Monthly Archives: January 2013

Is Online Gambling And Betting Legal In India?

Is Online Gambling And Betting Legal In IndiaAs a leading techno legal ICT law firm of India, Perry4Law is frequently approached for numerous techno legal issues. One of them pertains to e-commerce laws and regulations in India.

Recently many queries have been raised about the applicable online gambling laws and regulations in India.  We have also observed that e-commerce legal compliances in India are not followed in true letter and spirit. This may be due to lack of knowledge about applicable e-commerce laws but ignorance of laws is no excuse.

If e-commerce players do not follow the laws of the land, they may found themselves in uncomfortable situations. For instance, cyber law due diligence, Internet intermediary liability and cyber due diligence for Indian companies are some of the issues that have been ignored by almost all e-commerce players of India.

Coming back to the burning issue whether online gambling and online betting is legal in India or not? We have already covered the legality of online gambling and betting in India and other e-commerce compliance requirements in India but we would briefly cover the same once again.

The golden rule for deciding whether online gambling in India is legal or nor has to be judged by many factors that depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case and upon state to state. There are many states in India where gambling is legal and few where even online gambling and betting is legal. However, there are some states like Mumbai where online gambling is expressly prohibited and made a punishable offense. So it depends upon the state where you wish to carry the online gambling and betting business.

Then there is the rule of skills versus chance as laid down by the courts of India. As a general rule, where the game involves application of skill on the part of the player and the element of chance is minimal, the activity would be considered to be a game and not an act of gambling. However, the applicability of this test of skill versus chance may not be applicable to online or Internet games, betting and gambling as various judicial decisions pertaining to different sets of facts and circumstances and can be distinguished easily in subsequent litigations.

Finally, economic and taxation legislations like tax laws of India, anti money laundering laws, etc are also involved while operating online casinos, online gambling and betting and online gamming platforms.  The provisions of these economic legislations are very stringent in nature and can cause great detriment to the owner or operator of the online casino, gambling and betting website.

To be on a safer side, it is better to comply with various techno legal laws of India while opening an online gambling, gaming and betting platform rather than facing the punitive provisions of Indian laws.

E-Commerce Compliances In India

E-Commerce Compliances In IndiaE-commerce is the latest entrepreneur bandwagon in India. Thousands of e-commerce portals have emerged during the year 2012. However, in the zest of earning profit, legal and compliance requirements pertaining to e-commerce have been totally ignored by almost all the e-commerce portals.

The most vulnerable categories that have opened their online shops pertain to online pharmacies, online gambling and gaming, electronics, etc. These e-commerce portals are not at all complying with the respective laws of these segments.

Even the Indian government is lax in implementing the regulatory and compliance requirements against these illegal online pharmacies, gambling portals and other similar e-commerce platforms.

This has posed serious threat to not only lives of millions but also to the socio-economic and law and order situation n India. Regulatory bodies covering these fields must be more vigil while keeping a tab upon illegal and unethical activities of those e-commerce portals that are flouting the laws of India.

There are many techno legal compliance requirements that e-commerce portals of India must comply with. At Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) we believe that cyber law due diligence, Internet intermediary liability and cyber due diligence for Indian companies must be kept in mind by various e-commerce websites and players.

Presently, cyber law compliances, due diligence and techno legal compliances are not followed by various e-commerce websites in India. There is an urgent need to scrutinise these e-commerce portals and prosecute the guilty for violations of Indian laws.

It would amount to adoption of double standards by Indian government if it plays harsh upon foreign companies but leaves Indian companies and e-commerce portals untouched. Let us hope Indian government would do the needful in this regard as soon as possible.

Online Gambling Laws And Regulations In India

Online Gambling Laws And Regulations In IndiaOnline gambling in India has aroused great interest among many e-commerce entrepreneurs of India. This is because online gambling is a very remunerative and profit oriented business. However, online gambling is also a complicated business filed as many laws and technical issues have to be resolved at the same time.

We have a central law on gambling called the Public Gambling Act of 1867. Similarly, we have many state laws on gambling that are mostly based upon the central law. Further, almost all the state laws are regulating real world or offline gambling in India. The exception in this regard can be found in the laws applicable in places like Goa and Sikkim.

Recently Goa has made its casino laws very stringent keep in mind the money laundering, black money and tax evasion issues in mind. Similarly, Sikkim is also in the process of harmonising its laws with the central laws.

As far as judiciary is concerned, the Supreme Court of India has made a distinction between skills based and chance based gaming activities. Of course, each case depends upon its own facts and circumstances and the respective state law and we cannot apply one decision uniformly in all cases of gambling and online gambling.

The e-commerce laws and regulations in India are still at the infancy stage. As a matter of fact, a majority of e-commerce portals and players in India are not following the laws of the land in true letter and spirit. Surprisingly, there is a general misconception among the e-commerce players of India that for running an e-commerce website in India they need not to follow much law. On the contrary, there are well recognised legal requirements to start an e-commerce website in India and the legal formalities required for starting e-commerce business in India.

The chief among these e-commerce players are online pharmacies, online gambling and gaming portals, electronics e-commerce websites, etc. They fail to understand that use of technology has brought additional legal issues that are primarily techno legal in nature. Their continued ignorance may bring civil, criminal and financial penalties. The recent spate of FDI crackdowns by India government proves this point.

At Perry4Lawand Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) we believe that cyber law due diligence, Internet intermediary liability and cyber due diligence for Indian companies must be kept in mind by various e-commerce websites and players. The skill and chance and state subject legal arguments are not sufficient to comply with complicated techno legal requirements of India as on date. So before launching an e-commerce portal, the concerned person or company must make it sure that techno legal requirements are duly complied with.

Online Pharmacies In India Are Violating Indian Laws

Online Pharmacies In India Are Violating Indian LawsOnline sales of prescribed medicines in India are by and large unregulated and open for abuses. In fact, illegal and unregulated online sales of prescribed medicines in India are flourishing like a plague. However, Indian government is sleeping over the issue not realising that this may have adverse impact upon public health of serious proportions.

In real world, those manufacturing, distributing and selling pharmaceutical products and services are subject to stringent laws and regulations. However when it comes to online dealings, people assume that they are not required to follow those laws at all.

Even the Indian government is not very comfortable with technology related issue of various segments. This is the reason why there is minimum interference and control over the flourishing online pharmacies of India as Indian government has not the necessary techno legal expertise to effectively tackle e-commerce issues of pharmaceuticals as on date.

While dealing with pharmaceuticals in an online environment not only the regular laws pertaining to drugs, medicines and pharmaceuticals are applicable but the cyber law of India is also attracted. However, governmental departments are not much aware about cyber law of India and its implications. Naturally, online pharmacies are flourishing in India without any check and balances.

It is high time for Indian government to take stringent action against the online pharmacies that are operating in India in an unregulated and illegal manner.