• Intermediary's liability under Section 79 of the IT Act 2000


We are a Mumbai based company working on a web based platform which allows people to raise alerts for cases like cheating while dealing with untrustworthy associates [people/business]. 

The objective is to create a credible platform wherein people can  warn others to avoid  associating with untrustworthy people/businesses.

It will be a highly controlled system wherein only people who are verifiable, will be allowed to post their alerts . The posted alerts will be scrutinized and  verified by our back end team to check for any supporting proofs for the same. The alert will be hosted online on  behalf of the person, only if our team finds that the alert is genuine with proofs to support the same. 

The person posting the same will also be notified saying that he is liable/responsible for actions from the aggrieved party. Any irresponsible alerts without proofs will not be published.

As an Intermediary [company providing the website] will section 79 of the IT act 2000 safeguard us from any legal litigation arising out of it.

We are trying to find out legal issues that may arise. We would like to know what kind of legal issues will hold us liable , as per Indian law.

Asked 3 years ago in Business Law from Mumbai, Maharashtra
1. I do nt think you can provide such services as your back up support to verify the credibility of such alter has no legal standing.
2. only the govt. through appropriate machinery can alert people against particular dubious company or services.
3. if you can do so , even if the same is genuine, may attract the penal provision including provision of section 500 of IPC which deals with criminal defamation.
4. You rather run website where the people may share their problem with others whereby you restrain from making your personal comment and review.
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
12873 Answers
166 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) you should think twice before running the website . 

2) you cannot label a person a fraudster merely some people have complained against him . 

3) the supporting documents may be fabricated . 

4) if you label a person a fraud or cheater you may open your self to be prosecuted for criminal defamation . 

5) you can instead provide legal help to person who are victims of such fraudsters .
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
45663 Answers
2684 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Dear Querist
read the section 79 of Information Technology Act-2000 carefully
 (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 Central 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.
Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
4856 Answers
221 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

1. It will seriously expose you to the risk of defanation suit with huge damage claim,

2. You can not publish  other's adverse remark on oters in your website,

3. You are not the authority to verify the same and pass judgement about the correctness of the ratings/remarks,

4. Refrain yourself from this project in your own interest.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
18520 Answers
449 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. Such websites are bound to end in a disaster. On the complaint of some one else if you call a person/business as untrustworthy you will be running the risk of being prosecuted for defamation in addition to having to shell out thousands of dollars in damages in lawsuits.

2. What is your mechanism to judge whether a post discloses the true facts? For ex.in the case of a lawyer or doctor how would you judge if he is untrustworthy?

3. You will be responsible for the reviews posted on your website The liability cannot be fastened entirely on the person posting the review.

4. You lack the legal authority and mechanism to determine the authenticity of some one's review. So refrain from it.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
22977 Answers
634 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

your website provide a medium to send alert and you have adopted inadequate procedure for verification so your liability will be fixed under IT act, criminal law adopted strict liability in commission of crime and it always goes in the favour of accused but there is no rule of NO FAULT LIABILITY in IT Act if you provide an opportunity to place insecure materials on the net.
Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
5066 Answers
78 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

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