Monday, August 23, 2010

Alternative Dispute Resolution In India Needs Reforms

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an effective method of dispute resolution these days. Foreign investors and multi national companies prefer ADR over traditional litigation in India as the same is very cumbersome and time consuming.

Equally important are e-commerce disputes and commercial dispute resolution. These disputes have high stakes and the same cannot be effectively taken care of by the archaic and collapsed legal and judicial system of India. There are many factors that have led to the inadequate international commercial arbitration in India.

Recently, the SEBI introduced arbitration guidelines for stock exchanges and security related disputes. This is a welcome step as security related disputes are on rise in India. Dispute resolution of construction industry is also one of the upcoming fields in ADR.

However, Indian arbitration and conciliation act 1996 is not at all conducive for commercial arbitration and international commercial arbitration. The same needs to be reformulated keeping in mind the contemporary international norms and standards.

India stands nowhere when it comes to technology driven arbitration. The concept of online dispute resolution (ODR) does not exist in India. There is just a single techno legal ADR and ODR institution in India.

Even the national litigation policy of India (NLPI) failed to consider ODR and e-courts as effective methods of judicial reforms. Till the month of August 2010 India is still waiting for the establishment of first e-court of India.

Law Minister Veerappa Moily must consider active use of technology for arbitration and judicial purposes and must include the same in the NLPI.

Cyber Law Of India Is Cyber Criminals Friendly

Cyber law of India is incorporated in the information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000). It was amended through information technology amendment act 2008 (IT Act 2008) and from here started the real problem.

The retrograde amendment in the cyber law of India was the first step in the direction of inducing complete cyber anarchy in India. A good account of this cyber anarchy has been provided by Praveen Dalal, managing partner of Perry4Law and the leading techno legal expert of India.

The amended cyber law also made almost all the cyber crimes and cyber contraventions “bailable” thus making India a safe heaven for cyber criminals all over the world. Cyber crimes in India are increasing at an alarming rate due to this careless attitude of Indian government.

The cyber law of India carries many loopholes and has many lacunas. Cyber stalking is one such lacuna that must be addressed as soon as possible. Children and juveniles are especially vulnerable to cyber stalking and many times this stalking process result in committing of suicide by them.

A good initiative for protection of children in cyberspace has been launched by the HRPIC initiative spearheaded by Praveen Dalal. Similarly, to make the Indian cyber space more secure and robust, cyber security and cyber forensics initiatives have also been undertaken by Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) and Perry4Law.

The ultimate call is for the Parliament of India to take that is escaping from its responsibilities towards Indians cyberspace either due to purpose and design or out of sheer lack of information technology related knowledge.