Amended Section 79

The language of section 79 of the Information Technology Act 2000 and its interpretation in various cases ensured that the same created a huge controversy. The case of was the singular case that was responsible for much public debate discussion and analysis of the said section. Section 79 was targeted upon by various sections of the corporate world to say that the said section was unfair.

There was a lot of pressure upon the government of India to amend the said provision.

The Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008, substituted the language of Section 79, with new language. Section 79 of the amended Information Technology Act,2000, as amended by the Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008, reads as under:-


“79. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force but subject to the provisions of sub-sections (2) and (3), an intermediary shall not be liable for any third party information, data, or communication link made available or hasted by him.

(2) The provisions of sub-section (1) shall apply if—

(a) the function of the intermediary is limited to providing access to a communication system over which information made available by third parties is transmitted or temporarily stored or hasted; or

(b) the intermediary does not—

(i) initiate the transmission,

(ii) select the receiver of the transmission, and

(iii) select or modify the information contained in the transmission;

(c) the intermediary observes due diligence while discharging his duties under this Act and also observes such other guidelines as the Cetral Government may prescribe in this behalf.

(3) The provisions of sub-section (1) shall not apply if—

(a) the intermediary has conspired or abetted or aided or induced, whether by threats or promise or othorise in the commission of the unlawful act;

(b) upon receiving actual knowledge, or on being notified by the appropriate Government or its agency that any information, data or communication link residing in or connected to a computer resource controlled by the intermediary is being used to commit the unlawful act, the intermediary fails to expeditiously remove or disable access to that material on that resource without vitiating the evidence in any manner.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, the expression “third party information” means any information dealt with by an intermediary in his capacity as an intermediary.”