Cyber Crime against Women


This research study provides a review and analysis of the development of regulatory instruments statutes, recommendations, guidelines, etc. to protect privacy and related interests of women in cyberspace. These instruments form a field of law and policy that has attained considerable maturity, spread and normative importance over the decades. In this paper I plan to discuss various laws related to protect women and children from the cybercrime. I have discuss various case laws how perpetrator get punished. Further discuss about various remedies that need to avail by the internet users.

In conclusion and remark legal system required changes to curb the cybercrime.

Keywords: cybercrime, IT Act, Indian Penal Code, women


The traditional Indian society places women in a very high regards, the Vedas glorified women as the mother, the creator, one who gives life and worshipped her as a “Devi or “Goddess. The women occupied a vital role and as such her subjugation and mistreatment were looked upon as demeaning to not only the woman but towards the whole society.


The right to internet usage has now become a human right, as declared by the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2016. Union Ministry of Women and Child Development has officially recognized the magnitude of cyber-crimes against women and the need for a concerted effort to address the same, this paper explores the ground realities – the existence and effectiveness of Indian laws in protecting women (and girls) and enabling a safe and congenial environment for them when they access the internet. The number of social network users in India has increased drastically from 181.7 million in 2015 to 216.5 million in 2016 to a projected 250.8 million in 2017.[1]It is expected that the same would increase to at least 336.7 million by 2020.[2]

The cyber world in itself has a virtual reality where anyone can hide or even fake his identity, this gift of internet is used by the criminally minded to commit wrongful acts and then hide under the blanket provided by the internet. The substantive provision of Section 77 of the IT Act provides that the provisions of Indian Penal Code will still apply to all the circumstances and that the penalty under any provision of the IT Act do not release the offender from the liability under any other law. Crimes which are especially targeted against women may be enumerated as cyber- stalking, cyber defamation, cyber sex, dissemination of obscene material and trespassing into one’s privacy domain is very common now days.


The Internet is a global medium regardless of frontiers, and this creates new possibilities for the so-called cyber stalker. Cheap and easy access to the Internet means that distance is no obstacle to the cyberstalker.3 Anyone can become a target for a cyberstalker through the use of the Internet in many forms. The victim can be contacted by e-mail, instant messaging (IM) programs, via chat rooms, social network sites, or the stalker attempting to take over the victim’s computer by monitoring what he is doing while online. The Internet is not a “lawless place”[3], and there are difficulties in applying laws that are made for specific nation states and this would be also true of applying national harassment and stalking laws to the Internet.

More than half population are in not in habit of using Computer, internet and other devices which are most commonly used are social media sites (Facebook), chat rooms, skype, WhatsApp, Dating sites etc. At one side of the coin the digitalization has enhanced the system of India in all terms such as economy, education, governance etc., but at second it brought cyber-crimes also in India at large number. The definition of cybercrime continues to evolve as avenues open up that allow cybercriminals to target consumers in new ways.

The Major Cybercrimes which may put woman get into depression, hypertension and suffer from anxiety, heart disease, diabetic, thyroid and many more due to e-harassment. Most common types of cybercrimes are as follows:

  • Cyber stalking: Cyber stalking is on the rise and women and teenagers are the most likely targets. Cyber stalking a way to use the Internet to stalk someone for online harassment and online abuse. A cyber stalker does not engage in direct physical threat to a victim, but follows the victim’s online activity to gather information, make threats in different forms of verbal intimidation. The anonymity of online interaction reduces the chance of identification and makes cyber stalking more common than physical stalking.
  • Defamation: Cyber defamation includes both libel and defamation. It involves publishing defamatory information about the person on a website or circulating it among the victim’s friends circle or organization.
  • Morphing: Morphing is an activity to edit original picture to misuse it. Perpetrator download women pictures from social media, WhatsApp or some other resources and upload morphed photos on other websites such as social media site, porn sites or for registering themselves anonymously.
  • Cyber-pornography: This is another threat to women and children because this includes publishing pornographic materials in pornography websites by using computers and internet.
  • E-mail spoofing: It refers to an email that emerges from one source but has been sent from another source. It can cause monetary damage.
  • Phishing: Phishing is the attempt to gain sensitive information such as username and password.
  • Trolling: Troll spreads conflict on the Internet, criminal starts quarreling or upsetting victim by posting inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intention to provoke victims into an emotional, upsetting response.


Under Information and Technology Act, 2000, stalkers and cyber criminals can be booked under several sections for breaching of privacy.

  • Section 67: deals with publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form. The earlier section in IT Act was later widened as per IT Act 2008 in which child pornography and retention of records by intermediaries were all included.
  • Section 66A: Sending offensive messages through communication service, causing annoyance etc. through an electronic communication or sending an email to mislead or deceive the recipient about the origin of such messages (commonly known as IP or email spoofing) are all covered here. Punishment for these acts is imprisonment up to three years or fine
  • Section 66B: Dishonestly receiving stolen computer resource or communication device with punishment up to three years or one lakh rupees as fine or both
  • Section 66C: Electronic signature or other identity theft like using others password or electronic signature etc.
  • Section66D: Cheating by personation using computer resource or a communication device shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupee.
  • Section66E: Privacy violation – Publishing or transmitting private area of any person without his or her consent etc. Punishment is three years imprisonment or two lakh rupees fine or both.
  • Section66F: Cyber terrorism – Intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of the nation and denying access to any person authorized to access the computer resource or attempting to penetrate or access a computer resource without authorization.
  • Section 72: Punishment for breaching privacy and confidentiality.
  • Section 72A: Punishment for disclosing information during lawful contract.
  • Section 441 IPC: This section deals with criminal trespassing.
  • Section 354C IPC: This section deals with voyeurism.
  • Section 354D: This section deals with stalking. It defines stalker as a man who follows a woman and tries to contact such woman, monitors every activity undertaken by women while using digital media.

CASE LAWS (Describing Position of Women in India)

Ritu Kohlis case was India’s first case of cyber stalking reported in India. Manish Kathuria was arrested by the New Delhi Police. He was stalking an Indian lady, Miss Ritu Kohli by illegally chatting on the Web site MIRC using her name, used obscene and obnoxious language, and distributed her residence telephone number, inviting people to chat with her on the phone. As a result of which, Ritu kept getting obscene calls from everywhere, and people promptly talked dirty with her.[4] Finally the IP address was traced out and police registered the case under section 509 of the IPC which attracts outraging the modesty of a women. This case was an alarm to the government to make laws regarding such crimes.

Dr. L. Prakash v. Superintendent: In this case the accused was an orthopedic surgeon forced women to perform sexual acts and later on upload and sale these videos as adult entertainment materials worldwide. He was charged under section 506, 367 and 120-B of the IPC and Section 67 of Information Technology Act, 2000. He was sentenced for life imprisonment and a pecuniary fine of Rupees 1, 25,000 under the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956.[5]

State of Tamil Nadu v. Suhas Katti: In this case the accused Katti posted obscene, defamatory messages about a divorced woman in the yahoo message group and advertised her as a solicit for sex. This case is considered as one of the first cases to be imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and also with fine which may extend to two lakh rupees.[6]


Now it’s time to call for preventive measures and to be well equipped with knowledge and skills such as complaint making under police e-portal or cyber cells. These limitations in legal regulation are, to some extent, compensated for by the availability of non-legal solutions to online harassment. Some solutions are mention below:

  • NCRB should assemble all the cases of woman and child harassment and other cybercrimes against woman and children under a separate category so that performance of law enforcement agencies in this regard could be discerned and observed properly.
  • There should be a Digital Police Portal or E-Portal where woman can report their problems online. This could reduce the number of cases under-reported due to associated stigma and propensity of parents/guardians to not involve police in such matters the portal also maintains the database of criminals which could really help law enforcement.
  • Keep evidence of possible harassment by saving messages, or copying and pasting them to e-mails. Prevention is always better than cure. So, all the net users, especially women, who are more prone to be the victims of cyber-crime, should not share their personal information to public.[7]
  • Social Networking sites like Face book, they should maintain the privacy limit on their information and photos.
  • They should be careful in adding strangers in their friend list.
  • Vishakha Singh, they should teach a good lesson to each abuser and defamer. Despite sitting and suffering silently, they should fight for their justice, because If you do not offend the crime, crime will offend you”.[8]
  • Indian Legal system, as well as Indian justice delivery system is that effective laws should be enacted through required amendments in the present statutes, that can tackle such issues of cyber-crime against women and can provide for deserved punishments to the offenders.
  • Internet security is of vital importance and needs to be taken care of. Also, justice delivery should be speedy and effective.
  • Present law should not lead to injustice being delivered.
  • To prevent and stop crime, some strict actions need to be taken.
  • Those actions should be immediate and effective.
  • There is no benefit of delay, because “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
  • The majority of cybercrimes need to be made non-bailable offences.
  • A comprehensive data protection regime needs to be incorporated in the law to make it more effective.
  • The government should work towards bilateral cooperation with other countries for exchanging of information on cybercrimes.


The National Crime Records Bureau has some good news for women in Delhi. According to the data released by NCRB, there has been a 24% decline in crime against women in the capital.

Various forms of cyber-crimes are experienced by Indian women who use the internet in the contemporary context. “Even with the most carefully crafted legislation, enforcing a law in a virtual community creates unique problems never before faced by law enforcement agencies.”[9] These problems pertain mainly to international aspects of the Internet. It is a medium that can be accessed by anyone throughout the globe with a computer and modem. This means that a potential offender may not be within the jurisdiction where an offence is committed.

Secondly, many women are unaware of their rights in law vis-à-vis cyber-crimes. Awareness-raising of women is an important agenda for the Indian government.

Thirdly, building confidence mechanisms with victims and potential victims is crucial, in order to encourage crime reporting. It is vital that personnel of the Cyber Crimes Cell established by the police at the state level, are well-trained in the latest technological developments, including cyber forensics, in order that they may conduct speedy and efficient investigation into cyber crimes against women.

Additionally, grievance redressal mechanisms and institutions should be vitalized and popularized, with the ease of lodging complaints and minimizing delay in investigation and prosecution as major objectives.

It is important to acknowledge that law does not have the potential to provide all solutions to the issues of cyber-crimes against women in India. Women themselves should be trained to take preventive measures.

Saurav Kumar, B.A.LLB, 4th Year


Central University of South Bihar

[1] Number of Social Network Users in India from 2015 to 2021 (March 15, 2017, 11.04 AM),

[2] Ibid.

[3] See J.R. Reidenberg, Governing Networks and Cyberspace Rule-Making, 45 EMORY LAW JOURNAL 911 (1996).


[5] Dr. L. Prakash v. Superintendent (Madras High Court, W.P. 7313, 2002).

[6] Tamil Nadu v.SuhasKutt,4680 of 2004 Criminal Complaint.


[8] Vishaka and Ors v. State of Rajasthan and Ors.(JT 1997 (7) SC.

[9] B. Jensen, Cyberstalking: Crime, Enforcement and Personal Responsibility in the Online World, (last visited May 1, 2013).

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