Bengaluru: Concerned over the defunct status of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal, which has been headless since July 2011, Independent Rajya Sabha lawmaker Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Tuesday urged the central government to appoint a chairperson to the judicial authority on priority.
“Given the government’s efforts under the Digital India Initiative and your recent statement that the number of internet users will cross 500 million by 2016, the need for a competent and functional judicial body to address grievances and violations under the IT Act is of great importance,” said Chandrasekhar in a letter to Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The tribunal’s top post has been vacant since July 1, 2011 after the term of the previous chairman Justice Rajesh Tandon ended on June 30, as the new appointment could not materialise for various reasons.
“The rights’ of citizens to avail judicial remedies on privacy and data security under the IT Act 2000 remains undermined in the absence of the tribunal, where 68 appeals were pending before the tribunal,” reiterated the Bengaluru-based industrialist turned politician.
“The increased use of IT by the government will predictably lead to more disputes. Providing services and benefits to citizens under Aadhaar and Jan Dhan Yojana may create disputes between citizens and intermediaries,” he added.
In response to a writ petition on the issue, the IT department assured the Karnataka High Court in September 2013 that the chairperson would be appointed within six months.