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Cyber Bullying: A Disregarded Issue In India

These days people are totally dependent on the internet. The Internet became a circadian necessity in human lives. The more people are using the internet the more it is developing.
And the more it is developing the more it is creating an impact in the society. Communicating with people became so easy. But everything has its own drawbacks and so does the internet. Some of the drawbacks which include invasion of privacy, cyber stalking,phishing scams, online harassment, cyber bullying, fraud and many more.

This article aims to present a brief study on the concept of cyber bullying. This paper also aims to provide a comparative study and will present an international perspective on this topic.

What Is Cyber Bullying?

Blowing out someone else's candle doesn't make yours shine any brighter--Anonymous

Cyber Bullying is nothing but bullying someone on online platforms such as Facebook, Whats-app, Instagram, tweeter etc. But it is said to be bullied only when something negative is shared about someone and that can cause a huge harm to their reputation. Cyber bullying is so dangerous because it gives the ability to harass anyone in public at any time through devices and mostly students are the victims of these kinds of harassment. A Canadian educator, Bill Belsey first coined the term cyber bullying. The main intention of cyber bullying is to harm a person mentally.

Cyber bullying is also done by creating a website and posting atrocious pictures of a person which can cause harm to their reputation.Threatening someone on social media or in any gaming app can also result in cyber bullying.

What Is The International Perspective Of Cyber Bullying?

Not only in India, people these days are getting bullied online all across the world. The worst part is there is no awareness regarding kids getting bullied by which they are getting mentally disturbed. Many videos of people getting bullied are uploaded on YouTube, and they cannot be traced because those videos were uploaded anonymously. In many countries there are no specific laws for cyber bullying.

United Kingdom:
In U.K half of 12-15 years kids get bullied each and every day. Though bullying is not a criminal offence in U.K there are many laws which can be used to punish a person who bullied someone such as Protection from Harassment Act,1997 where harassment is punished under section 3, Computer Misuse Act, 1990, crime defamation Acts 1952 and 1996

United States:
Nearly every state in the U.S took steps to prevent bullying or cyber bullying. A new law was passed to make cyber bullying a crime under the Megan Meier Cyber bullying prevention Act, 33. California passed an act Safe Place To Learn Act to make schools and colleges a better place to learn and the penalties are suspension, 1 year of jail and fine up to $1000.

In May, 2017 Italy passed a new law with 432 votes in which cyber bullying is described as an offense. This law is passed after many victims committed suicide and most of the victims were teenagers.

What Are The Steps Taken?

There are no specific laws in India regarding cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is not something which can be obliterated without even reporting. It is not easy for a victim to cope up with the bully they faced because someone said  words scar, rumors destroy and bullies kill.

After the amendment of Indian Penal Code, 1860 in 2013 there are some laws to rely on such as Section 499 of IPC defines defamation, Section 292A defines printing matter intended to blackmail, Section 354A describes sexual harassment, Section 354D defines stalking, Section 509 defines any word or act intended to insult a woman.

The Information Technology Amendment Act also provides remedies for cyber bullying. Section 66A of IT Act defines punishment for a person for sending an offensive message through any communicating device. Section 66E defines punishments for invading privacy. Section 67 defines punishment for publishing any obscene picture.

What Is The Present Condition?

Presently in India there is a huge increase in cyber bullying cases. But the no.of cases reported are not proportionate to actual no.of cases because 9.2% of the kids didn't tell their teachers and parents about getting bullied. According to Child Rights and You (CRY) 1 in 3 adults get bullied everyday and most of them are aged between 13-18 years. According to the National Crime Records Bureau there is a 36% increase in cyber stalking and cyber bullying cases in India.

Rittika Sharma's case:

Rittika Sharma, who was a student in a reputed Delhi school was stalked by a Facebook friend whom she unfriended months ago and whom she gave all her information including residential address, school address and even cell phone number. She told her brother regarding this and her brother filed a complaint against this. After this incident Delhi police organised an awareness programs where all the students were told not to send their personal details to any stranger.

Ritu Kohli's Case:

While discussing cyber stalking and Cyber bullying, Ritu Kohli's case is the case one should mention. Ritu Kohli's Case was the first cyber stalking case reported in India. A girl named Ritu Kohli filed a complaint in 2001 that someone else is using her identity in social media and she was deliberately getting calls from different numbers she was also getting calls from abroad. A case was also filed under Section 509 of Indian penal code.

Cyber bullying, if no steps are taken against this, can create a huge problem on the Internet. Lawmakers should discuss with the psychiatrists to make law against cyber bullying because bullying causes a huge mental pressures among children and mostly children are the victims.

Not only cyber bullying, there are many other cyber crimes happening all over the country which needs separate laws. If laws are not made soon the victims will have to suffer more. But as we all know  precautions are better than cure the students needs to be more aware and needs to use Internet positively, they need to take security measures on their social media profiles.

  1. A Critical Analysis On Cyber Bullying In Indian By Saveetha School Of Law, Saveetha University, Chennai.
  2. India Today
  3. Information Technology Act
  4. Indian Penal Code 

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