Information Technology Act 2000

Information Technology Act 2000

Download FREE LegalStix App

Information Technology Act 2000 Notes


In today's digital age, the Information Technology Act, 2000 plays a crucial role in regulating cybercrime and electronic commerce in India. This landmark legislation provides legal recognition to electronic transactions and digital signatures, ensuring the security and integrity of data exchanged online. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the objectives, features, and applicability of the Information Technology Act, 2000, shedding light on its significance in the realm of cyber law.

Background of the Information Technology Act, 2000

The Information Technology Act, 2000, also known as the IT Act, was enacted on October 17, 2000, making India the 12th country to pass legislation specifically addressing cybercrime and electronic commerce. The Act was a response to the need for comprehensive laws to protect digital data and ensure the secure functioning of e-commerce platforms. It was drafted based on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) model law on electronic commerce, which aimed to bring uniformity in cyber laws across different countries.

Objectives of the Information Technology Act, 2000

The Information Technology Act, 2000, serves several key objectives:

  1. Legal Recognition: The Act provides legal recognition to transactions conducted via electronic means, replacing traditional paper-based methods of communication. It ensures that these electronic transactions hold the same legal weight as their physical counterparts.
  2. Digital Signatures: The Act recognizes digital signatures as a valid method of authentication for various legal purposes. Digital signatures verify the authenticity and integrity of electronic records, enhancing the security and trustworthiness of online transactions.
  3. Electronic Filing: The Act facilitates the electronic filing of documents with government agencies and departments, eliminating the need for physical paperwork. This streamlines administrative processes and promotes efficiency in governance.
  4. Data Storage: The Act promotes the electronic storage of data, enabling organizations to securely store and manage vast amounts of information electronically. This reduces reliance on physical storage and enhances accessibility and data security.
  5. Electronic Funds Transfer: The Act grants legal recognition to electronic transfers of funds between banks and financial institutions. It establishes a robust framework for secure online transactions, bolstering the growth of digital banking and fintech industries.
  6. Evidence and Banking: The Act amends the Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, Bankers' Books Evidence Act, and Reserve Bank of India Act. These amendments ensure that electronic records and digital transactions are admissible as evidence in legal proceedings and provide legal sanction to electronic methods of record-keeping by banks.

Features of the Information Technology Act, 2000

The Information Technology Act, 2000, encompasses several key features:

  1. Legally Valid Electronic Contracts: The Act recognizes the validity of electronic contracts made through secure electronic channels. This ensures that agreements entered into electronically have the same legal standing as traditional contracts.
  2. Digital Signatures and Security Measures: The Act mandates the use of digital signatures and establishes security measures for electronic records and digital signatures. These measures safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of electronic transactions.
  3. Adjudication and Appellate Tribunal: The Act provides for the appointment of adjudicating officers to hold inquiries under the Act. It also establishes a Cyber Regulatory Appellate Tribunal to handle appeals against the orders of the Controller or Adjudicating Officer.
  4. Asymmetric Cryptosystems: Digital signatures under the Act utilize asymmetric cryptosystems and hash functions, ensuring the security and authenticity of electronic records. These cryptographic techniques protect against unauthorized access and tampering.
  5. Controller of Certifying Authorities: The Act empowers the appointment of a Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) responsible for licensing and regulating the functioning of Certifying Authorities. The CCA acts as a repository for digital signatures and oversees their proper usage.
  6. Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction: The Act extends its jurisdiction to offenses or contraventions committed outside India if the conduct involves a computer or computerized system located within the country. This provision allows for the prosecution of cybercriminals irrespective of their nationality.
  7. Search and Arrest Powers: The Act grants senior police officers and other authorized officers the power to enter public places, conduct searches, and make arrests without a warrant when there is a suspicion of cybercrime.
  8. Cyber Regulations Advisory Committee: The Act establishes a Cyber Regulations Advisory Committee to advise the Central Government and the Controller on matters related to cyber law, e-commerce, and digital signatures. This committee plays a crucial role in shaping policies and regulations in the digital domain.

Applicability of the Information Technology Act, 2000

The Information Technology Act, 2000, applies to the entire country, including Jammu and Kashmir, as specified in Section 1(2) of the Act. It possesses extra-territorial jurisdiction, allowing prosecution for offenses committed outside India if they involve a computer or computerized system located within the country. The Act does not consider the citizenship of the perpetrator, ensuring that individuals, regardless of nationality, can be held accountable for cybercrimes committed within the Indian jurisdiction.

However, certain documents fall outside the purview of the Act as specified in Section 1(4). These include negotiable instruments other than cheques under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, powers of attorney under the Powers of Attorney Act, 1882, trusts under the Indian Trust Act, 1882, wills and testamentary dispositions under the Indian Succession Act, 1925, and contracts or sale deeds of immovable property. The Central Government may also notify additional documents or transactions exempted from the Act.


The Information Technology Act, 2000, stands as a milestone in India's legal framework, providing a comprehensive framework for addressing cybercrime and regulating electronic commerce. With its objectives of legal recognition, digital signatures, electronic filing, data storage, electronic funds transfer, and more, the Act ensures the secure and efficient functioning of the digital landscape. By incorporating features such as legally valid electronic contracts, security measures, and the establishment of regulatory bodies, the Act creates a robust legal ecosystem for the digital age. As technology continues to evolve, the Information Technology Act, 2000, plays a pivotal role in safeguarding digital transactions and protecting the interests of individuals and organizations in the digital realm.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What are the primary objectives of the Information Technology Act, 2000? The primary objectives of the Information Technology Act, 2000, are to grant legal recognition to electronic transactions, provide legal status to digital signatures, facilitate electronic filing, enable electronic data storage, promote electronic funds transfer, and grant legal recognition to bankers for electronic record-keeping.
  2. How does the Information Technology Act, 2000, ensure the security of digital transactions? The Act incorporates provisions for the use of digital signatures, security measures for electronic records and digital signatures, and asymmetric cryptosystems. These measures protect the integrity, authenticity, and confidentiality of digital transactions, ensuring their security.
  3. Does the Information Technology Act, 2000, apply to offenses committed outside India? Yes, the Act possesses extra-territorial jurisdiction. If the conduct constituting an offense involves a computer or computerized system located within India, irrespective of the perpetrator's nationality, the Act can be invoked to prosecute the offender.


  1. Monesh Mehndiratta. (n.d.). Information Technology Act, 2000. Retrieved from
  2. Sneha Mahawar. (n.d.). Information Technology Act, 2000. Retrieved from
Loading Result...

Download FREE LegalStix App

Get instant updates!

Request a callback
Register Now