The ‘Zombie Tracker’ is a platform which monitors cases which include a charge under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act 2000 (as amended in 2008).


A. Incompleteness of data

During the period between 27th October 2009 to 15th February 2020, according to data available on the E-courts website, 1988 cases registered included a charge under section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 ( as amended in 2008). Of the above cases, 1189 cases were tagged as disposed of by the E-courts website. However, only 19.8% of the disposed of cases have a judgement uploaded in the case file, as available via the E-courts website.

Due to the non - availability of judgements:

  • It was impossible to completely verify the accuracy of “Section” and “Act” tags used on the E-courts website. This, in turn, may have resulted in certain cases under section 66A being excluded from our dataset, due to lack of verification; and
  • It was impossible to discern and evaluate the reasons for the decision.

B. Non - standardisation

Non standardisation of ‘Section’ field

The Information Technology Act, 2000 ( as amended) lists offences in Chapter XI. Even considering the explanatory provisions, there's a total of 30 provisions. On the other hand, looking at the data mined from the E-Courts, there are more than 1000 variations of Section fields listed under the IT act. That is at least 970 provisions more than those in the Act.

On further evaluation of the data mined, we surmise that there is a possible problem with the translation of documents from vernacular languages. For example, while 66क may mean 66c it may be translated as 66k, a provision which does not exist in the IT act. Another issue with translation is observed with the typecase. In some instances, क is translated to c/k while in others to C/K. This problem is also similarly observed for 66A where अ/ ए maybe a/A.

According to a Google Translate search:

In Marathi,

अ = a

ए = A

However, during a manual validation process, we came across cases where अ has been used to refer to A.

In Hindi, according to a Google Translate search, both a and A are ए.

A lack of judgements means that there are very few cases where the usage can be correctly ascertained.

Non standardisation of ‘Act’ field

The lack of standardisation also extends to Act names, for example:

Section Act
66A Information Technology Act
66A Information Technology Act, 2000
66A IT (Information Technology) Act
66A Information Technology
66A Information Technology Act 2000

These issues make monitoring and evaluation difficult as, to monitor all cases under the provision, one would have to foresee every possible combination of writing the Act and Section search for every such combination.

C. Missing data

In one instance we observed a case available on the E-courts website which was not available via the API. Manual verification across all states to test this particular error was not carried out due to time constraints.

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