Thursday, November 26, 2009

International Commercial Arbitration And Dispute Resolution In India

The scope of International Commercial Dispute Resolution (ICDR) Services in India is increasing day by day. ICDR can be availed of for disputes arising out of contracts on sales of goods, distributorship, agency and intermediary contracts, construction, engineering and infrastructure contracts, intellectual property contracts, domain name dispute resolutions, joint venture agreements, maritime contracts, employment contracts, etc. The list is just illustrative as the business transactions are too many to categorised here.

The traditional litigation methods of dispute resolution are not very helpful for such high staked commercial disputes. This has necessitated the requirement for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms like Arbitration, Mediation, Conciliation, etc. India provides world class “ADR Services” for various fields including those for ICDR.

ICDR in India can be conducted either as “Ad hoc arbitration” or as “Institutional Arbitration”. India has tremendous capabilities for both these forms of dispute resolution. However, India is lacking on the front of use of information and communication technology (ICT) for dispute resolution. This has resulted in a limited growth of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in India.

ICDR can be greatly benefited by the use of ODR in India. All we need to do is to strengthen Techno-Legal Services in India.


Cyber Crimes In India Must Be Taken Seriously

Cyber law of India was originally enacted in the year 2000 in the form of Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000). The same was dealing with certain specific (not all) cyber crimes including hacking.

Although, the IT Act 2000 was not deterrent enough to prevent cyber crimes in India, yet with the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 (IT Act 2008) the things have become worst.

The IT Act 2008 made almost all the offences and cyber crimes “bailable” It means that even after committing hacking or practically any other and all cyber crimes in India, there is no deterrent effect to prevent them.

According to Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law and the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India, by making the offences and cyber crimes “bailable” India has made its cyberspace a “free zone” and “safe heaven” for cyber criminals and cyber offenders. He says that now even after committing hacking in India a person would be entitled to “bail” as a matter of right. There is nothing that prevents such cyber criminals from committing cyber crimes in India in the absence of a deterrent law.

It is clear that by succumbing to “industrial lobbying” the government of India has done great damage to the national security of India and cyber security of India. There is nothing that would prevent India from becoming the cyber crime heaven of the World in these circumstances unless a suitable amendment in the IT Act 2000 is made as soon as possible, says Praveen Dalal.


Adjudicating Officer And Cyber Appellate Tribunal Claimed To Be Appointed

In pursuance of provisions of section 46 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, Secretary of the Department of Information Technology of each State and Union Territory have been appointed as Adjudicating Officer to hold an inquiry for civil cyber contraventions.Further, under the provisions of section 48 of the same act, a Cyber Appellate Tribunal has also been set up to hear appeals arising out of decisions of Adjudicating Officers.The adjudicating Officers and Cyber Appellate Tribunal have the powers of a civil court for the purposes of discharging their functions under the Act.

This was stated by Shri Sachin Pilot, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology in Lok Sabha.


Indian Copyright Act Is Due For Amendments

The ministry of human resource development is amending the Copyright Act so that artists such as playback singers, lyricists and film directors can earn royalty each time their product is used in any media. The Bill is almost ready and would be placed before the cabinet in two weeks’ time and would be tabled in Parliament in the winter session, a ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The government has gained the Opposition’s support for the Bill. I am of the view that none should have an opinion against such a change in the Copyright Act which would benefit the artists, said Arun Jaitley, leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha. But I have also received letters from the media houses who seem to be against any such move.