Monday, November 23, 2009

ADR And ODR In India

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in India is not new and it was in existence even under the previous Arbitration Act, 1940. The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 has been enacted to accommodate the harmonisation mandates of UNCITRAL Model. To streamline the Indian legal system the traditional civil law known as Code of Civil Procedure, (CPC) 1908 has also been amended and section 89 has been introduced. Section 89 (1) of CPC provides an option for the settlement of disputes outside the court. It provides that where it appears to the court that there exist elements, which may be acceptable to the parties, the court may formulate the terms of a possible settlement and refer the same for arbitration, conciliation, mediation or judicial settlement.

Some bold steps have also been undertaken in India to utilise the benefits of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for ADR purposes. For instance, Perry4Law has been providing online dispute resolution (ODR) services in India to resolve disputes out of the court. These ODR services are unique as they also cater the needs of techno-legal segment besides the traditional litigation requirements.

India is presently greatly overburdened by the backlog of cases in the courts. If the Indian courts have to function properly, they have to actively use ADR and ODR for out of court dispute resolutions. Further, India has to take care of International commercial arbitration and commercial disputes as well. ADR and ODR seem to be a viable solution for the problem of backlog of cases in India.


Cyber Terrorism In India Must Be Taken Seriously

Cyber law of India has covered a long distance. It has covered a journey from Informationn Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000) to the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 (IT Act 2008). Just like any other technology law, the IT Act, 2000 is also far from perfect. Also with the passage of time, new provisions must be incorporated to address the issues of cyber crimes and online transactions.

One such issue that has not received proper attention of the government of India (GOI) pertains to Cyber Terrorism in India. Cyberterrorism is defined by Kevin G. Coleman as “The premeditated use of disruptive activities, or the threat thereof, against computers and/or networks, with the intention to cause harm or further social, ideological, religious, political or similar objectives. Or to intimidate any person in furtherance of such objectives.

Cyber Terrorism in India was first discussed and advocated in the year 2002 by Praveen Dalal, the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India and Managing Partner of Perry4Law. However, the GOI woke up very late in the year 2008 when a single provision was incorporated in the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 (IT Act 2008) on the basis of suggestions of Praveen Dalal.

Though the provision seems to be a good beginning yet there is still a long gap to cover as a single provision cannot be considered to be enough to address the menace of cyber terrorism in India. It would be a good idea if the GOI take a serious note of the existing cyber law of India and come up with good and effective amendments.