First Law Report on the subject from the publishers of Supreme Court CasesTM
The launch of Information Technology & Communication Cases was an elegant yet simple affair, attended by the creme de la creme of the legal fraternity and the IT sector. Mr. M.R. Prasanna, Independant Counsel and former Group General Counsel at Aditya Birla Group, was the Chief Guest of the event and the key note speaker.
The event began with EBC welcoming the guests. A Company Presentation video enlightened the guests present about EBC and its endeavours towards helping the growth of legal fraternity.
A brief address by Mr. Sumain Malik brought to notice the dearth of precedents available on the subject of Information Technology for lawyers in India, "... a lot of material is not yet available on this in our country".
In his key note address, Mr. Prasanna talked "about the kind of effects that precedents have". He laid out his views on precedents in a very interesting manner. He talked about the kinds of effects that precedents have and whether they are good or bad. "Are precedents good? Bad? Are they reliable? Are they unreliable? Do people really understand precedent in the right spirit?... Do people actually use precedents to formulate a legal strategy without realizing that the very basis of the strategy can be overturned if the precedent is thrown out? There are a lot of pit falls in using the precedents?" were a few questions he discussed from his own observations.
A lively debate on "Use of International Precedents in IT, Media & Telecom cases is crucial for the resolution of Indian disputes in these sectors" had the audience captivated throughout. The panelists included Mr. Rahul Matthan, who chaired and moderated the discussion, Mr. Rajeev Nair, Mr. Shreyas Jayasimha, Mr. Samuel Mani and Mr. Sudeep Malik.
The panelists were asked to give their opinion regarding the proposition by Mr. Matthan. Of those in the debate, Mr. Matthan, Mr. Nair and Mr. Malik stated that they were in the favour of the proposition while Mr. Jayasimha and Mr. Mani were against it.
Mr. Jayasimha in his opinion on the proposition agreed with Mr. Prasanna and said that it was the "only realistic and honest position to take today". In his response to Mr. Jayasimha's strong verdict regarding the proposition, Mr. Nair stated that "precedents fill in that gap which exist in the moment in those areas of law of country we call sunshine".
Mr. Mani, on being asked his opinion about the precedents, gave a very witty response, "depends on where I am at the particular point in time", and quoted a litigator friend of his "good facts make for good cases, bad facts make for bad cases", his opinion being the same as Mr. Prasanna, "Facts being the paramount".
Mr. Malik stated that he was a "positivist", and that "law is as laid down by the legislature and then that must be explained and developed by judges".
On Mr. Jayasimha's remark that "... important to identify the issues that are emerging rather than to look at the view of a Judge in a jurisdiction", Mr. Nair responded in a very enlightening manner, "with emerging technology we are moving towards virtualisation and with virtualisation, technology solutions become more location agnostic, and that also brings us to a need to have uniformity. ... From a business perspective I would be looking at some level of certainity, some level of predictability as to the outcomes of a particular issue or a particular dispute and this is something which would be an expectation even in a jurisdiction where the law may not be that mature or it may not even exist that way and that is a very reasonable expectation in this kind of sector. ... It may be a little more applicable because of the level of maturity of the laws in this space in this country".
Mr. Malik observed that global consciousness is converging and that there is no common law, he added to the necessity of precedents by saying that "... a lot of human thoughts are getting concretized in a way that they were never used to be before and they can be shared seamlessly, we are actually moving to a convergence in human consciousness. ... It is absolutely crucial for us to look at such cases so that we can come to a common jurisprudence, a common law in this area."
As his concluding remark Mr. Malik said that, "A well reasoned decision which lays down principle is always a fine balancing exercise".
Mr. Matthan asserted the need for precedents in his well voiced opinion, "it is the only sector that allows people while putting their feet in within a particular national boundary can actually make an impact to someone who is sitting in another international boundary with fairly serious consequences. Under those circumstances... there should be a stronger move towards harmonisation than not."
Mr. Matthan in his conclusion remarks justly marked the need of precedents for this area of law by saying that, "... the reason that it is the sunshine sector, it is because the sun has just about risen on this sector and there is no light and whatever little ray or sunshine we get we have got to grab."
By the end of the debate most of the people were in favour of the proposition. Mr. Mani also expressed that "the way they have taken the law and applied it is instructive to our courts because that then provides a framework for our courts to look in our own jurisprudence in that space".
Alongwith having an interesting debate the panelists also interacted with the audience and answered their queries.
Mr. Surendra Malik also gave his opinion on the proposition of this thought-provoking debate, "we should be aware of it... information should be available".
He introduced the Journal and its special features and also explained the foresight with which it was being made, the main aim being to put the precedents in a very systematic manner such that there is an index system and thereby help in the growth of the law. "Behind near collection of the precedents and headnoting, there is a desire to put it in a very systematic manner such that we have an index system which then helps in the growth of the law."
The journal was unveiled and launched by Mr. Prasanna and the panel members.
EBC Reader, the revolutionary reader from India's leading law information provider and India's first eBook Reader for legal content was also launched at the same event. The audience were shown a presentation on EBC Reader, and its immersive, user-friendly interface was very well explained by Mr. Sumain Malik.
SCC OnLine Web3 Edition on its launch at the same event received many accolades from the audience who appreciated the fact that it is moving towards perfection. A guest put the audience' view on SCC OnLine very well in a few words, "... very glad to see that it is becoming better and better on a daily basis. I use it almost every week... I am really enjoying it... has made life far more easier."
Following is the link to the Journal on our website.
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