The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India

"The Knowledge Chamber: Serving the Nation since 1920"

Needs a strong law for benefit of mankind: Secretary, Law and Justice


Thursday, July 24, 2014

India needs a strong law to ensure the benefits of technology used for the benefit of mankind, said Mr P.K. Malhotra, Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.

With the tendency of misuse of technology has risen a need of a strict statuary provisions to regulate the criminal activities in the cyber world, said Mr. Malhotra while addressing the ASSOCHAM Global Conference on Law & Technology “Issues & Challenges” in New Delhi.

While replying to a question on media is encroaching into personal lives of certain individuals and breaching their fundamental rights of privacy, the Secretary said, “so far media law is concerned; the big debate is going on. He said, yes, there is a need for a self regulation or law should be made by the parliament.

He further said, as far the security laws are concerned, the government has already come out with the security laws amendments and certain power are being given it to market regulator but million dollar question arises that how safely those powers are used….?

Foreign companies and e-commerce players have been avoiding compliance with Indian laws for long by hiding behind the conflict of laws in cyberspace. Most of its provisions have been brought into force recently to streamline the corporate culture of India. As a result, the directors’ liability under the companies Act, 2013 has significantly increased, added Mr. Malhotra.

It is also possible that India may open online retail and e-commerce sector. However, it would come with the compliance requirements that various e-commerce stakeholders and foreign companies have been ignoring so far. This is a significant indication as many retail outlets and entrepreneurs have to decide their policies and strategies accordingly, added the Secretary.   

The new company law regulatory framework prescribes management and inspection of documents in electronic form, electronic voting, and electronic notices etc. that require a techno legal compliance on the part of Indian companies.

He also said, “all subsidiary/ joint ventures companies in India, especially those dealing in Information Technology and online environment, must mandatorily establish a server in India”.

There have been instances of security breaches and data leakages in high profile Indian companies, notified the Information Technology Rules, 2011. The rules have imposed additional requirements on commercial and business entities in India relating to the collection and disclosure of sensitive personal data or information which have some similarities with the Data Protection Detective, added Mr. Malhotra.

With the formulation of the proposed cyber security breach disclosure norms of India and possible cyber security laws in India, the Indian companies and their directors would find themselves in a legal fix. The powers of Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) have also been significantly increased by the Companies Act 2013”, said Mr. Malhotra.

Other who also spoke during the conference were Mr. Rajkumar N Dhoot, Former President ASSOCHAM, Ms Preeti Malhotra, Chairperson, ASSOCHAM National Council for Corporate Affairs & CSR, Mr Puneet Garkhel, Head Fraud Risk Management, Mahindra Special Services Group,  and Mr G.P Madaan, Co-Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council for M & A.



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