E-commerce—India—Q&A guide
E-commerce—India—Q&A guide

The following TMT practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • E-commerce—India—Q&A guide
  • 1. How can the government’s attitude and approach to internet issues best be described?
  • 2. What legislation governs business on the internet?
  • 3. Which regulatory bodies are responsible for the regulation of e-commerce, data protection and internet access tariffs and charges?
  • 4. What tests or rules are applied by the courts to determine the jurisdiction for internet-related transactions or disputes in cases where the defendant is resident or provides goods or services from outside the jurisdiction?
  • 5. What regulatory and procedural requirements govern the establishment of digital businesses in your jurisdiction? To what extent do these requirements and procedures differ from those governing the establishment of brick-and-mortar businesses?
  • 6. Is it possible to form and conclude contracts electronically? If so, how are contracts formed on the internet? Explain whether ‘click wrap’ contracts are enforceable, and if so, what requirements need to be met?
  • 7. Are there any particular laws that govern contracting on the internet? Do these distinguish between business-to-consumer and business-to-business contracts?
  • 8. How does the law recognise or define digital or e-signatures?
  • 9. Are there any data retention or software legacy requirements in relation to the formation of electronic contracts?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to e-commerce in India published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: July 2020).

Authors: AZB & Partners—Hardeep Sachdeva ; Rachit Bahl

1. How can the government’s attitude and approach to internet issues best be described?

The Indian government enacted the Information Technology Act 2000 (the IT Act) in June 2000 to address a need for legislation to accord legal recognition to transactions carried out by means of electronic communication. Discovery of insufficiencies in the law based on judicial scrutiny resulted in the government amending the IT Act in 2008 by introducing provisions regarding, inter alia, validity of electronic contracts, security of electronic signatures, punishments for computer-related offences, identity theft, violation of privacy and publishing and transmission of obscene material in electronic form.

With the advent of growth in the IT sector, especially the increased role of internet service providers (ISPs) and payment intermediaries in India, the government crystallised the role and responsibilities of ‘intermediaries’ under the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules 2011 (the IT Intermediary Rules) to grant sanctity to the safe-harbour provisions under the IT Act, with a view to protecting service providers with respect to third-party data.

However, with increased penetration and usage of the internet as well as social media, more issues are coming up, including with respect to

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