Monday, August 30, 2010

What Ails Arbitration In India

Infrastructure is core to the arbitration, mediation and conciliation services. Countries like Singapore have invested great in terms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) infrastructure.

India on the other hand is following an obsolete arbitration law in the form of arbitration and conciliation act 1996. Further, India has also not done much in the fields like international commercial arbitration and institutional arbitration.

Another area where India has miserably failed pertains to online dispute resolution (ODR). A special emphasis must also be given to construction industry arbitration in India as well as defence related arbitration issues. India urgently needs ADR and ODR related reforms.

On the positive side, the law ministry of India is planning to upgrade the ADR law of India. Similarly, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has also suggested use of ADR for resolving security related disputes.

Law minister Veerappa Moily has to take active steps in this direction as till now his declarations have been more like noises without actual implementation.

India Must Deal With Digital Issues Sensibly

The blackberry dilemma has shown that India does not understand and apply technology properly. Instead of properly understanding the technology, the Indian government is making absurd decisions of banning the same.

This show that the ill informed politicians and bureaucrats of India can be easily misguided about technology as there is no one to understand the same. In such a situation the only option these politicians and bureaucrats exercise is to ban the technology and justifying the thumb rule that if we do not understand the technology, we ban it.

Naturally, the privacy rights in India and other civil liberties are at great peril. In fact, they are already dead as there is no law or safeguards subject to which the unreasonable, illegal and unconstitutional e-surveillance powers in India are exercised. This also means that if rights are outlawed, only outlaws would have rights in India.

According to Praveen Dalal, Managing partner of Perrry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India, India has tackled the digital issues with great immaturity and lack of knowledge. The dictates to Blackberry, Skype, Gmail, etc are nothing but sheer lack of understanding about technology. Encryption and cyber security cannot be controlled and compromised in the manner Indian government is trying to do, says Dalal. It would be a good idea if the Indian government stops this immaturity as soon as possible, suggests Dalal.

In fact, as a result of unlimited and unregulated e-surveillance powers, Internet censorship powers and website blocking powers in the hands of Indian government, the things have already been very complicated. This is the main reason why initiatives like human rights protection in cyberspace (HRPIC) were launched by Praveen Dalal.

Indian government must clear its head regarding digital issues and get itself acquainted with information technology. Merely blocking Blackberry’s services or Gmail would not kill the strong encryption technology already in the hands of users, informs Dalal. It would only change the mode of encryption from Blackberry/Gmail to some other software or platform, claims Dalal.

Ultimately, how much civil liberties Indians would have depend upon how much they are willing to fight for the same.