Friday, March 28, 2014

Regulatory Compliances Under Indian Companies Act 2013 In Pipeline

The corporate environment of India all set for a big change that has brought tremendous regulatory obligations on the part of Indian companies. The hints of such change were obvious even before the recent notifications under the Indian Companies Act, 2013 (PDF) by the Ministry of corporate Affairs (MCA).

MCA has recently notified 183 sections under the Companies Act, 2013 and rules for 11 chapters under the Act. A complete list of all these notifications and the potential techno legal compliances that Indian companies may be required to follow from 01-04-2014 is available here. The same has been provided by New Delhi based corporate and ICT law firm Perry4Law.

According to Perry4Law, MCA has notified Rules for 11 chapters of the Companies Act, 2013. These include Rules for specifications and definitions, incorporation of companies, prospectus and allotment of securities, shares and debentures, registration of charges, management and administration, declaration and payment of dividend, accounts, appointment and qualification of directors, board meetings and powers, and corporate social responsibility.

As these Sections and Rules would become operational from 1st April 2014 there would be lots of regulatory compliance issues that would be involved. Similarly, it is not easy to migrate from the 1956 Act to the 2013 Act so easily. The times have changed especially due to the techno legal requirements that Indian companies cannot ignored anymore. These include cyber law due diligence (PDF) and cyber security due diligence, opined Perry4Law.

It would be in the best interest of all Indian companies to manage their regulatory issues as soon as possible. Further, it would take considerable time before the true implications of the Indian Companies Act, 2013 and the corresponding rules thereunder would be understood by the companies. Early starters would definitely be at advantageous position.

Online Pharmacies Are Operating Unregulated In India

Online businesses and e-commerce are on rise in India. Everybody is of the opinion that e-business is the upcoming field that can fetch a handsome profit to the entrepreneurs who start the same. Various e-commerce and e-business ventures have been launched by Indian entrepreneurs in the year 2103 and most of them already closed their shops. The reason for the closure of these e-businesses is that an idea without appropriate implementation would be ineffective.

Another related problem pertains to failure to comply with the laws of India while indulging in e-commerce and e-businesses. For instance, we have set laws for opening an online pharmacy store in India. Even the Ayurvedic and Nutraceuticals e-businesses are required to comply with Indian laws to operate legally. Health, food and medicine related legal compliances in India have become really stringent. A good compilation of food, health, cosmetics, drugs, medicines and nutraceutical laws, rules and regulations in India has been provided by New Delhi based law firm Perry4Law.

However, online pharmacies in India are not at all complying with the legal requirements pertaining to their operation in India. Rather they are actively violating the laws of India in this regard. Illegal and unregulated online sale of prescribed medicines in India is still happening despite the threat of the Directorate of Drugs Control of India to punish such illegal pharmacies.

According to Perry4Law online sale of prescribed drugs and medicines in India is a very controversial area. Most of the online pharmacy stores in India are unable to comply with the requirements of Indian laws. There are many techno legal requirements pertaining to privacy, data protection (PDF), encryption, cyber law due diligence (PDF), Internet intermediary obligations, cloud computing, etc that are required to be complied with by online pharmacy stores operating in India.

Mobile health related laws and regulations in India have added another dimension to these complicated legal norms. If a medical device is also sold by these online pharmacies that intend to serve a health/medical purpose, the mobile health and telemedicine related legal issues would also arise.

The regulatory and legislative measures to check online pharmacies trading in banned drugs in India are also in pipeline. The digital communication channels for drugs and healthcare products in India are also subject to numerous regulatory compliances. All these issues require implementation of techno legal measures on the part of Indian government, opines Perry4Law.

It is for the Indian government to encourage law abiding online pharmacies and punish stringently the illegal pharmacies of India so that the menace of counterfeiting and illegal drugs and medicines can be curbed.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

E-Discovery Legal Issues Are Still Ignored In India

Electronic discovery or e-discovery in India is a field that is still not pursued by many law firms in India. There are only handfuls of law firms that can provide e-discovery services in India. Further, there only one or two cyber law firms in India that have been providing legal services in this field.

The main reason for absence of lawyers and law firms in the field of e-discovery is lack of techno legal expertise in this regard. Perry4Law is the exclusive techno legal e-discovery and cyber forensics law firm of Asia that has been providing e-discovery and cyber forensics services to both national and international clients. Perry4Law is also managing exclusive techno legal e-discovery blogs in India and providing exclusive techno legal e-discovery legal services in India and foreign jurisdictions.

The scope of legal e-discovery services in India has increased tremendously in the past few years. In fact, e-discovery and cyber law due diligence has become mandatory for required for Indian companies and Indian companies cannot ignore them anymore. For instance, the cyber security breaches in India would raise crucial cyber law and cyber security issues in the near future and they cannot be simply ignored as cyber incidences anymore. This is so because many techno legal obligations have been attached with such cyber incidences in India.

Take the example of Target Corporation that faced cyber attacks and data breach recently. For reasons best known to Target, it failed to take remedial action in this regard. Now target is facing litigation threats around the world and it may be prosecuted in India as well very soon for failing to comply with techno legal requirements of applicable Indian laws.

The cyber forensics trends and developments in India 2013 by Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) have proved that India has failed on the fronts of e-discovery and cyber forensics. The law enforcement and revenue authorities of India have not taken aid of e-discovery and cyber forensics in their investigations so far.

For instance, Enforcement Directorate (ED) of India could have used e-discovery and cyber forensics methods to detect possible legal violations by Bitcoin websites. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already committed the cyber forensics blunder in Aarushi’s murder case trial. The IPL match fixing case may also be jeoparadised due to lack of use of cyber forensics best practices. The forensics analysis of Nokia’s computer used to download software in India has still not been done till date. The HDFC bank was also required to follow sound e-discovery and cyber forensics procedure to avoid legal liability. Unfortunately, none of these events have actually taken place in India as e-discovery and cyber forensics have been neglected in all these cases.

All these negative developments clearly indicate that e-discovery and cyber forensics best practices are required to be adopted by various national and international companies operating in India. However, in the absence of various techno legal compliance on the part of Indian and foreign companies operating in India, there is an urgent need to formulate effective and robust techno legal e-discovery and cyber forensics regulatory regimes for India. There is also no doubt that India needs to strengthen cyber forensics and cyber crimes investigation capabilities that are in bad shape as on date.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Online Cyber Security Courses In India Need To Be Encouraged

Cyber security of any nation is dependent upon its skilled cyber force. India has exceptionally good information technology related talent but when it comes to cyber security professionals, India is still lagging far behind than other countries. This is primarily due to defective cyber security and education policies of India and the poor implementation of already scant policies in this crucial field.

India has also not encouraged private institutions and educational institutions to take a lead in the cyber security education and skills development field. On top of it, the students are still not sure whether they need skills or degree while pursuing cyber security education in India. A dominant majority of the students that graduate from even premier technical education institutions are not fit to be absorbed by the industry as they may have the degree but they lack the essential skills needed for the industry. Something is gravely missing at the national education policy level in India.

Recently India released the cyber security policy but the same must be integrated into and part of the national security policy of India opines Praveen Dalal the leading techno legal expert of Asia. Presently this is not happening and we have cyber security initiatives in India that are not operating in harmony and coordination with each other. These policy deficiencies, along with defective education policy of India, have also affected the cyber skills development initiatives of India and this is the reason why we do not have a well organised and properly managed online cyber skills development initiative in India, informs Dalal.

Due to these shortcomings cyber security in India is still maturing where both the legal framework and government policies are trying to accommodate the growing requirements of cyber security. We have very few cyber security research and education centre in India as on date that are tirelessly trying to bridge the cyber security skills gap in India.  

With growing emphasis upon distance learning and e-learning, online cyber security courses in India have attracted much attention. Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) is the premier institution of India that is providing online cyber security courses in India and online cyber security trainings in India. In fact, the exclusive techno legal cyber security e-learning portal in India is also managed by PTLB.

However, lack of political will and defective educational policies of India are not allowing Indian educational and skill development initiatives to flourish and make major difference. Even the efforts of national skills development corporation (NSDC) have failed to make much difference in this field.

Recently the Supreme Court of India debarred the AICTE from regulating technical educational institutions in India. The Indian government is finalising new norms that will empower universities to regulate around 10,000 institutes in the country. Under the new regulations, all technical institutes need to be affiliated to UGC-recognised universities. The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry is also planning to introduce amendments in the existing laws to restore the powers of AICTE and reverse the judgment of Supreme Court. It seems our HRD Ministry and Indian government has wandered much beyond the turf of skills and capabilities development and is flexing their muscles more on the side of power tussle in the education field than doing the needful.