This article is written by Mayank Labh, a student of NALSAR, Hyderabad.

Stalking v. Cyber Stalking

India is a very diverse country. We have different religions, different cultures, different languages and so on. But despite all our differences, it seems to us that we are nation bound together by a love of movies that legitimise, normalize even romanticise stalkers.[1] No wonder one could see many Dhanush, many Russol stalking their “lovers” on the roads and when their romantic overtures are rejected instances like acid attack, rape, sexual harassment soon follow.

But, this is 21st century; everything is getting advanced, getting more complex and all. And Stalking is not an exception to this trend for old problems and nuisances often find their way and are reborn and reconstructed  in such a way that new medium become the sites for such problems.

Cyber-Stalking.

It is true that Cyber Stalking- the persistent use of the internet, e-mail, social networks, instant messaging or related digital devices to irritate, badger  or threaten women(Sorry men, not for you!) —   is growing. It commonly involves nasty e-mails, post or text, unwanted phone calls, damage to property, loitering and following. Some stalkers threaten extreme violence, which a smaller number carry out.[2]

One of the instances is that a guy created fake profiles of a woman to defame her. He has been making obscene calls and sending threat mails. Another example is of a guy who keeps tagging a girl in photographs which show her in scantily clad clothes.( “Cyber stalker posts morphed pics of girl and mother on FB”[3]).

How Cyber-Stalking Harms

It can affect you in many ways. It may affect the career, social life and emotional well-being. It may make women “humiliated, helpless and abused.” The problem with the Cyber-Staking problem is that it is woefully under-reported.  One of the reasons is the same old stigma and prejudices attached with any crime which is sexual in nature. Another reason is the anonymous nature of the stalkers and it becomes more and more difficult to track them up. Technical dodges give stalkers more adaptability and scope for committing such crimes and running away scot-free. Special software allows them to send untraceable e-mails from disguised web addresses. Moreover, it is difficult for investigators to monitor instant messaging.[4]

Beware Cyber-Stalkers, Punishment awaits for you!

The problem with the cyber-stalking law is that it is not keeping up its pace with the intensive and innovative ways in which cyber-stalking happens. Prior to February 2013 amendment, there were no specific laws dealing with it. But now India can boast of such law after the Criminal Law amendment, 2013 by Indian Law.

Section 354(D): Under Section 354(d)if any person follows a woman and tries to contact with her in order to foster personal interaction despite the woman’s disinclination then he is committing stalking.

Secondly, if a person monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication, he commits the offence of stalking.[5]

So, for example, There is Mr. M who was following Mrs. Y on Twitter but  was blocked for some reasons. He made an another account and followed her and commented on the posts of Mrs.Y. He would be liable, prima facie, under section 354(D) for it fulfils the condition that he was monitoring her since dictionary meaning of it is to “observe and check the progress or quality of (something) over a period of time”.

However, if that particular person is stalking for such particular reasons then he won’t be liable under section 354(D).

  1. i) If it was done for preventing or detecting crimes and if the man doing it was entrusted with the responsibility by the State. So, an individual like Doga can’t justify cyber-stalking for the public good under this clause!
  2. ii) If it was imposed by the law to do such things.

iii) If it was just and reasonable to do so.

Punishment:

Whoever commits the offence shall be punished for an imprisonment up to three years on first conviction and on a second or subsequent conviction the imprisonment could extend up to five years. In each case, the offender shall also be liable to pay the fine.

How to Report Cyber-Stalking in India[6]

  1. One must register a written complaint to her immediate cyber-cell in the city. In case of non-availability of cyber-cells in the city, one can file a F.I.R. in the local police station.
  2. In case of non-acceptance of your complaint, one can always refer your complaint to the commissioner or judicial magistrate of the city.
  3. Legal Assistance: If a woman approaches to the police station with an allegation of cyber-stalking she is entitled to legal counsel to help her file a case.
  4. Privacy: The victim’s statement would be taken down in private. Often the cyber police station has women police officers/constables who can help the complainant to file a complaint.

Click here to learn more about how to file a cyber complaint in India.

What could be done

Awareness

Given that Cyber-Stalking is not very known to the people and people are not aware of the rights which they have it is pertinent to organize “Stalking Awareness”   month as it happens in America.

Caution

With awareness comes a sense of caution. So, users can exercise caution at least by maintaining vigilance over their computers or any other device which have internet access. One must not share the password with others and must change it as often as he can.

Secondly, one may always make an online search as to what information is available on the internet about her  and her family.

Thirdly, if one thinks that if her daily activities is tracked by someone who is using spyware software and are afraid then she must make sure that she is seeking help from a public computer.

Fourthly, One should use good, updated security software to stave off  any spyware getting into your computer or any such devices.

Investigation

As I have already mentioned that it is really difficult to track down the perpetrators of crime like Greater use of voluntary disclosure of information about suspected stalkers by agreement with mobile-phone companies and ISPs.

So, that’s all for Cyber-Staking. Let there be untrammelled access to the limitless horizon of the internet without any sense of fear.

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References:

[1]. Businessline,  6th June, 2014, When a woman says no.

[2] The Economist, 20th April 2011, Creepy Crwalies.

[3] Times of India,13th November 2014, Cyber stalker posts morphed pics of girl and mother on FB.

[4] Supra, note 2.

[5] Indian Kanoon.

[6] All the informations are collected after the perusal of Wikipedia, Cyber Cell Branch of Mumbai, Delhi and from the website HALTABUSE

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Respected Sir ,

    Myself Jayaprakash currently residing in Palakkad,Kerala .

    Sir I have taken online business delearship with Ved enterprises,Indore based online Trading company on 9 March’2019 .The business is of delivery of products on which profit will be shared and agreement is done .
    I have Transfered Rs.50000/- as a security deposit to their UTI Bank a/c. No. 918020097805054.They sent me a Parcel billed value of 91000.It was some kind of Tablets.
    As per their agreement they committed 3-8 orders per day.
    First month they given 3 Bulk orders and the adress of customers.The adress it was to Delhi,A.P. and Maharashtra.I booked parcel and they paid Rs.7200/-as a remuneration.
    After that till this they have not given any order.I contacted many time for further orders but there was no positive response from them.So on 1 June I sent a mail to company for cancellation and to refund the amount.But they didn’t replied for the mail till today .When I contacted them two days back they asked me to deposit another 50000/- to continue the buisiness.I understand they are not ready to refund the amount or to giving further orders.I feel some doubt about their activities.

    I came to know some other people one from Mumbai and one from Trichur also facing the same issue.
    They make trap and cheating unembloyed like me in dfifferent part of our country.
    Still they contuinue this activity by advertising &Offering distributur ship throuh OLX,Quiker etc.

    The Company address which they given
    Ved Enterprises,
    201,Sterling Arcade,
    Racecourse Road,
    Infront of Usha Raje Holker Stadium,
    Indore 452003.
    [email protected]
    Contact Nos
    Aswini 7898927805
    Rohit 9755849769
    Reena 9755849505
    7974322436,8085988934

    I request you to please intervene and do needful to get back my Deposit.

    I can provide all the details in blueprint what ever required for further process.

    I attach some soft copies with this email

    Thanking you,
    Yours faithfully

    Jayaprakash.K.P
    Jayanivas,
    Kalluvazhi,
    Palakkad
    Mob.9946442639

  2. मेरे साथ फ्रॉड हो गया मुझे कंप्लेंट करना था किसी के अकाउंट में गलती से पैसे चला गया वह अकाउंट बैंक ऑफ बड़ौदा से स्टेट बैंक में चला गया बरोदा वाला बोल रहा है जैसे साइबर सेल में जाकर कंप्लेंट कीजिए वहां से रजिस्ट्रेशन नंबर हमें दीजिए फिर हम कुछ करेंगे
    फोन नंबर 7678619375/7827829020

  3. Hello sir, today in the evening i got a WhatsApp text from an unknown number -8240313211 , i asked him who r u and how u got my phone number but he didn’t replyed my questions at all so i blocked him on WhatsApp but then he started texting me on my phone and called me but i didn’t picked up his call so he started abusing me very badly and harassing . So please took some action about this. His number is 8240313211 and his name is niraj thakur.

  4. I have an account in monster. I got a call saying that they are speaking from monster india side and my resume is selected for Hindustan computers and so so . They charged money and I paid so.
    Once I paid rs. 1500 and rs. 6500 .
    I got receipt for that but now the point is that they were now asking for rs.12500 more as a security amount for training in HCL which I denied to pay .
    So, It will really be helpful if you take any action as soon as possible as I received their call today also and now I am not getting any response .
    Pls let me know about this as soon as possible.
    Mobile number of frauds –
    Bhavesh malhotra (told name) (+918052732724)
    +917388349406
    +917068209207
    They send me Letter of intent also.
    Please solve this issue this is really urgent.

  5. Respected Sir,

    I was cheated Rs 74,753/- by 3 persons representing Naukri.com,& Shine.com Staff on the 4th & 8th February 2019.
    The person introduced himself as Nitin Tyagi ( Mobile: +91-7668933084, +91-9319126229 ) Naukri.com Staff & Official Representative of Naukri.com.
    He told that he has his office at the following address:

    NAUKRI ADMIN
    BPTP Park
    11th Floor, Park CENTRA
    Sector 30, GURGAON – 122001 ( Opp. 32 Milestone)

    He directed me to come online to the “https://www.naukriadmin.com/index.php”
    website, by promising me a Abudhabi Job offering a monthly salary UAE 35,900 ( INR4.3 Lakhs/month) .He also assured that he would be my relationship manager , till end of this Job joining process.
    When I reached the website, after each payment,Mr. Nitin Tyagi repeatedly assured me of a interview & Job by the 10 February 2019.
    Mr. Nitin Tyagi convinced me by making false promises, to deposit the following money which he assured was totally refundable.The following payments were made on his false promises via Net-banking ( Attached Statements & website Location where I was directed for payment-for your kind reference).

    1. ICICI Bank – Rs 4130/-
    2. SBI Bank – Rs 10,443/-
    3. SBI Bank – Rs 14,160/-
    4. SBI Bank – Rs 14, 750/-
    5. Canara Bank-Rs 14,750/-
    6. Axis Bank -Rs 8260/-
    7. Canara Bank – Rs 8260/-
    ___________________________________

    Total Rs 74,753/-
    ____________________________________
    When I did not receive any job offer /interview details after this, I requested for a refund of my money.
    Mr.Nitin Tyagi, is avoiding calls/ not responding to my calls.On repeated calls to his number , +91-7668933084, another person picked up his call ;introducing himself as Suresh, Manager Shine.com , spoke to me ( +91-8574779734).
    He demanded for an additional amount of 17,550/- , in order to get me refund of my earlier paid money of Rs 74,753/-. Having lost trust on Naukri for not standing by his promises made, I refused to pay any additional money & only requested him to refund my money back.He first spoke very rudely later promised that my money will be refunded to my Bank account from which the earlier payments were made within 24 hours.I have not received any refund even after 48 Hrs.

    I am deeply moved & totally upset with the type of fraudulent & cheating practices by persons representing Naukri management.
    I would request you to kindly investigate on the issue & punish the fraudster. NAUKRI is a good name in social media, if such person are allowed to represent NAUKRI.com ,operate using malpractices, get away with it, he will go on cheating many more unemployed.

    Nitin Tyagi, ( +91-7668933084) is repeatedly avoiding to respond to the numerous calls made, since last three days, I am left with no other option than to approach Cyber crime ( Cyber Crime Cell Report a Crime ) to book a Complaint.

  6. From
    Swathy K.S
    Trivandrum

    Respected sir,
    I would like to inform you that I am cheated by a fraud company in,Maharashtra
    at first they required to pay RS 299 on booking and the send me an agreement software and make a false agreement between me and GS Enterprise.But I want to paid an additional amount of RS 7800 for extension of form filling work.After reciept of money the switched off their all mobile numbers and there is nothing to be paid to my account.Can you please take action against GS Enterprise and Its staffs and recover my amount.The agreement is in my hand.Please help me as soon as possible
    Kindly regards
    Swathy. K.S

  7. Dear sir, I am a facebook user but suddenly I have seen a person ,Name -Bikram Ghosh cheat with fake comments in a Girl’s important post Name of the Girl – Ankita Roy.when I protest with logic comment then he used slang languages to me.This is totally mentally harassment or offensive crime happened with me.Please take step against these mattter.

  8. From
    Jayanna E
    Jyothinagar Sira Town
    Tumkur District
    Pin number 572137

    Dear sir
    I am jayanna from sira tumkur District I got a call unknown no 7070338537 / 7462989703 what’s app no home shop online shopping lottery win the prize TATA SAFARI 1270000 he ask you want money. I told yes. You pay Rs.126000/ RBI CLEARANCE I transfer the money my SBI account again ask 99700 RS. I told I have no money you return my money 126000
    My account no SBI 64211765576 JAYANNA E SIRA BRANCH

    HIS BANK ACCOUNT NO SBI 51115505447 / MR. MANISH RAM
    AND ANOTHER ACCOUNT NO.
    Recipient: Rohithkumar
    A/C: 20418196896
    STATE BANK OF INDIA

    Please taken compliant return my amount

  9. Hello Sir,

    Yesterday i got a call from 1800112211 (wibmo payzapp) around 9 PM and they asked me to provide my citi bank card no and expiry date. then after they wrongly deducted rs 8000, 10000, 11666, 19990, 19999,20000.
    I have already informed citibank customer care and they make a complaint on this. Kindly please settle my amount and credit in my citibank account.
    Can anybody do me a favor what can i do? My no is 8983240545. Vivek Kumar
    Please find below transaction details,

    206651 is the Onetime password (OTP) for your transaction at Wibmo PayZapp for INR 11666.00. Pls do not share this. If not requested, contact CitiPhone urgently.
    Your debit card 5326XXXXXXXX0718 has been used to make a purchase of Rs. 11666 at PayZapp Ba on 14-JUL-17.
    Your debit card 5326XXXXXXXX0718 has been used to make a purchase of Rs. 8000 at PayZapp Ba on 14-JUL-17.

    Your debit card 5326XXXXXXXX0718 has been used to make a purchase of Rs. 10000 at PayZapp Ba on 14-JUL-17.

    Your debit card 5326XXXXXXXX0718 has been used to make a purchase of Rs. 19990 at PayZapp Ba on 14-JUL-17.

    Your debit card 5326XXXXXXXX0718 has been used to make a purchase of Rs. 19999 at PayZapp Ba on 14-JUL-17.

    Your debit card 5326XXXXXXXX0718 has been used to make a purchase of Rs. 20000 at PayZapp Ba on 14-JUL-17.

    Regards,
    Vivek Kumar
    ph-8983240545

  10. One lady is constantly shouting in Marathi saying that my husband defrauded her of some money though I am not even married. She made 50 to 60 missed calls that day and I have threatened to report her to the police. The number is +917262824205. Kindly help me out. I even reported the number to TRAI and even the police but to no avail. She doesn’t stop bombarding me with missed calls. Vodafone isn’t doing anything about the calls either. I don’t know this lady and she doesn’t know me and when I tried tracing her number online, it is showing as Unknown. Neither is Vodafone nor TRAI doing anything about it. I even reported her to the police but nobody has done anything. I have a full DND on but I still get harassing calls from random numbers. Even my phone carrier, Vodafone, has not helped stop all these strange calls.

  11. Dear Sir,
    My name is Mrugaya Patwardhan. I have Facebook account. But suddenly today someone make fake account by using my Name…I’m working at one Private Limited Company, one of my colleagues got friend request from that fake account…I’m very afraid to know this, may be some one trying to put me down & molested me…I am requesting you that please find that dog & kill him…or do as you want…Please find solution of this matter immediately…
    Here I sent the link of that Fake account:

    https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013081237170

  12. Dear sir,
    my mobile was pickpocketed in bus the bus was crowed and two boys was pushing and heratrating me after some time they were escape from bus with my mobile in mangalore near jothi circle and i had registered in kathri police station.
    DETAILS OF THE MOBILE: SAMSUG A8 I have two sim card sim 1 AIRTEL:8970075554 and BSNL:8762562554

  13. Respected sir,
    I am manikant Tripathi from uttar Pradesh distric- Gorakhpur. I see ad in quikr. Com regarding job opening in Canada. I find in 11 January 2016 . in the AD company name is INORBIT GROUP.number mation in AD 09038627650 & mail id is [email protected]. MANIKANT Tripathi & akhilesh Kumar Singh both are applied for job. Then siyaram NISHAD & rajesh nagar applied for job. First time I payment 10000 Indian rupees for registration .the account number is 31052342976 name sanjay ghosh motilal colony west bangal IFSC code – SBIN0012377.then pay 8000 Indian rupees registration fee for siyaram NISHAD & rajesh nagar. After two days then 12000 Indian rupees in sanjay ghosh account. Total 30000 Indian rupees pay in sanjay ghosh account number- 31052342976 motilal colony for Canada job. In talking time he tell me my name is rajesh bafna. Consultancy code – DB190076.
    He always give me promise for Canada job. He give id aceess card for each member name – MANIKANT TRIPATHI , akhilesh Kumar Singh, rajesh nagar, siyaram NISHAD. He give me mail for medical at Gorakhpur & Ahmadabad date is 27 – 01 – 2016. But 26 evening he call me and tell‬: Mani our VP HR Mr. Samaresh Singh passed away, all schedule would be on 28th: Inform everyone.I am going to lucknow to attend his funeral
    Would go to Gorakhpur tomorrow around 7-8 PM
    ‬: Tell Akhilesh too‬: I would be available at 9:30 pm. According to sedual 28 morning MANIKANT TRIPATHI, akhilesh Kumar Singh , siyaram NISHAD & rajesh nagar go for medical. But he not receive my fon and after 10 o’clock he switched off his fon. My friend siyaram NISHAD, akhilesh Kumar Singh , rajesh nagar and I am also belong to very poor family. My friend ask for money. I am not able to pay money. Because last month in 26 December my mother expire. So plz sir I am requested to you catch Mr .rajesh bafna and sanjay ghosh for justice. Plz sir because if I will not pay money then my friends hit me anytime with in 15 days.so I am requested to you plz plz catch Mr. Rajesh bafna and sanjay ghosh. What’s number of rajeh bafna is 08981792149. Plz solve my problem with in 15 days .

  14. Dear sir,
    am working as a pharma marketing in hyderabad.my collegues some one has hack my gmail id n password
    & he sent a mail to Head office..in that mail total managers are blaimed.no one as working till now..he mentioned…my supereiors calld me that got a mail from ur email..so ur the responsbility..i’ll take a action..they told me..
    what will i do ??? pls give me a reply sir…its very arjent..

    my email id is : [email protected]

  15. Dear sir
    I want to draw your kind attention i received a call on dt.02-12-2015 mobile no.is 7873294237, that after my bank account balace is zero please take a action waiting your reply i m facing many profblem

    Vishal Kumar

    9871627982

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