Select Location

From Manusmriti to Manupatra: The Dawn of Internet

Written by:
Kushal Bhagat
Published on
25-Jul-18

The previous episode acquainted you with chronicles of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the pearls of time strung through the British epoch, a venerable time when substratum of the Indian judicial system was engineered.

A leap of time later, the unimaginable innovative technological milestone transpired- the advent of Internet! This episode recites the journey of World Wide Web, the colossal nexus, tethering the globe to a matrix of information! Though accessible to only a handful then, the internet triggered the technological development of India, notably the legal sector.

Growing herculean each day, the internet saw ineffable progression. With software available to download easily with a single click, arduous tasks became unchallenging. Software developers encoded a sale- purchase contract within the programme, which gave birth to e-contracts! Users could purchase or use a programme by simply clicking on ‘I agree’.

 

New websites sprung like mushrooms and Emails changed the way people communicated. Correspondence was effortless with websites that provided chats, forums and other platforms for sharing and discussing anything and everything!

The blogging phenomenon was another feather in Internet’s cap! In the old days, blogging was purposed to post relevant information, not food and fashion tips! Blogging allowed people to share their views on germane topics. Numerous legal blogs by renowned lawyers and legal enthusiasts brought the legal world closer to the common man.

Additionally, the internet became a platform for various websites that restyled the way information could be accessed by the legal professions, one such innovation being Manupatra. These websites availed vast database of information on case laws and legislations in India. However, majority legal domain was still apprehensive about the use of internet. Nonetheless, with government initiatives, the internet gained massive popularity in a short span of time.

 

The legal world transformed alongside the virtual world. Case laws and judicial reports were made available through the JUDIS, Judgments Information System- a programme that provided all reported judgments published in the SCR Journal since its inception in 1950.

As technology progressed, the internet flourished into a necessity, with population of more than 3 million! With its capability to broadcast information worldwide, the internet became a mechanism to disperse information, interact and transact regardless of geographic location.

However, the internet came with a gnarly side! Just like the universe, a large chunk of information which is unknown to many exists over the internet. This horror house is not made for the faint-hearted and is known as the dark web- a hub of all illegal online activities, where trafficking of everything, from drugs, weapons to human beings is openly performed!  

This dark side of the internet made it imperative to have cyber laws that provide safeguard against any cyber crime. The Information Technology Act, 2000 was enacted to curb the flourishing network of cyber criminals. The courts became more receptive of digital evidence which was inadmissible before 2000, credited to the widespread popularity and acceptance Internet gained.

The internet was an entirely different thing 30 years ago when it was first switched on in 1983. Though the world remained oblivious to its existence for almost 20 years, it evolved as a separate universe and introduced the world to a technology-driven future! The  existence of Indian economy how it is now, can be substantially credited to the innovations that were possible with existence of the internet.