Aadhaar Is Not Mandatory For Stock Markets, Stock Exchanges And Trading For Stocks In India

Fake NewsA 9 Judge bench of Supreme Court is about to declare that Privacy is a Fundamental Right. Naturally, Indian government and private companies presently exploiting and planning to exploit future data of Indians would not be happy with this position. But there is no escape from this declaration otherwise there is no sense in keeping and obeying Indian Constitution opines Praveen Dalal. This is more so when Aadhaar is openly violating Fundamental Rights and Rule of Law in India.

A continued violation of Fundamental Rights of Indians would only result in chaos, civil disobedience and even riots. The only remedy remains is to declare Aadhaar as unconstitutional and scrap it. Aadhaar violates many Fundamental Rights and Privacy is just an insignificant part of these violations. In fact, even by excluding privacy violations, Aadhaar remains unconstitutional and a “Constitutional Anomaly” of severe nature.

It is only because of Aadhaar that we are presently facing a Digital Emergency where Indians have become digital slaves without any effective freedom or independence and constitutional protections. Government is using lies, coercion and arm twisting to force unconstitutional Aadhaar upon Indians. The truth is that Aadhaar is “Absolutely Optional” for all services and purposes in India, whether government or private.

So any law, rules, notification, etc by government or private companies making Aadhaar mandatory is simply illegal, unconstitutional and non binding. People can safely ignore such mandate and take government or private companies to task if their services are impaired in any manner whatsoever.

Besides an insensitive Supreme Court, media has played a major role in creating environment of fear and forcing Indians to enroll for Aadhaar. Media has been publishing fake news one after another acting purely as a PR agency of government. It is only because of Social Media like Twitter that Indian media has not been able to mislead many Indians that are now fighting against Aadhaar. Twitter has simply defeated the nefarious intentions of Indian government and media and truth is frequently disclosed in many Twitter discussions.

The latest fake news pertains to the requirement of Aadhaar for people or agents dealing in stock at stock exchanges. This is fake news as was done in case of bank accounts by citing money laundering excuse. The truth is that Aadhaar is not at all mandatory for people dealing at stock exchanges on in stocks/securities in any manner whatsoever. People can safely reject any such demand as Supreme Court has made Aadhaar optional for all purposes and services, including stock exchanges and security dealings.

Do not trust media reports as they are false, misleading and absolutely fake. In short, Aadhaar is not mandatory for stock markets, stock exchanges and trading for stocks or securities in India.

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Proceedings Before Supreme Court For Aadhaar Act On 27-06-2017 And 07-07-2017: Aadhaar Not Mandatory For Welfare Services

Supreme Court Of IndiaUpdate: Hearing On 07-07-2017 For Petitions Under Aadhaar Act, 2016

The Three Judge Bench of Supreme Court maintained the Status Quo about Aadhaar as pronounced by the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court in 2015. Thus, Aadhaar presently remains optional and those not having Aadhaar or not prefer to give it would not be denied any benefits or services.

The Three Judge Bench has also asked the petitioners to approach the CJI and request for an early constitution of the Constitution Bench. However, an assurance has been given that in case of non constitution or delay in constituting of such Constitution Bench, petitioners are free to approach the Three Judge Bench for interim reliefs.

In short, no services or benefits would be denied to any person for either not possessing or not giving his/her Aadhaar till the matter is decided by the Constitution Bench or an interim order is passed by the Three Judge Bench of Supreme Court.

Proceeding On 27-06-2017 For Petitions Under Aadhaar Act, 2016

The much awaited date of 27-06-2017 witnessed a balancing act by the Supreme Court of India where it maintained the status quo regarding Aadhaar. The court was analysing legality of mandating Aadhaar for services under the Aadhaar Act, 2016. Immediately before the hearing date, govt extended the date of enrollment for Aadhaar to 30-09-2017. So those not having Aadhaar can choose to enroll for the same on or before 30-09-2017. Needless to mention that this is a purely optional exercise. Those not interested in Aadhaar cannot be forced by Aadhaar Act, 2016 or any other law or notification to enroll for the same.

However, the significance of this extension is that those not having Aadhaar cannot say that the 30-06-2017 deadline mentioned by Indian govt is violating their rights. Now govt cannot deny any benefits under the Aadhaar Act, 2016 to such people till 30-09-2017. Any further agitation can be made only after 30-09-2017 that too when benefits of any services are denied to people not holding an Aadhaar after that date. It is very important that those not having Aadhaar presently do not enroll for the same at all otherwise the constitutional protection they possess may be weakened. So if a child does not possess Aadhaar for mid day meal, it is important that he does not enroll for the same as alternative identification documents can be given to get such meal. Aadhaar is not mandatory for mid day meal at all, even after the Aadhaar Act, 2016.

However, the 30-06-2017 deadline is still violating the fundamental rights of people who have enrolled for Aadhaar. This is because both enrolment of Aadhaar and its uses are absolutely optional as per the interim order of Constitution Bench of Supreme Court. So Supreme Court cannot close its eyes to any deprivation of service by government for not enrolling or non-giving of Aadhaar number for Aadhaar Act purposes. Even a single case of denial of service by government due to Aadhaar is sufficient to challenge the notifications issued by Indian government.

Supreme Court has also given time to the government to file a rejoinder till 04-07-2017 and asked the petitioners to provide any data that shows that people or children have been deprived of services or mid day meals due to Aadhaar.

The government also gave a clear assurance to the Supreme Court that no service would be denied to any person for not possessing Aadhaar till next hearing. So Supreme Court deemed it fit to hear the matter on 07-07-2017 with a certainty that 30-06-2017 deadline has been verbally extended by government till 07-07-2017 for all practical purposes. A notification may also be issued by government in this regard very soon.

However, some very crucial points have emerged out of recent Supreme Court dealings with Aadhaar related cases. Firstly, Supreme Court is clearly hinting that it would unconditionally support those who are fighting against Aadhaar and are not willing to surrender their Fundamental Rights. So if you have not enrolled for Aadhaar so far, do not even think about it. Non enrollment is your best protection against draconian Aadhaar.

Secondly, Supreme Court would not tolerate any sort of deprivation, punitive action or sanction against those not having Aadhaar or are not willing to link the same to various services or purposes. Whether it is Section 139AA case or present petition under Aadhaar Act, 2016, any sort of deprivation or sanction is clearly rejected by Supreme Court.

Thirdly, Supreme Court itself is facing a tough situation. A Division Bench of Supreme Court cannot overrule the order of a Constitution Bench. The Constitution Bench has already made Aadhaar optional for all purposes and allowed use of Aadhaar for selective purposes only. So neither the government nor a Division Bench of Supreme Court can violate that interim order of Constitution Bench. That is why the judgments of Supreme Court on mobile number re-verification and Section 139AA have made use of Aadhaar optional to escape from being Per Incuriam. Please see @_PerIncuriam for more details in this regard. So the Supreme Court is very cautious this time in dealing with the violation of Fundamental Rights of different class of people.

The crux of the proceedings that took place on 27-06-2017 is as follows:

(1) Aadhaar remains optional for all services and purposes and government cannot make it mandatory due to interim order of Constitution Bench.

(2) Government can use Aadhaar for selective/approved purposes only and even for those selective purposes Aadhaar is absolutely optional.

(3) Deadline of giving Aadhaar has been extended to 30-09-2017 for those not having Aadhaar so far. But not enrolling for Aadhaar is the best decision a person can take in present Orwellian times.

(4) Deadline of 30-06-2017 for existing Aadhaar holders has been temporarily extended till 07-07-2017 that is next date of hearing in Supreme Court.

(5) No services would be denied to those who have enrolled for Aadhaar till 07-07-2017.

(6) No services would be denied to those who have not enrolled for Aadhaar till 30-09-2017.

(7) If a person, whether Aadhaar holder or not, is deprived of any service by government or private companies, he/she can challenge the same as Aadhaar is absolutely optional for all purposes. See the constitutional position in this regard.

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Supreme Court Judgments On Mobile Reverification And Aadhaar-Pan Linking Have Made Aadhaar Optional Or Are Per Incuriam

Supreme Court Of IndiaIndian government and its social media handles have been celebrating the so called wins in Supreme Court claiming allowing of mandatory use of Aadhaar for mobile re-verification and Aadhaar-PAN linking. But these celebrations are not only premature but also based on wrong assumptions and interpretations of Supreme Court judgments, especially the interim order (pdf) of Constitution Bench of Supreme Court.

Let us first discuss the mobile re-verification case.  According to the government, Supreme Court ordered it to re-verify mobile connection using Aadhaar based EKYC. Obviously this claim is far from truth as Supreme Court has nowhere asked Indian government to use Aadhaar for mobile re-verification or similar purposes. People are free to use any traditional government document to complete KYC formalities of various telecom companies. Aadhaar is not mandatory for mobile connection verification or re-verification purposes. No mobile connection can be disconnected or otherwise limited for not doing Aadhaar based EKYC/KYC.

Now let us analyse the Section 139AA case recently heard by Supreme Court. Government is claiming a big win here as well. In reality, Supreme Court has made Aadhaar optional for all practical purposes. Section 139AA (1) has only been declared partially constitutional without a rigorous test of Article 21.  Further, even this limited constitutionality of Section 139AA (1) is subject to final decision of the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court that would analyse violation of various Fundamental Rights by Aadhaar. Above all, eligibility for Aadhaar cannot be interpreted as a mandate or compulsion to obtain an Aadhaar. So if an individual is not interested in getting an Aadhaar, Section 139AA (1) cannot force him/her to get an Aadhaar.

Let us further analyse what Supreme Court said about Section 139AA (2). Section 139AA (2) is only supported by limited constitutional validity and subject to the final decision of Constitution Bench. Further, Section 139AA (2) has been severely read down by Supreme Court. So PAN of an individual would not be cancelled if he/she fails to link it with Aadhaar as Article 21 analysis was not done. Not only this, even cancelling of a PAN cannot be retrospective in nature and can only be prospective. So till the PAN is cancelled, if at all, all transactions would be legal and valid.

A combined reading would prove that Section 139AA as it stands now is impotent and toothless. Its violations would not bring any punitive action from either government or IT department. All individuals, whether having Aadhaar or not, can file their returns without quoting the Aadhaar number and their tax returns would not be rejected.

Anticipating this defeat, Indian government notified the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules 2017. The purpose was to ensure forced clubbing of Aadhaar with PAN through the banking channel. However, Aadhaar is not mandatory for this so called money laundering aspect as well due to the recent judgment of Supreme Court on Section 139AA and the interim order of Constitution Bench of Supreme Court.

Nevertheless, Indian government would keep on insisting that Aadhaar has been made mandatory under the mobile re-verification and Section 139AA cases. To clear all doubts, Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) has consolidated the constitutional position regarding Aadhaar at a single place.

Now here is the beauty of this exercise and constitutional analysis. If the government says that the division benches of Supreme Court have made Aadhaar mandatory for mobile re-verification and Section 139AA cases, their judgments would automatically become Per Incuriam. A division bench can never overrule a Constitution Bench order that is still pending for final adjudication. Even a three judge bench has clearly made Aadhaar optional. So we have prohibitive orders from both three judge bench and a Constitution Bench against which government cannot make Aadhaar mandatory.

The Constitution Bench has only allowed certain limited purposes for which Aadhaar can be used and beyond those purposes Aadhaar cannot be used. Even for those limited purposes, Aadhaar is absolutely optional.

The net effect of this position is that Indian government cannot make Aadhaar mandatory for even a single purpose or service, whether welfare or non welfare or government or private.

So we can safely conclude that the judgment of Supreme Court on mobile re-verification and Section 139AA have made Aadhaar optional. Otherwise, they are Per Incuriam and not binding upon any individual or organisation. People can simply ignore them as non binding and without any legal effect.

In any case, Aadhaar remains optional for mobile re-verification, Section 139AA, money laundering notification and all other purposes, whether present or future till Constitution Bench decides the matter ultimately and conclusively.

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Biometric Blocking And Aadhaar Deseeding Must Be Done Together To Safeguard Your Interests Opines Praveen Dalal

Biometric BlockingManaging cyber security in the present times of cyber espionage and cyber warfare is a really tough job. For instance, any organisation of even slightest strategic importance is furiously targeted by hackers and cyber criminals. State sponsored cyber attacks are even worst as they have wide variety of cyber arsenals at their disposals.

Cyber security in India is not at all satisfactory. India lacks even basic level cyber security and government departments and agencies follow very poor cyber security practices. They can afford this casual attitude towards cyber security as Indian government itself is not aware of cyber security. Even in cases of serious data breaches, nobody cares and end customers have to bear the loss.

India has been able to manage without any cyber security law and good cyber security practices so far. It has survived by issuing guidelines and rules that nobody bothers to read and implement. But the situation has changed dramatically due to force imposition of Aadhaar project upon Indians that is clearly unconstitutional and very dangerous from cyber security perspective. The only solution to this gravely dangerous position is declaration of Aadhaar as unconstitutional by Supreme Court of India and destruction of the biometric collected by Indian government so far.

But you should not leave everything for the Supreme Court to manage as Supreme Court has been dragging its feet so far Aadhaar is concerned. Citizens must consider using self help measures to protect their own interests. These self help and self defense measures against Aadhaar include:

(a) Blocking of your biometric at UIDAI website and never using Aadhaar again for KYC or EKYC purposes in future,

(b) Deseeding of Aadhaar from all services, whether government or private, where you have seeded the Aadhaar, and

(c) Asking the UIDAI and Supreme Court to delete your biometric database from UIDAI registry and any and all other places where your biometric have been stored.

According to Praveen Dalal, it is pertinent that you must go for biometric blocking and Aadhaar deseeding together and not in isolation. Neither blocking of biometric nor deseeding of Aadhaar from all services without blocking of the biometric is sufficient in itself. Once the biometric have been blocked and Aadhaar is deseeded from all government and private services, ask UIDAI, Indian government and Supreme Court to destroy your biometric to prevent any future misuse of the same.

No matter what government and UIDAI tell you about security and safety of Aadhaar, biometric are very weak form of authentication and protection. Cyber security of biometric can be compromise in minutes from any part of the weakest link. Aadhaar is full of weakest links and your biometric are not at all safe. Your only chance is a cumulative action where biometric are first blocked, then deseeded and finally destroyed from government storage, whether located in India or foreign jurisdictions, opines Praveen Dalal. Now people may be interested in knowing the procedure to block their biometric and deseed Aadhaar from all government and private services.

The procedure to block your biometric and deseed Aadhaar has already been shared by Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO). You may go through the same and be bold and strong to ensure that your biometric are blocked and deleted and Aadhaar is deseeded from all services.

Procedure To Deseed Aadhaar

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Aadhaar Based EKYC Verification, Reverifications And Authentications Are Not Mandatory For Mobile Connections As Per Supreme Court

Supreme Court Of IndiaMany people have asked Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) on Twitter whether Aadhaar based KYC/EKYC verification, re-verification or authentication is mandatory for existing and future pre paid and post paid connections.  The simple answer to this question is NO.

Aadhaar is “Absolutely Optional for KYC and EKYC”. You can give it as a KYC document or you can give other documents for KYC purposes. It is absolutely your wish/option and Indian government and telecom service providers cannot force you for Aadhaar based KYC or Aadhaar based EKYC.

Before we proceed further, let us make clear that Aadhaar is absolutely optional till the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court decides the matter one way or the other. This is the current legal position even after the passage of Aadhaar Act and Finance Act as these Acts have not annulled the interim orders of Constitution Bench of Supreme Court.

Now let us come back to the answer to the question raised by many mobile users of India. Aadhaar based EKYC verification, re-verification or authentication is not at all mandatory for existing and future pre paid and post paid connections. This is clear by virtue of the order of Supreme Court in the case of Lokniti Foundation v. U.O.I, Writ Petition (C) No. 607 of 2016, dated 06-02-2017.

The petitioner in Lokniti case approached Supreme Court and prayed that there should be a definite mobile phone subscriber verification scheme, to ensure 100% verification of the subscriber. The petitioner prayed that the identity of each subscriber, as also, his/her address should be verified, so that no fake or unverified phone subscriber, can misuse a mobile phone.

A counter affidavit was filed by the U.O.I that made certain unverified averments, the veracity and authenticity of which was not verified by the Supreme Court. The affidavit claimed that as on 31.01.2017, 111.31 Crores Aadhaar card has been issued which represent 87.09% of populations. Now this is clearly over exaggeration and data fudging as we have no independent constitutional authority that can verify this claim. In fact, it would be prudent to say that if we remove duplicates, illegal and fake Aadhaar, UIDAI would not have even 50% Aadhaar enrollment.

For instance, in the month of October 2016, U.O.I was claiming that Aadhaar enrollment has reached at 96% of Indian population. However, in its affidavit filed in Supreme Court U.O.I agreed that Aadhaar enrollment is 87.09% of Indian population as on 31.01.2017. So U.O.I was telling white lies to Indians and Supreme Court. It is still lying as Aadhaar is not more than 50% enrolled till the month of May 2017 if we remove data fudging. Attorney General also lied to Supreme Court regarding issues of FATCA, data breaches, cyber security, etc in Section 139AA hearing. So the entire stand of U.O.I regarding Aadhaar is based on lies, coercion, arm twisting and violation of fundamental rights and rule of law.

U.O.I is so blatantly lying that in many states Aadhaar enrollment has exceeded the population of many states. But Supreme Court is not willing to take note of many lies that U.O.I is openly telling to it. We need a Constitutional Body to come up with exact figures so that govt cannot fool us with 99% figure. We must also remove the percentage of the people who have already died and those who have been delisted from UIDAI database from this 99% figure.

In Lokniti case  U.O.I and Supreme Court also wrongly presumed that those who have Aadhaar card/number normally use the same for obtaining a new telephone connection using E-KYC process. This is completely false and highly misleading. Just like other lies and misinformation that U.O.I is using in Supreme Court, this assertion is also absolutely false.

People are not at all using Aadhaar based EKYC and it is not used to get a new connection. Traditional KYC requirements are complied with while purchasing new connections by using KYC documents like driving license, voter ID, ration card, etc. Subsequently, the user is verified when he calls a particular number of telecom service provider and confirms the details of the documents submitted by him at the time of connection.

This is the present KYC mechanism in operation in India for buying new mobile connections in 99% of the cases. As to re-verification also, paper based documents are submitted at regular interval to verify the pre paid connections. Nobody is using Aadhaar based EKYC for this purpose and U.O.I is simply telling lies.

It was submitted by the Attorney General in Lokniti case that the procedure now being adopted, will be sufficient to alleviate the fears, projected in the writ petition. This statement pertained to verification, re-verification and authentication of existing and new customers using traditional KYC documents and Aadhaar based EKY, wherever applicable for 1% of Indian population. U.O.I clearly agreed that both KYC and EKYC would constitute the verification, re-verification and authentication system of telecom service providers.

So Supreme Court was just satisfied that the prayers made in the writ petition have been substantially dealt with, and an effective process has been evolved to ensure identity verification, as well as, the addresses of all mobile phone subscribers for new subscribers. The Supreme Court was actually talking about the present KYC mechanism in operation in India that is used by 99% of the Indians for buying new mobile connections and their corresponding verification and re-verification. Supreme Court nowhere relied upon Aadhaar based EKYC for verification, re-verification or purchasing of new connections as that is not used by even 1% of Indian population.

Supreme Court also observed that in the near future, and more particularly, within one year from today, a similar verification will be completed, in the case of existing subscribers. The verification that Supreme Court is talking about here is mandatory KYC verification and optional Aadhaar based EKYC verification. So those who are not interested in Aadhaar based EKYC can simply refuse and give other KYC documents. Neither Indian government nor your telecom service provider can force you to use Aadhaar based EKYC even if you are an Aadhaar holder. For those who do not have an Aadhaar, they have just one option, i.e. traditional KYC documents.

However, no telecom service provider can suspend, cancel or in any other way dilute your services for the simple reason that you have refused or failed to go for an Aadhaar based EKYC verification, re-verification or authentication. Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) hopes that this article would clear the doubts of all stakeholders and would result in a proper and legal verification, re-verification and authentication drive in India.

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Aadhaar Is Not Mandatory Under Aadhaar Act 2016 Or Any Other Law Of India

Supreme Court Of IndiaOne of the most controversial questions of present time is whether Aadhaar is mandatory or not? Indian government is insisting that it is whereas legal jurists and Supreme Court have been maintaining that Aadhaar is absolutely optional. In fact, a constitution bench of Supreme Court has held that Aadhaar is optional for all government and non government services till the matter is decided by it conclusively.

Nevertheless, the nature of Aadhaar is still troubling many due to complexity of the issues involved in this matter. After rigourous constitutional analysis, we at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) have come to the logical conclusion that Aadhaar is not mandatory for availing government and non government services even after the Aadhaar Act, 2016. This conclusion is based on complex constitutional interpretation of fundamental rights, judicial review, legislative competency of Parliament, constitutionality of money bills, etc. A detailed discussion is not part of this article at this stage and we would come up with the same at appropriate stage.

Meanwhile, on 19-05-2017 a division bench of Supreme Court briefly heard the arguments of petitioner challenging compulsory requirement of Aadhaar for services under the Aadhaar Act. The court has listed the case for further hearing on 27-06-2017 whereas the government has made 30-06-2017 as the last date to seed/enroll for Aadhaar. So there is little time left for those who are challenging mandatory nature of Aadhaar for services under the Aadhaar Act.

Firstly, there are complete three days for starting the enrollment process for Aadhaar for those who are waiting for the judgment of Supreme Court against compulsory nature of Aadhaar under Aadhaar Act. Actual enrolment for Aadhaar is not required and even initiation of the process towards enrollment is enough. So people should wait for the judgment of Supreme Court or interim reliefs as prayed in the same. Most probably, Supreme Court would declare that Aadhaar is optional for Aadhaar Act.

Secondly, the last date for enrollment for Aadhaar could be extended by the government. So those willing to fight can further wait for such government action. But that is a government privilege and government may or may not extend the date.

Thirdly, the interim orders of Supreme Court making Aadhaar optional for all services are still applicable even the month of May 2017. So even if government and Supreme Court do not provide you with reliefs as mandated by Indian Constitution, fundamental rights and rule of law, still Aadhaar is optional.

Fourthly, the constitutional validity of Aadhaar Act itself has been challenged before the Supreme Court and the court would decide the same in due course. If Aadhaar Act itself is unconstitutional, there is no way government can make it mandatory even if we exclude above three aspects.

So in any case, Aadhaar cannot be demanded by Indian government even for services falling under the Aadhaar Act till Supreme Court decides in its favour. That eventuality is not going to happen even if a single person is standing against unconstitutional and rule of law violating Aadhaar. We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) are committed to fight against the unconstitutional and evil Aadhaar till it is scrapped and the unconstitutionally collected biometric(s) are safely destroyed. You can count on us as the last man standing against unconstitutional and evil Aadhaar.

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PTLB’s LPO Model Uses Disruptive Innovations And Technologies

Disruptive InnovationLegal process outsourcing (LPO) is not a new phenomenon in India and is in existence for long. LPO is generally managed by organisations not typically into legal practice but employing lawyers and legal professionals. As qualified lawyers are working for these organisations so legal assignments are managed effectively and efficiently. However, LPO covers very limited fields of legal services and are mostly monotonous. They are not very challenging and are usually referred to as clerical works.

On the other hand, a law firm covers vast number of legal fields and the work at such a law firm is challenging and more satisfying. Similarly, such law firm also has experience of vast majority of legal professionals most of whom are experts of their respective fields. Clearly, when a legal matter involves specialised and high end work, LPO is not the right choice. LPO comes into picture only to reduce cost for routine legal matters.

A typical LPO model involves an arrangement between a foreign law firm or company and the LPO Company established in a developing nation. As the cost of labour is much lower in developing countries in comparison of a developed country, low end works are assigned to such LPO companies. These LPO companies then execute the work in a time bound manner and provide the end result to the foreign law firm/company. This is a winning situation for both foreign law firm/company and LPO company.

As the assigned LPO work is more or less standard in nature, there is very limited use of information and communication technology (ICT) for such LPO assignments. A LPO company can execute the assignment and send it through e-mail/Internet and this ends the technology aspect for traditional LPO model. However, technology is disrupting this traditional LPO model and now LPO dealings are no more confined to just e-mail interactions.

Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) has taken a bold step in this regard by launching the first ever Disruptive LPO Model of India and worldwide known as PTLB LPO. Now availing of LPO services of PTLB from any part of the world is as simple as opening of a LPO support request. This disruptive LPO model is using ICT4D for legal services aiming at reduced costs and avoidance of wastage of time and efforts.

PTLB LPO is disruptive innovation in the sense that it would create a new market and value network and eventually disrupts existing LPO market and value network in India. While we can not disclose many more features and support systems that would collaborate and support PTLB LPO in near future yet we can safely say that when we would launch these additional support services, LPO industry in India and other jurisdictions would change forever.

PTLB strongly recommend that foreign law firms and companies must at least go through the PTLB LPO platform as future of LPO is all set for a big change. These foreign law firms and companies cannot change to a disruptive LPO model immediately as it needs some basic level of understanding and working knowledge. Starting right now is the right strategy in this regard so that they can gradually shift to the same. Of course, they can also use the traditional LPO model if it suits them more.

What matters economically for the LPO business model is not the technological sophistication itself as many disruptive innovations are not advanced technologies at all. Rather, they are often novel combinations of existing off-the-shelf components, applied cleverly to existing LPO value network. The Disruptive LPO Model of PTLB would not only help new set of customers/clients but even existing customers/clients would be significantly benefitted from the same. The constructive integration of existing, new, and forward-thinking innovation(s) of PTLB LPO could improve the economic benefits of existing customers/clients, once their top management understood the systemic benefits as a whole. The simplicity of creation of a support ticket at PTLB LPO platform is unmatchable and there would be no trouble for foreign law firms/companies in quick adoption of the same.

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Centre Of Excellence For Digital India Laws And Regulations In India (CEDILRI)

Centre Of Excellence For Digital India Laws And Regulations In India (CEDILRI)Digital India is an ambitious project of Narendra Modi Government. It is another form of e-governance project but with a different name and administrative order. In Congress Government’s times, the e-governance initiatives were governed by National E-Governance Plan (NeGP) and now these initiatives are governed by Digital India project.

Both NeGP and Digital India are not governed by any legal framework or laws. This is a very serious lacuna of NeGP and Digital India as issues like e-health, e-courts, e-prison, cyber security, etc cannot be effectively managed in the absence of effective laws.

Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) has understood this limitation of Indian Government very well. We have launched many techno legal initiatives to help national and international stakeholders who are looking for legal enablement of ICT systems in India. As far as Digital India is concerned, we have launched a dedicated platform named Centre of Excellence for Digital India Laws and Regulations in India (CEDILRI).

CEDILRI has already discussed issues like need for Digital India laws in India and e-health laws in India. Further, CEDILRI has also discussed about the establishment of National E-Health Authority (NeHA) of India while providing its suggestions in this regard. Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO), CEDILRI and other techno legal segments of P4LO have also been managing useful newsletters and updates for national and international stakeholders. These include the dailies titled Digital India, Digital India Laws, Digital India Cyber Security, Smart Cities Cyber Security in India, Privacy Laws in India, etc. These dailies and newsletters are covering cutting edge and contemporary issues about Digital India and Civil Liberties.

Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) hopes that national and international stakeholders would find our initiatives useful. At the same time we expect the Indian Government to consider the suggestions and opinions given by the CEDILRI from time to time so that Digital India and NeGP can grow in India.

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Draft Circular Of RBI On Customer Protection–Limiting Liability Of Customers In Unauthorised Electronic Banking Transactions

Draft Circular Of RBI On Customer Protection–Limiting Liability Of Customers In Unauthorised Electronic Banking TransactionsBanks customers in India are facing many cyber problems while dealings with their respective banks. These include inadequate cyber security, illegal fund transfers due to phishing and cyber crimes, unreasonable delay in settlement of customer’s dues, etc. The problem regarding cyber security is worst. Realising the gravity of the situation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) finally prescribed the cyber security framework for banks in India but it has failed to inspire the banks in India so far. This is so because although the RBI has given a deadline of September 30, 2016 to the Indian banks to implement techno legal cyber security policy yet there are no signs that banks in India have actually started even considering this cyber security policy. This is just like the other policies that RBI has prescribed from time to time with no actual and practical implementation from the banks.

We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) believe that this is not the fault of banks of India as it is the RBI and Indian government that have failed to enforce these policies against Indian banks. When the basic level cyber security breaches disclosure norms in India are missing, banks have no incentive and motivation to either ensure cyber security or report any possible cyber breach. It is high time for RBI and Indian government to ensure that banks in India comply with techno legal cyber law due diligence (pdf) and cyber security compliances as per the prescribed standards and rules. This is very much required for the successful implementation of the Digital India project that the current government is pushing very hard.

RBI has now released the draft circular titled Customer Protection–Limiting Liability of Customers in Unauthorised Electronic Banking Transactions for public comments. These comments can be sent to RBI on or before August 31, 2016 through post or e-mail. The draft circular has focused on reversal of erroneous debits made to customers’ accounts arising from fraudulent and other transactions. The paper has reiterated the increased thrust on financial inclusion and customer protection as the two crucial pillars of financial stability. The paper has also taken into account the tremendous increase in customer grievances relating to unauthorised transactions resulting in erroneous debits to their accounts/cards while reviewing the criteria for determining the customer liability in these circumstances.

RBI has proposed the following revised directions in this regard:

(1) Strengthening of systems and procedures: Broadly, the electronic banking transactions can be divided into two categories: (i) Remote/ Online payment transactions (transactions that do not require physical payment instruments to be present at the point of transactions e.g. internet banking, mobile banking, card not present (CNP) transactions) and (ii) Face-to-face/ proximity payment transactions (transactions which require the physical payment instrument such as a card or mobile phone to be present at the point of transaction e.g. ATM , POS, etc.). The systems and procedures in banks must be designed to make customers feel safe about carrying out electronic banking transactions. To achieve this, banks must put in place:

(a) Appropriate systems and procedures to ensure safety and security of electronic banking transactions carried out by customers;

(b) Robust and dynamic fraud detection and prevention mechanism;

(c) Mechanism to assess the risks (for example, gaps in the banks’ existing systems) resulting from unauthorised transactions and measure the liabilities arising out of such events; and

(d) Appropriate measures to mitigate the risks and protect themselves against the liabilities arising therefrom.

(2) Reporting of unauthorised transactions by customers to banks: Banks must ask their customers to mandatorily register for alerts for electronic banking transactions. The alerts shall be sent to the customers through different channels (email or SMS) offered by the banks. The customers must be advised to notify the bank concerned of any unauthorised electronic banking transaction at the earliest after the occurrence of such transaction. The longer the time taken to notify the bank, the higher will be the risk of loss to the bank/customer. To facilitate this, banks must provide customers with 24×7 access through multiple channels (at a minimum, via website, phone banking, SMS, IVR, a dedicated toll-free helpline, reporting to home branch, etc.) for reporting fraudulent transactions that have taken place and/or loss or theft of payment instrument such as card, etc. The loss/fraud reporting system shall also ensure that immediate response (including auto response) is sent to the customers acknowledging the complaint along with the registered complaint number. The communication systems used by banks to send alerts and receive their responses thereto must record the time and date of delivery of the message and receipt of customer’s response, if any, to them. This shall be important in determining the extent of the customer’s liability.

(3) Liability of a Customer: The liability of the customer shall be as following:

(i) Zero Liability of a Customer: A customer’s entitlement to zero liability shall arise where the security architecture and systems of the bank for electronic banking transactions are not able to protect the customer in the following events:

(a) Fraud/ negligence on the part of the bank (irrespective of whether the loss/fraudulent transaction is reported by the customer or not)

(b) Third party breach where the fault lies neither with the bank nor with the customer but lies elsewhere in the system, and the customer notifies the bank within three working days of receiving the communication from the bank regarding an unauthorized transaction.

(ii) Limited Liability of a Customer: A customer shall be liable for the loss occurring due to fraudulent transactions in the following cases:

(a) In cases involving negligence by a customer, such as where he has shared the payment credentials, the customer will bear the entire loss until he reports the unauthorised transaction to the bank. Any loss occurring after the reporting of the unauthorised transaction shall be borne by the bank.

(b) In cases where the responsibility for the unauthorised electronic banking transaction lies neither with the bank nor with the customer but lies elsewhere in the system and when there is a delay (of four to seven working days) on the part of the customer in notifying the bank of such a transaction, the customer liability shall be limited to the transaction value or ₹ 5000/-, whichever is lower. Further, if the delay in reporting is beyond seven working days, the customer liability shall be determined as per bank’s Board approved policy. Banks shall provide the details of the bank’s policy in regard to customers’ liability formulated in pursuance of these directions at the time of opening the accounts. Banks shall display their approved policy in public domain for wider dissemination. The existing customers must also be individually informed about the bank’s policy.

(iii) Overall liability of the customer in third party breaches, as detailed above, where the fault lies neither with the bank nor the customer but lies elsewhere in the system and the customer has notified as per the prescribed time framework and manner, is summarised as follows:

(a) Within 3 working days: Zero liability,

(b) Within 4-7 working days of receiving the communication: The transaction value or ₹ 5000/-, whichever is lower,

(c) Beyond 7 working days of receiving the communication: As per bank’s Board approved policy.

(4) Reversal Timeline for Zero Liability/ Limited Liability: On being notified by the customer, the bank shall credit (shadow reversal) the amount involved in the unauthorised electronic transaction to the customer’s account within 10 working days from the date of such notification by the customer. Banks may also at their discretion decide to waive off any customer liability in case of unauthorised electronic banking transactions even in cases of customer negligence.

Further, banks shall ensure that:

(i) A complaint is resolved within 90 days from the date of reporting; and

(ii) In case of debit card/bank account the customer does not lose out on interest, and in case of credit card the customer does not bear any additional burden of interest.

(5) Board approved Policy for Customer Protection Policy: Taking into account the risks arising out of unauthorised debits to customer accounts owing to customer negligence/ banking system frauds/ third party breaches, banks need to clearly define the rights and obligations of customers in case of unauthorised transactions in specified scenarios. Banks shall formulate/ revise their customer relations policy, with approval of their Board, to cover aspects of customer protection, including the mechanism of creating customer awareness on the risks and responsibilities involved in electronic banking transactions and customer liability in such cases of unauthorised electronic banking transactions. The policy must be transparent, non-discriminatory and should stipulate the mechanism of compensating the customers for the unauthorised electronic banking transactions and also prescribe the timelines for effecting such compensation, based on the circumstances of each case. The policy shall be displayed on the bank’s website along with the details of grievance handling/ escalation procedure. The instructions contained in this circular shall be incorporated in the policy.

(6) Burden of Proof: The burden of proving customer liability in case of unauthorised electronic banking transactions shall lie on the bank. The bank’s above policy shall also specify the maximum time period for establishing customer liability after which the bank shall compensate the customer.

(7) Reporting and Monitoring Requirements: The banks shall put in place a suitable mechanism and structure for reporting of the customer liability cases to the Board or its Committee. The reporting shall, inter-alia, include volume/number of cases and the aggregate value involved and distribution across various categories of cases viz., card present transactions, card not present transactions, internet banking, mobile banking, ATM trasanctions, etc. The Standing Committee on Customer Service in each bank shall review, on a monthly basis, the unauthorised electronic banking transactions reported by customers or otherwise, as also the action taken thereupon, the functioning of the grievance redress mechanism and take appropriate measures to improve the systems and procedures.

Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) strongly recommends that banks in India must now pay more attention to techno legal compliance requirements as the regulatory regime in India is fast changing.

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Internet Intermediary Liability Law In India Must Be Stringent For GST, Taxation And Cyber Law Purposes

Praveen DalalInternet intermediary liability in India has been prescribed by the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000) that is the cyber law of India. It has seen many ups and downs and finally it faced an unjustified and undesirable onslaught from none other than the Supreme Court of India. Clearly, the Supreme Court of India erred in delivering the judgment that created more troubles for India than solutions. It is clearly counter productive in the long run and Indian government needs to act urgently in this regard if sufficient steps have not already been undertaken by it.

The present techno legal requirements of India mandate for a stronger cyber law due diligence (pdf) for various stakeholders in India rather than a weak one. But the judgment of Supreme Court came as a big blow to the cyber law due diligence regime of India. Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) made a strong techno legal representation to the Indian government regarding revisiting the cyber law due diligence and Internet intermediary liability obligations of various stakeholders in India. P4LO was assured by Indian government that its suggestions would be duly considered while drafting new laws and amending the existing cyber law of India.

Internet intermediaries like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc are complying with laws of different countries. Surprisingly, when it comes to India, they are not at all interested in complying with Indian laws. Unfortunately, Indian government was not properly represented before the Supreme Court during the Section 66A case and this resulted into a wrong decision. In fact, Supreme Court was misled by stating that Internet intermediaries are not required to manage online contents in other jurisdictions. As a matter of fact, European Union, US, UK, etc have further made stringent the requirements to remove inappropriate online contents hosted on Internet intermediary platforms. However, due to industrial lobbying, the cyber law due diligence and Internet intermediary liability was made ridiculously weak in India.

When EU is enforcing right to be forgotten, India is treading in an altogether wrong direction of weak cyber law that requires urgent re-enactment. In one unfortunate case, a victim’s morphed picture was posted on Facebook and police did little to get it removed. The victim could not directly approach the Facebook as Supreme Court has ridiculously read down Section 79 making it impotent. She ultimately committed suicide and this is the net consequence of a bad decision on the part of Indian Supreme Court and inaction on the part of Indian government to bring suitable provisions in the IT Act 2000. We hope such incidence would not be repeated in future and Indian government would urgently do something in this regard.

Indian government has taken some positive steps in the direction of making Internet intermediaries and foreign companies amendable to Indian laws. India has formulated the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016 to regulate all stakeholders including foreign companies. Similarly, Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) has been suggesting for long to make companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc liable for India laws including for tax laws and cyber law. Now tax liability of companies like Google has increased in India and they may further be subjected to Indian laws through future legislations. To mitigate the adverse effects of Section 66A judgment, Indian government must urgently bring suitable amendments in the IT Act 2000 as was conveyed to P4LO.

Another area that requires suitable regulation pertain to social media and their activities having an impact within Indian territories. We have no dedicated social media regulations in India as on date. In many cases, abuse of social media in India has proved fatal for the internal security, personal property and lives of Indian citizens. Section 66A judgment has further weakened the provisions that can force the social media platforms to take down objectionable contents. Victims and public spirited individuals can no longer ask directly such social media platforms to take down objectionable contents under the IT act 2000. It smacks of double standard that social media platforms and foreign companies are bound to follow laws of all other countries regarding taking down of objectionable contents but they oppose doing the same in India. The social media laws in India need clarity and codification by Indian government.

This is a time to allow class action suits and proceedings in India against social media platforms and foreign companies rather than allowing them to twist and bypass Indian laws. The least Indian government can do is not to bow before the pressure created by industrial lobbying of these foreign companies in India. Through a collective pressure tactics of media reports and indutrial representations, these foreign companies are able to get what they want. If they fail at the government level, they approach the Supreme Court and misled it in passing judgments that are against national interest and interest of Indian citizens in the long run. In one such propaganda the foreign companies and their industrial lobbying groups have once again started targeting the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act 2016. This is because the proposed GST Act has grouped the Internet intermediary platforms/websites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and online reviewers in the category of “agents” and has made them liable/responsible for inappropriate contents on their websites.

As per Section 2(2) of the proposed GST Act, an “agent” means a person who carries on the business of supply or receipt of goods and/or services on behalf of another, whether disclosed or not and includes a factor, broker, commission agent, arhatia, del credere agent, intermediary or an auctioneer or any other mercantile agent, by whatever name called, and whether of the same description as hereinbefore mentioned or not. This is a good definition by design and purpose and it should be further expanded in favour of Indian revenue generation.

Some have argued that this this definition of agent and other provisions in the GST Act could contradict the safe-harbour provision of the IT Act 2000, which exempts online platforms from being responsible for third-party or user-generated content if the Internet intermediary complies with certain conditions. Firstly, this is a baseless assumption as availing of the safe harbour by an Internet intermediary depends upon compliance of provisions of the IT Act 2000 at the first place. No Internet intermediary is absolutely immuned under the IT Act 2000 or any similar law in other jurisdictions through safe harbour provisions. On the other hand, EU and other countries have recently made the provisions of safe harbour more stringent and this has made the Internet intermediaries more responsible and law abiding in these jurisdictions. Bit when it comes to India, these Internet intermediaries raise lots of hue and cry and put pressure upon Indian government to make laws and provisions that are counter productive.

Secondly, Indian government itself is in the process of reformulating the provisions that were struck down or read down by the Supreme Court in Section 66A case. When Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) we made a legal representation to Indian government, we were assured that new provisions would be formulated very soon and our inputs would be used for the same. When Section 79 of the IT Act 2000 itself would be amended and made compatible with the Geospatial Bill, GST Act and other similar future laws, there would be no confusion or controversy left that can be agitated by these industrial lobbies. Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) once again strongly recommend that the IT Act 2000 in general and section 79 in particular must be suitable amended by Indian government as soon as possible for smooth functioning of Indian cyberspace. The best bet is to ensure a techno legal framework that incorporates all these suggestions and conditions.

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