Even as Section 66A gets consigned to history, it remains to be seen what impact it will have on reporting of cyber crimes. Data available with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that cyber crime cases registered under IT Act witnessed a steady increase from 1,791 in 2011 to 2,876 in 2012 and 4,356 in 2013. Arrests too headed north from 1,184 in 2011 to 1,522 in 2012 and 2,098 in 2013.
In contrast, IPC was a less chosen tool to book cyber criminals. As many as 422 cases were registered in 2011 under the relevant sections of IPC dealing with cyber crimes, as against 601 in 2012 and 1,337 in 2013. Similarly, arrests under IPC rose from 446 in 2011 to 549 in 2012 and 1,203 in 2013.
A state-wise breakup of cyber crime cases registered in 2013 under various sections of the IT Act shows Maharashtra at the top with 681 cases, Andhra Pradesh with 635 cases and Karnataka with 513 cases. As many as 426 persons were arrested in cases registered under IT Act in Maharashtra, as compared to 296 in Andhra Pradesh and 283 in Uttar Pradesh.
Among the cities, Bengaluru accounted for the highest incidence of cyber crimes with 399 cases, followed by Visakhapatnam with 173 cases, Hyderabad with 159 cases and Delhi with 131 cases. In terms of arrests made under IT Act across various cities in 2013, Visakhapatnam led with 86 arrests, followed by Hyderabad with 83 arrests, Jodhpur with 69 arrests and Indore with 59 arrests.
The maximum cases under IT Act registered countrywide were related to hacking at 2,516.
Another set of interesting data relates to age profile of cyber crime suspects booked under IT Act. Of the total 2,098 persons arrested under IT Act in 2013, as many as 1,190 were in 18-30 age group and 722 aged 30-45 years. Interestingly, as many as 45 minors, including 17 in Maharashtra alone and 9 each in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, were arrested under the Act.