a satisfactory ending, i.e. they don’t end up in conviction. The reasons have been touted as lack of cyber professionals to crack cases and the government have failed to resource and deploy the best set of cyber practices to use. As per Data Security Council of India, Indian government is training police and other official to deal with cyber law crimes, but impromptu transfers of those trained professionals lead to incomplete or no treatment of those cases. Due to such negligence and absence of a robust mechanism to fight cyber-crimes, has led to feeble planning and lesservigilance for upcoming technological threats in India.

In continuation of the same process to fight cyber-crime, formation of NCCC (National Cyber Coordination Centre) has been proposed in 2015, with an intention to ensure cyber security on Indian Internet interface and e-surveillance agency in India. The function and duties of NCCC would be prevent cyber-crime, devising strategies to investigate criminal cases posing threat to Indian Cyber space, review of old and outdated laws and to curb misuse of Social Media. Though NCCC got an in principle nod in 2013 by the then government, it actual formation is still pending.

The fight to control Cyber Crimes in India may be a national subject but the importance of general awareness about technology and consequently about criminal activities involved therein at an individual level cannot be undermined. That is to say, if one is agile enough at a personal level and not fall for vague goof ups and staggering monetary offers flooding over the mails, the effect of these crimes can be dealt to a great extent. There are few basic thumb rules that one should swear by if they are susceptible to to internet usage on a regular basis.

  • Shun off those pop ups appearing every now and then. This lead to various other fatal hyperlinks which further auto install malicious softwares in your device.
  • Install a good Anti-Virus in your system to combat unnecessary show downs and redundancy of pages.
  • Don’t fall prey to those lucrative job offers in your mail. They may sound like genuine stuff, which actually drain a lot of secretive information.
  • Don’t click on hyperlinks that are not secure and show up irrelatively on your browser.
  • Maintain not more than 2 email accounts. It is also imperative that the email account should be protected by two step verification process. Mobile alerts facility, when log in from a different device is done, should be subscribed for.
  • Do not auto save your credit/debit card details on online web portals.
  • Delete the spam folder in your mail box on a daily basis.
  • Avoid online shopping, banking etc. if the network is not properly secured. Don’t fall for free wifi zones.
  • Do not quote your email address or phone number in any kinds of surveys and questionnaires.

The rate at which cyber-crimes are inflating is startling. At an annual inflation of more than 100% in cybercrimes, India need a vigorous and effective plan to circumvent Indian cyber space. Indian government, has from time to time, taken steps and measures, to curb the frequency of Cyber Crimes. Though only steps taken on national level is not going to regulate and battle the derelictions. It is therefore important that defend the occurrence of these cases on an individual level. If the crimes still surface, then they should duly be reported and taken up and treated diligently. The battle against cyber-crime and protecting India from any upcoming cyber threats can only be dealt with combined efforts of both government and citizens. We need to all pull up our socks and shield any kind of detrimental action taken against our nation.

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RERA Act 2017 india

Real Estate Regulation Act,(RERA) 2017 – Salient Features

To have much cumbersome real estate sector run in an efficient and methodical manner, Real Estate Regulation Bill has finally been passed on 19th April 2017. The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation issued a notification announcing a series of section coming into force from 01st May 2017. This is in extension to the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 that came into force in May 2016. The act has come as a much needed respite to an otherwise chaotic management in Real estate as on today.

With 8 year longefforts coming to fruition, the Act has not only changed the real estate market for better but has also aimed at improving participation from the buyers’ end. It has devised and tight procedure for registering every project and a stern mechanism to deal with people indulging in unfair practices to unethically temper the market forces. With an utmost intent to safeguard buyers’ interest, the act has taken into consideration every pro and con that might have the effect of compromising on their rights and detrimental to their share of investment.

In a nutshell, these provisions relate to the functions and duties of promoters, rights and duties of allottees, registration process of real estate projects with RERA, recovery of interest & penalties, enforcement of orders, offences, penalties and adjudication, taking cognizance of offence.

We shall discuss the each of the salient features of the Act section wise in detail below:

APPLICABILITY– The Act applies to whole of India except the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Registration of Real Estate Project

The Act has stipulated due procedure for registration making it mandatory for every real estate project to get prior registration with Real Estate Regulatory authority. The application for registration has to be made by the promoters in prescribed form mentioning details of enterprise, the project being carried out, history of the enterprise, required approvals, plan of development, location details, allotment letter, details of contractors, architects and structural designer. On satisfaction, the authority may grant registration within 30 days of application by the enterprise. The promoters are then given a login id on the website of Authority and required to create its own web page.

Registration of Real Estate Agent

Along with the projects being registered, the Act demands the registration of Real Estate Agents. No enterprise shall proceed further with any sale purchase of any plot, apartment or property without having obtained a registration number form the Authority. Any breach to the specified process may lead to hefty penalties under the Act.

Function And Duties of Promoters

The functions and duties of promotes are essentially buyer eccentric. He has to do all as to maintain authenticity in the working of projects, keep the buyers/investors well informed of every aspect of construction at every stage. This includes quarterly updates being uploaded on its web page, making available the letter of allotment to the buyer and postulating details about sanctioned plans, carpet area to include spaces like kitchen and toilets time scheduling, to timely obtain completion and occupancy certificate and to not to take any deposit without first entering into agreement for sale.

Right and Duties of Allotees

The allotees under the act would have to equally agile about their investment plans. They have an entitlement to know stage wise progress on project, to claim possession of apartment and to claim refund of amount paid as interest, if promoter fails to deliver the project on time. Likewise, for any late payment, the allotee would also be liable to pay interest. They must also participate towards registration of the conveyance deed of the apartment.

Real Estate Regulatory Authority

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority formed by appropriate government shall have sufficient number of members as prescribed under the act and one chairperson presiding over them. The authority shall be responsible to accept complaints by any aggrieved person/entity covered under the Act and resolve them expeditiously. Along with registering real estate projects &agents and maintaining records and archiving them for public records, they are also designated to protect interest of allotees, promoters& agents, creating single window systems for time bound projects, creating transparent grievance redressal mechanism and constructing environment friendly sustainable housing. One remarkable feature of this establishment is that the RERA authority has to be formed state wise, which will not lead to less chaotic management of cases, but will also help in speedy redressal of queries at the aggrieved end.

Central Advisory Council

The Central Advisory council under section 41 shall consist representative from Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industry and commerce, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Law and justice, NITIAayog, National Housing Bank, Housing and Urban Development to advise, from time to time, as to how the authority and the act can work in a more effective and translucent manner. The Council shall recommend, the central government, on questions of matter concerning implementation of Act, to foster growth and development of real estate sector.

Real Estate Apellate Tribunal

The Appellate tribunal shall address the appeal made by any aggrieved person/investor/buyer/promoter. A period of 60days has been stipulated under the act to expeditiously prefer/resolve the appeal and pass such orders, final or interim as it may deem fit. The appellate tribunal shall have to state reasons, for not adhering the stipulated timelines. The tribunal shall consist of two whole time members having adequate capabilities as to technical and administrative qualities and one chairperson.

Offences, Penalties and Adjudication

Considering the scope for embezzlement in activities involved in real estate and construction of buildings, apartments, the Act has included stringent provision for offences and levy of heavy penalties on breaching any of those provisions of the Act.

The offences includes :

  1. Non-compliance with the order of RERA Authority, central Advisory Council and Apellate Tribunal.
  2. Providing incomplete or false information about registered projects and concealing information that has the effect of diluting/dissolving investors’/buyers’ money.
  3. Non registration of the projects or real estate agents.
  4. Non-compliance to any other provision of this Act.

The penalties includes imprisonment and fine or both depending upon nature and severity of offence conducted. The imprisonment may extend 3 years and fine up to 10% of the estimated cost of the project.

The real Estate Regulatory Act 2017, has an array of advantages for buyers’ set forth in the act with a deep rooted sight and incumbency upon the builders. The act has also mandated deposition of 70% of the collected funds into an escrow account to ensure hastened deliverance of the projects and avoiding any delay in possessions to the buyers. The clarity endowed in the sale purchase agreement and clearly rolling out the functions and duties of promoters and regular intervention by the buyers is likely to surge the authenticity of the project a notch up. The buyers are now supposed to pay for only carpet area and not super area, as per earlier practice. And lastly the Real estate sector in India is going to experience a boost in FDI’s, which was not the case before this Act coming to fore. This will lead to increased overseas investment, amplified foreign exchange and sky highs GDP’s in Indian economy. The Real Estate Regulatory Act has upheaved the level of confidence in the buyers/customers.

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CONSUMER RIGHTS IN INDIA

Consumer Rights in India

A Consumer is the one who always has a right to information with regards to the quantity, effectiveness,quality, transparency, price, and the standard of goods or services that he or she wishes to acquire. He has right to be protected against any sort of unfair trade practices. Though, in order to be protected against any unfair trade practices a consumer first and foremost must know his/her rights.

India has enforced various laws over the period of time to safeguard and protect a consumer against various malpractices; the main act shielding the consumer is the Consumers Protection Act 1986. Consumer Protection Act 1986 states that, everyone, be it individual entity,firm, family or company, always and under every circumstance have the right to employ their consumer rights for the purchase of and goods or services.

Most of the consumer rights in India are following:

  1. To have the right to complete consumer education
  2. To be free choice of goods and services
  3. To be protected from all kind of hazardous goods and services
  4. To be fully informed about the performance and quality of all goods and services
  5. To be heard in all decision-making processes related to consumer interests
  6. To be able to seek redressal, whenever consumer rights have been infringed

In case of violation of right a complaint can be made under the following circumstances and reported to the designated consumer court.

  • The goods or services purchased by a person are defected in nature.
  • Resorting to unfair trade practices by a trader
  • Charging rates more than the price quoted
  • Goods or services that bring a hazard to the safety or life of a person offered for sale, unknowingly or knowingly, that cause injury to health, safety or life.
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ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

Environmental Law in India

Protecting our environment should be the first and foremost duty of every citizen, especially with the increasing harm that is being caused to our environment with every passing day.

The constitution of India states ‘it is the duty of the State to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country’. It is the duty of every citizen of India and is stated in the Directive Principles mentioned in our Constitution too, to safeguard the environment that includes wildlife, forest, lakes, rivers, trees etc.

For the same purpose Ministry of Environment and Forest was established in the year 1985 in India.

The requirements on Environment mentioned in our constitution are backed by many laws, rules, acts etc. the first and foremost is the Environment Protection Act 1986, this act was promulgated post the Bhopal Gas Leak Tragedy. Post this there were more acts, legislative bodies to fairly deal with this issue.

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DEATH CERTIFICATE

Procedure for obtaining Death Certificate in India

A Death Certificate is written document issued by the government to the relative or legal representative of the deceased stating the date, fact and cause of the death.

ESSENTIALS OF DEATH CERTIFICATE

  • It is essential to register date, time and cause for death in order to create transparency and relieve the individual from social, legal and official obligation.
  • It help in enabling settlement of property inheritance, insurance and other benefits.
  • It is mandatory under the law to register every death with the concerned state government within 21 days of occurrence of death.

STATUTORY REGULATION

  • As per the Registration of Births & Death Act 1969, it is mandatory to register every death with the concerned State /Union Territory government within 21 days of its occurrence .
  • The Registrar General at Centre level, Chief Registrars at States Level with District Registrars and Municipal Registrar overseas the administration at district and Block level.

DUTY

  • It is duty of head of family to report and register if natural death has occur at Home with doctor certifying that cause of death is natural.
  • In case of Hospital it is the duty of medical in charge.
  • In case of Jail it is the duty of Jailer in charge.
  • In case of body is found deserted in an area it is the duty of police in charge of that area to get its post mortem and do last ritual of the body as per religious norms.

REGISTRATION FEE

  • If registration is done within 21 days of Death occurrence , then it is done free of cost.
  • Within 21 – 30 days of occurrence , then it has to be certified by Medical Official, Health (MOH) after paying a fine of Rs. 25/- for delay in registration.
  • After 30 days to within a year of death, then it can be certified by the Joint Director of Statistics by submitting as affidavit and fine of Rs. 50/-.
  • After a Year ,then it has to be certified by order of a first class magistrate by providing the cause of Death certificate, Cremation Certificate and an affidavit.

INTIAL PROCESS

  • The applicant shall apply in the form which is in general format containing all details of deceased and place and time of death and reason for occurrence .
  • While applying applicant has to attach hospital letter where death took place or a certificate from civil official who certified the death at either the crematorium or burial grounds.
  • The format of application is uniform all over India and will be in Hindi, English and one regional language.
  • The application form is generally available with the municipal ‘s local body authority or with the registrar who maintains the Register of Death.
  • If application is not made within 21 Days of death occurrence then penalty and procedure for delay has to be applied.

DOCUMENT

  1. Proof of Birth of deceased
  2. An affidavit stating the Date and Time of Death
  3. Identity proof of deceased
  4. Nationality of the deceased
  5. Proof of occurrence of death
  6. Fees as required for stamp duty and penalty for delay
  7. Evidence proof of Applicant ‘s relationship with the deceased with complete address

PROCESS

  • The initial process as given above is for submitting information of a person’s death in India so that an official of a government could issue the death certificate.
  • One of main reason for getting the death certificate information of a deceased ancestor is genealogical research reasons.
  • The researcher will contact municipal or local body of the area to get information of Death certificate in particular state in India where the person has died.
  • The Chief Registrar‘s office or Magistrate’s Office in each Indian Sate or region within a state has that responsibility.
  • The government of each state has a site to keep track of data related to Death but in some state it is at initial phase and in some state the complete data is not available.
  • The procedure for obtaining Death certificate will be same with minor changes as per state regulation.
  • As stamp Act and Penalty Act come under state list , hence there may be variation depending on state to state as per state regulation.
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