Saturday, March 5, 2011

E-Discovery For Due Diligence By Banks In India

Banking sector of India is passing through a reformative phase. Lots of banking reforms are under process and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is playing a major role in the same. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has been extending his full support for banking and financial sector reforms as well.

Even in the fields of cyber law, cyber security, cyber due diligence, prevention of cyber banking frauds, etc RBI has issued many guidelines through its information technology vision document 2011-17. Some of the mandatory guidelines now require banks of India to appoint chief information officers (CIOs) and steering committees on information security at the board level at the earliest.

In the past, lack of cyber due diligence and absence of CIOs and steering committee has resulted in many cyber crimes and banking frauds. Techno legal experts like Praveen Dalal believe that if a proper cyber due diligence was at place, it could have prevented the recent fraud that was committed at the Gurgaon based branch of Citibank.

Banks in India must understand the importance of e-discovery practices, incidence response, first responder’s roles, cyber due diligence, etc. If banks have a sound e-discovery mechanism, many frauds can be anticipated and prevented before they occur.

E-discovery law in India has still to be enacted. Although India has the cyber law of India incorporated in the form of information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000) yet it is far from being sufficient for cyber forensics and e-discovery purposes.

Government of India must immediately enact some good technology laws that can cater the requirements of present times. Presently, the IT Act, 2000 needs a complete overhaul as it is not meeting the needs of the hour.