Section 67 (B) of IT Act in India Explained in detail

Section 67B of the Information Technology Act, 2000, was added through an amendment in the year 2008, and it deals with the punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material depicting children in sexually explicit acts.

This section specifically targets child pornography and child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and aims to deter the creation and dissemination of such content.

What is Section 67B of IT Act?

Section 67B of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 is an Indian law that criminalizes the publishing, transmitting, or causing the transmission of sexually explicit content depicting children. The section was added to the IT Act in 2008, and it specifically targets content that depicts children engaged in sexually explicit acts or conduct.

The section states that “whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.”

This section also applies to intermediaries, such as internet service providers, who knowingly host or publish such content. The law requires intermediaries to take down such content within 24 hours of receiving a complaint or notification.

The text of Section 67B reads as follows:

“Whoever,—

(a) publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which depicts children engaged in sexually explicit act or conduct;

(b) creates text or digital images, collects, seeks, browses, downloads, advertises, promotes, exchanges or distributes material in any electronic form depicting children in obscene or indecent or sexually explicit manner; (c) cultivates, entices or induces children to online relationship with one or more children for and on sexually explicit act or in a manner that may offend a reasonable adult on the computer resource;

(d) facilitates abusing children online; or

(e) records in any electronic form own abuse or that of others pertaining to sexually explicit act with children,

shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.”

In simpler terms, this section criminalizes the publication, transmission, creation, collection, promotion, exchange, distribution, or possession of CSAM in any electronic form. It also criminalizes actions that involve the cultivation or inducement of children for sexually explicit acts, facilitating child abuse online, and recording such acts in any electronic form.

The punishment for violating this section on the first conviction is imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to ten lakh rupees. On subsequent convictions, the punishment can extend up to seven years of imprisonment and a fine of up to ten lakh rupees.

Section 67B has been an important legal tool in combating the proliferation of CSAM in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, there has been a steady increase in the number of cases registered under this section over the years. In 2019, a total of 934 cases were registered under Section 67B, an increase from 639 cases in 2018.

In conclusion, Section 67B of the Information Technology Act, 2000, aims to prevent the creation and dissemination of CSAM in India and provides for strict punishment for those who violate it. The steady increase in cases registered under this section is indicative of the growing awareness and action against the menace of CSAM.

Is Section 67B of IT Act bailable or non bailable?

Section 67B of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 is a non-bailable offense which means that a person accused of this crime may not be granted bail at the time of arrest. The offense is considered serious, and strict punishment is prescribed to prevent the circulation and dissemination of sexually explicit content depicting children on electronic platforms.

Non-bailable offenses are those where the accused cannot get bail as a matter of right and have to approach the court for bail. The decision to grant bail is at the discretion of the court based on the facts and circumstances of the case. The punishment for violation of Section 67B of the IT Act is imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and/or a fine.

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