AIFON has been pursuing with the Karnataka Government about the need to correct the great injustice done to the cyber crime victims of Karnataka by the previous IT Secretary of the State.
The matter relates to the adjudication order passed by the adjudicator of Karnataka in December 2011 and January 2012 that Section 43 of ITA 2008 cannot be invoked by a Company nor against a Company.
The reason adduced is that the word “Person” used in the section applies only to an “Individual” and not a “Company”.
The justification provided was that there was another section called “Section 43A” which is applicable to “Body Corporates” and hence Section 43 is meant only for “Individuals”.
On the face of it this decision appears to be a result of ignorance on the part of the adjudicator about the history of ITA 2000 and why Section 43A was introduced as a means of providing “Data Protection”.
It also appear to betray his ignorance on the Karnataka General Clauses Act which clearly defines that the word “person” includes a Company.
It also appear to betray his ignorance on how this interpretation of his makes many of the other provisions of the ITA 2000/8 meaningless.
But on deeper analysis, a question also arises if this decision was actually out of ignorance or whether there was any other reason behind the decision.
The fact that one of the beneficiaries of the decision was a contractor of the Government of Karnataka and more particularly of the e-Governance department which was also headed by the adjudicator and that the contractor benefited to the extent of nearly Rs 52 lakhs by virtue of the subject decision is a matter which needs to be taken note of.
When an executive of the Government takes a decision which is grossly unfair and benefits a commercial organization to the extent of Rs 52 lakhs, there could be more than what meets the eye.
This matter has been brought to the attention of the Chief Minister of Karnataka as well as the current IT Secretary and the Chief Secretary. However so far no response has come from any of these persons.
Now that elections have been announced in Karnataka, the powers as well as the inclination to take any administrative decision at political level has declined.
But the executives of the Government such as the Chief Secretary and the current IT Secretary continue to have adequate powers to redress the grievances of the Cyber Crime victims of Karantaka. But they seem to consider the issue irrelevant.
AIFON therefore wishes to bring this information before the public so that the interests of the Netizens of Karnataka are not trampled under the ignorant or malicious or apathetic decisions of the executives of the Government of Karnataka.
If the executives remain adamant, it may be necessary for the public to either raise the issue in Lokayukta or the High Court or take it to the candidates aspiring to govern the State after the current elections.