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Why Maharashtra’s New Cyber Lab Could Be a Game Changer for National Security

Maharashtra launches India’s biggest cyber lab in Navi Mumbai to revolutionize the fight against cybercrime, says Deputy CM Fadnavis.



Why Maharashtra's New Cyber Lab Could Be a Game Changer for National Security

Maharashtra is set to establish the nation’s most advanced and largest cyber lab in Navi Mumbai, announced Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The announcement was made during a function on Sunday, where Fadnavis, who also oversees the state’s home department, emphasized the importance of readiness among Maharashtra police for the implementation of three new laws set to come into effect from July 1st.

The laws in question, the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and the Bharat Sakshya Act, were ratified by Parliament on December 21 last year, with President Droupadi Murmu giving her assent on December 25. These acts are expected to introduce significant reforms by incorporating provisions for modern electronic and technical evidence aimed at improving conviction rates.

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Fadnavis made these remarks while inaugurating the Evidence Management Centre (EMC) and the Evidence Despatch Van (EDV) in Navi Mumbai, both initiatives heralded as firsts in the state. The EMC, notable for its lack of human intervention, is designed to enhance the handling and processing of evidence, which in turn is expected to boost conviction rates. This is crucial in a time when instances of hacking and cyber fraud are on an uptick.

Highlighting the progress made in the realm of law enforcement, Fadnavis pointed out that conviction rates have surged from 9 percent in 2011-12 to 50 percent today, attributing this improvement to the emphasis on technical evidence. This approach ensures that convictions are possible even when witnesses may turn hostile, thereby acting as a deterrent to crime.

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In light of the new legislation, the collection of evidence in cases carrying a sentence of more than seven years must now be conducted by experts. The Navi Mumbai police commissionerate is credited as the first in the country to align with these upcoming laws. With the rise in digital transactions, the threat of cybercrime looms larger, necessitating the establishment of a cutting-edge cyber lab and project in Navi Mumbai. This initiative will unify banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), and social media platforms on a single platform to expedite crime detection.

The event was attended by Maharashtra Director General of Police Rashmi Shukla and Navi Mumbai police commissioner Milind Bharambe, marking a pivotal step forward in Maharashtra’s commitment to enhancing its cybercrime fighting capabilities.


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