After a long gap and absolute silence, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), India released a Discussion Paper (Pdf) on e-commerce in India. The paper has endorsed the views and suggestions provided by Asia’s exclusive techno legal ICT law firm Perry4Law regarding regulation of e-commerce in India.
The paper has endorsed the view of Perry4Law that legal requirements for undertaking e-commerce in India also involve compliance with other laws like Contract Law, Indian Penal Code, etc. Further, online shopping in India also involves compliance with the banking and financial norms applicable in India.
The paper also cautioned the online payment providers on the exact line as have been done by Perry4Law. It also gave the same example of Paypal as provided by Perry4Law and states that if PayPal has to allow online payments receipt and disbursements for its existing or proposed e-commerce activities, it has to take a license from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in this regard. Further, cyber law due diligence (Pdf) for Paypal and other online payment transferors in India is also required to be observed.
E-commerce has gathered a strong interest among Indian entrepreneurs. Many individuals have been exploring the fields like online trading, online travel management, online pharmacies, online adult merchandise, online gaming and gambling, Bitcoins exchanges, etc. However, almost all of them are not complying with Indian laws.
These e-commerce entrepreneurs simply ignore the fact that e-commerce business in India requires certain legal formalities to be complied with. As a result many e-commerce frauds have already taken place in India. Keeping these violations in mind, there have been constant demands that e-commerce websites must be regulated in India.
So what does techno legal experts of India think about e-commerce environment and regulatory aspects of the same? According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based ICT law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of Asia, E-Commerce in India requires compliance with various Statutory Laws of India. The chief among them are the Cyber Law of India, Indian Contract Act, Privacy and Data Protection Regulations, Cyber Security Regulations, Foreign Investments Regulations, etc.
Although E-Commerce in India has great potentials yet Legal Aspects of E-Commerce in India must be taken care of before launching an E-Commerce Project or Website, suggests Dalal.
As the DIPP is presently seized with the e-commerce aspects it would be a good idea to draft suitable regulations governing e-commerce in India as well. This would provide certainty and accountability among the unregulated e-commerce business of India.