Monday, 16 January 2012

E-Discovery In India Needs To Be Developed

Electronic discovery in India was considered an important cyber aspect by the cyber law trend of India 2011 of Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB). Even the projected cyber law trends in India 2012 by Perry4Law and PTLB have placed e-discovery services in India at a prominent position.

Despite the importance of e-discovery in India the same has not yet been adopted suitably. There are very selective e-discovery LPO and KPO in India that are providing e-discovery LPO and KPO services in India. The information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000) is the cyber law of India that incorporates provisions regarding electronic evidence. All electronic evidences must comply with the requirements of IT Act 2000 in order to be legal and valid.

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of ICT and IP law firm Perry4Law and leading cyber law and cyber forensics expert of Asia, “Despite popular belief, Cyber Forensics is different from E-Discovery, Digital Recovery or other synonymous terms. Cyber Forensics primarily caters the “Legal Requirements” whereas E-Discovery meets the requirements of private individuals and organisations as well.

He gives an example to explain the difference. “Take an example of a security breach like hacking in an organisation. The management of the organisation decides to trace the origin of this breach. After proper analysis they come to know about the source of that breach. Till this stage it is only an E-Discovery. The management can take whatever preventive or remedial measure as it may deem fit”, informs Praveen Dalal.

If the management decides to take a “Legal Action” against the offender, it has to prove the acquired digital evidence before the Court of Law. Mere E-Discovery may not be enough to prove the guilt of the accused as legal requirements regarding evidence and procedural laws must also be complied with. When the E-Discovery is “Law Compliant” it becomes “Cyber Forensics”, suggests Praveen Dalal.

This difference between e-discovery and cyber forensics has become a well accepted principle and well established standard of e-discovery and cyber forensics in India and world over. So firms and companies performing e-discovery must keep in mind this crucial difference.

In short, if e-discovery is not performed as per the cyber law of India and other Indian laws, the same may be held inadmissible in court of laws. In fact, every e-discovery investigation must be conducted with the objective that the same would be used in various civil and criminal proceedings. This essentially means that when stakes are high, e-discovery must always be supplemented with cyber forensics investigation. This also means that e-discovery practices in India need to be developed for the proper growth and sue of e-discovery in India.

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