The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cyber tort litigation makes its debut

New Delhi, July 11: Cyber tort litigation has begun in India with Bangalore-based Antares Systems Ltd filing the first case for damages under the Indian cyber law against C 1 India Pvt. Ltd and four others.

C1 India is the New Delhi-based subsidiary of US firm Commerce1.

Antares Systems, a leader in electronic tendering products, had developed an e-tendering product called Tender Wizard. C1 India had joined hands with Antares to bid as part of a consortium for the e-procurement initiative of Andhra Pradesh.

“During the preparation period, Antares, on the insistence of C I India Pvt Ltd, had shared the user ID and password of their product for the purpose of online evaluation. However, after successfully bidding for the e-procurement initiative, C 1 India dumped Antares,” says Supreme Court advocate Pavan Duggal on the basis of the petition that was filed last week.

The case has been filed before Prakash Kumar, adjudicating officer under the IT Act, 2000 and special secretary (IT) of the Delhi government. The matter has been adjourned to August 13.

Antares has sought damages of Rs 25 lakh along with interest at the rate of 24 per cent per annum. The remedy of grant of statutory damages by way of compensation has been provided for under the Indian cyber law.

An adjudicating officer can grant damages under Section 43 of the IT Act, 2000 up to a maximum of Rs 1 crore. This statutory remedy has been provided by the legislature in cases where a person without the permission of the owner or in charge of a computer, computer system or computer network, accesses or secures access to such computer, computer system, or computer network and does certain specified acts.

The complaint further states that the respondents have, without the permission of the complainant being the owner of its computer, computer system or computer network, downloaded and/or copied as also extracted data, and information from the complainant's computer, computer system or computer network.

It is further stated that the respondents have developed their e-tendering solution by copying the essential features of Tender Wizard, the complainant's product.

Section 43 of the IT Act, which is the basis for cyber laws in India, provides for damage to computers and computer systems.

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