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Wednesday, 25 April, 2001, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Schoolboys in cyber porn prank
Bangalore cyber cafe
Cyber cafes have sprung up in big cities across India
By Ayanjit Sen in Delhi

Schoolboys from one of the Indian capital's leading schools are being investigated over their alleged role in setting up a pornographic website.

Police are questioning several schoolboys in connection with the publication of a site featuring their female teachers and classmates.


[They] could be charged under the new internet law in India

Lawyer Pawan Duggal
It followed a complaint by the father of a girl in the school after her name appeared on the website.

It is the first time such young offenders have been investigated for cyber crime in India and the students face possible prosecution under a tough law passed last year.

'Adult' material

Police say the website contained pornography, salacious remarks and obscene jokes about the school's female students and teachers.

A senior officer of the crime branch, MS Upadhyay, said the police believed that some male students were involved in setting up the website.

Surfing in India
Net surfers are banned from accessing adult sites
An American firm hosted the site and is being contacted for more information.

Internet cafes have mushroomed in big cities across India and are used to access pornographic sites.

But many of these cafes have now put up notices barring people from accessing adult sites.

Cyber law

Last year, India passed a law to curb rising cyber crimes.

"The persons responsible for this action could be charged under the new internet law in India," Supreme Court lawyer and a pioneer of internet crimes law in India, Pawan Duggal, told the BBC.

The law covers publishing obscene material in electronic form.

Under the law, Indian courts can sentence offenders to five years imprisonment.

But experts say police and security agencies need to play a more pro-active role in dealing with internet crimes.

Computer crimes mainly involve unauthorised access, data alteration and theft of intellectual property.

The first-ever cyber-crime case in India involved two men who were arrested on charges of hacking a website in February this year.

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See also:

03 Jan 01 | South Asia
Teen hackers turn cyber cops
18 Oct 00 | South Asia
India cyber law comes into force
23 Jul 00 | South Asia
India tackles cyber crime
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