Recently the 99Acres.com found itself in a fix for possible violation of cyber law due diligence and Internet intermediary liability of India. Now it is the turn of olx.com/olx.in for possible violation of Indian cyber law incorporated in the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Nevertheless, OLX has great presence in India and Indian citizens are actively using the same for various commercial transactions. Even olx.in is well aware of this position and this is the reason why it has also appointed a grievance officer to deal with grievance arising out of Indian transactions. However, olx.in is in clear violations with various Indian laws including cyber law and Indian criminal laws.
The TOI has reported that OLX has been under police scanner as some accused have used the platform for selling stolen properties and goods. The report has even suggested that this must have made some gullible buyers using OLX vulnerable to being a part of the trade in stolen goods.
According to HT, the accused would upload pictures of the stolen things on OLX and sell them at throwaway prices. The investigating officers are preparing a list of gadgets sold on OLX.com for further investigation. The Police believe that there are no security barriers and there should be some mechanism to screen users of the portal. The police urged caution while purchasing durables and gadgets online. A buyer of stolen items is equally liable to be booked for robbery.
Meanwhile, the officials at OLX.com refused comment, saying they were not authorised to speak to media. A brief look at the terms and conditions of OLX reveals that it is using almost same terms and conditions for both US and Indian versions of the websites. Further, olx.com is redirected to olx.in for users of India automatically with the same terms and conditions as are applicable to its US counterpart.
However, this has raised a serious question about the role of Indian government in regulating the e-commerce websites in India. The e-commerce websites must be regulated in India as they are operating with great disregard to Indian laws. Although Indian government has assured that e-commerce in India would be regulated by comprehensive guidelines yet till date no such sign has been shown by the government.
Another problem that Indian government is not willing to resolve pertains to conflict of laws in Indian cyberspace. For long companies like Google, Facebook, etc are violating laws of India. Indian government has not taken a tough stand against such foreign companies that although operating in India for profit yet are not complying with Indian laws.
For instance, G-mail is abetting and encouraging commission of various cyber crimes in India yet Indian government has allowed it to operate so far. Since G-mail is violating Indian cyber law, G-mail may be banned in India ultimately unless it complies with Indian laws. The ultimate solution to make these foreign companies comply with Indian law is to ensure techno legal measures to regulate Indian cyberspace.
OLX has followed the footsteps of Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, etc that have been flouting laws of India with no fear of legal actions. It is high time for Indian government to resolve these techno legal issues for the larger benefit of India.