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Who are Trolls and what is trolling? Trolls are people in disguise all around the internet. Trolling is done intentionally by people just for fun without a reason which can be troublesome for others.

Is trolling punishable?

Although there are no specific laws that aim

Though there is no specific law that directly addresses this growing concern but Indian laws such as Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 and Information Technology (Amendment) Act (IT Act), 2008 account for making trolling a criminal act and punishable by the law. Here are the laws that can help you fight against the online bullies:​

Information Technology Act (IT Act)

  • Sexually explicit content - The person who intentionally captures sexual parts of a person without his/her consent, publishes the image through print or electronic form which violates the privacy of a person under Section 66E IT Act. Therefore, if someone takes a photograph, or records a video, publishes or transfers such picture/video of your private area without your permission, then that person is liable to be punished with imprisonment up to 3 years and a fine of Rs. 2 lakh.
  • Publishing Sexually Offensive Material on the Internet - If any person publishes in electronic medium any offensive sexual content on the internet, he or she can be jailed for up to 3 years with a fine of Rs.10 lakh under Section 67 IT Act. A repeat offender can be punished with 7 years of imprisonment with the same fine.

Indian Penal Code (IPC)

  • Sexual Harassment - When an individual posts an obscene/indecent comment on social media, therefore that person is liable under Section 354A IPC and can be punished with one-year imprisonment and fine. Also, acts like posting or messaging pornographic content against the will of a woman and asking for sexual favors which are punishable with three-year imprisonment and/or fine.
  • Spying - In case of a person keeping an eye on or captures an image of a woman during a private act and broadcast those images/videos etc., therefore he/she can be booked under Section 354C IPC. Private acts may include a picture of a woman indulging in sexual acts or in objectionable situation e.g. being naked while changing clothes or using a washroom.
  • Online Stalking - A person trying to contact a woman and getting up close & personal despite her disinterest and keeps a check on her through the internet, email or through any other electronic communication, that person is liable for the offence of stalking under Section 354D and punishable with imprisonment up to three years with fine. In case of a repeat offender, five years imprisonment with fine.
  • Outraging the modesty of a Woman - a person openly posting sexual remarks or pictures or videos comprising of obscene content on social media about a woman is liable to be punished under Section 509 IPC with imprisonment of three years jail along with fine.
  • Defamation - The term 'Defamation' is described under Section 499 IPC, if a person purposely uses lewd words, signs or visible representations, or publishes anything to scar the image or reputation on another person he/she can be punished for defamation under Section 499 IPC. Remarks on social media, obscene images or videos posted for public view are also included under the same head.
  • Criminal intimidation- A person in disguise threatens a woman with an intention to harm her can be punished with jail up to two years under Section 507 IPC. This is very helpful and a very effective effort to combat the online trolls or threats of rape received to people online especially famous personalities, who are the soft targets of trolls.

If you are trolled, you can definitely take legal recourse with the help of a good lawyer

Trolling is the new generation cybercrime and trolls are the new generation of criminals on the internet who gets the great sadistic pleasure to spread this online crime of hatred. Don't ignore the trolls, fight against them. Don't fear them; put the trolls behind the bars!

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Category Criminal Law, Other Articles by - Rashi Chandok 


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