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Contract Law

QuickBytes – Online Contracts

Online contracts are valid and enforceable under domestic laws. Watch this episode featuring Anshul Bazari of #LawWiser, where he quickly explains what is an online contract.

Introduction to Online Contracts

Have you wondered, how the businesses continued in the hard times of pandemic when even signing the contracts was not possible manually?!

The traditional way of handling the contracts requires a vast amount of manual work. Not only in the times of no manual handling but also in the normal scenarios of workplace, the time-consuming creating of contract has been completely or partially replaced by the online contract formation.

With the advanced use of internet and day-by day evolution of e-commerce, online contracts have become a complex but crucial part of businesses. Online contracts are that important in our lives, that they have reduced the turnaround time to 99% and increased the efficiency of employees by 20%.

WHAT IS AN ONLINE CONTRACT?

An online contract is an online version of the regular contract. In an online contract, the agreement is modelled, signed and executed electronically. Online contracts provide a convenient and time saving platform for the organisations to evolve around the legally binding agreements.

TYPES OF ONLINE CONTRACTS

Online contracts are used in everyday lives. We usually witness these types of online contracts.

  • Shrink-wrap agreements are usually the licensed agreement applicable in case of software products buying. As soon as the users tera the packaging, the terms and conditions are enforced upon the user. These agreements are accepted by user at the time of installation of software from a CD-ROM, for example, Nokia pc-suite.
  • Click- wrap agreements are web- based agreements which  the assent or consent of the user by way of clicking “I Agree’ or “I Accept” or “Ok” button on the dialog box. In click –wrap agreements, the user basically have to agree to the terms and conditions for usage of the particular software. E.g., Agreement of ab online shopping site, etc.
  • In a Browse wrap agreement, a regular user of a particular website deems to accept the terms of using the website and other policies of the website for continuous users of that website.

WHEN DOES THESE CONTRACTS COME INTO EFFECT?

The online contract comes into effect when it has all the elements of a regular valid contract. As provided in the Law of contract, there are some essential elements of a contact to become valid. Those essential elements are:

  • Offer to be made- A contract, whether traditional or online, has to have an offer made by one of the parties which shows the invitation of making the offer.
  • Consideration- Just like the regular contract, the online contract must have a valid and legal consideration along with lawful purpose for the offer made.
  • Acceptance of the offer to be acknowledged- The acceptance of the offer does not make it a complete contract. It is actually the acknowledgment of the acceptance of offer which makes it complete to be considered as a contract.
  • Mutual consents- the parties must have the mutual free consents to enter into a legally binding and valid agreement.
  • Capacity to contract-The parties entering into an agreement shall have the legal capacity to become competent so that the contract does not go void.

In India, the section 10-A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 makes the online contract valid and enforceable. The shift in the formation and enforceability of online contracts owes to the initiatives of the active groups of the UNCITRAL Model law on electronic commerce.

IS AN ONLINE CONTARCT ACCEPTED AS AN EVIDENCE IN THE COURT OF LAW?

In India, where a major section of the society is not so much Digitalised, the concept of ‘Digital India’ is a far reach. People still do not feel secure while doing online based transactions. Another major issue is the nature of the law governing the electronic contracts.

The cases of frauds worldwide make the people hesitant to enter into any online transaction. Even if the IT Act, 2000 has legalized electronic contracts, there are no definite provisions mentioned in the Act.

For that reason, it is important to identify the evidentiary value of online/electronic contracts. The evidentiary value is recognised in the purview of various sections of Indian Evidence Act.

  • Sec 65B of the Indian Evidence Act deals with the admissibility of electronic records as per which, an electronic record produced by the computer in printed, stored or copied form shall deemed to be a document and it can be admissible as an evidence in any proceeding
  • Section 85A, 85B, 88A, 90A and 85C of the Indian Evidence Act provides the presumptions as to electronic records. Considering the importance of online contracts, Sec 85A was inserted later to confirm the validity of electronic contracts. Any electronic record in the form of electronic agreement is concluded and gets recognition the moment a digital signature is affixed to such record.
  • The presumption of electronic contract is valid only in case of five years old record and electronic messages that will amount to the attraction of Section 85B, Section 88A and Section 90A of Indian Evidence Act

He also explains the general perspective, types of online contract,s and their evidentiary value in a court of law. #StayTuned for more interesting updates!

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Legal Framework for Economic Offences

We at LawWiser bring together two industry experts, Mr. Vivek Sood, Senior Advocate and Mr. Mohit Bakshi, Partner, J. Sagar Associates, to discuss the legal framework that governs these economic offences.

In this video we explore –

1.) What are economic offences?

2.) It’s impact and nature

3.) Concerning Regulations

4.) Challenges in effective prosecution

5.) Strategies that business enterprises should follow.

What are economic offences?

These offences occurs when someone commits a criminal act to gain a material advantage. The motives for such actions are varied and can include a desire to defraud another party, and the offence is usually motivated by the desire to obtain money or property.

It generally implies a breach of trust, fraud, or cheating and does not necessarily involve physical harm to the victim. In addition, most these offences are committed by the upper classes, who have access to economic activities.

Criminal penalties can differ in each state. Those convicted of committing economic crimes can face a jail sentence of up to seven years jail. The disadvantage is dependent on the severity of the offence but can be extremely severe.

While there is no single legal standard for punishing an economic offence, there are several factors to consider. In addition to the severity level, a criminal offence should be carefully investigated and punishable.

In many countries, economic offence cases have a high criminal liability. These crimes are often committed for a material benefit, but they can also hurt a country’s economy.

Affirmative or fictitious invoices are illegal. The person responsible for the fraudulent activity should be held accountable for the financial crime. The crime is illegal if the offender has obtained a significant advantage.

Economic offences in India

The criminal penalty for economic offence in India depends on the type of economic offence. It includes acts that can affect the economy of a country. These crimes include bank fraud, credit card fraud, stock market manipulation, and insurance. These are the most common economic offence in India.

Economic offences in India include criminal breach of trust, counterfeiting, criminal misappropriation of properties, forgery, cheating and fraud.

The law also includes criminal penalties for non-compliance with the rules. If you commit these crimes, you can be held accountable.

Socio-Economic Offence

A socio-economic offence is a criminal offence that causes significant harm to society. The victim is typically the public at large or the consumer population. While traditional offences have no victims, economic crimes can affect the entire economy.

The criminal offender must be liable for the damages that they have caused.

In the scenario of socio-economic offences, significant and destructive effects are witnessed on the society wherein they get directly or indirectly affected.

Thus, the harm is caused to the society to the general public.

If they are a business owner, they must pay the penalty to the government. The offender may face criminal charges if they have misappropriated funds from the company.

The Malimath Committee defines economic offences as “criminal activity that aims to benefit the society through a deceitful act.” It includes acts of fraud against banks, financial institutions, and the country.

These crimes can affect the economy of a nation. If people commit these crimes, the consequences can be devastating. Consequently, they must be punished to prevent damage. These economic crimes are considered social crimes.

Bottom Line

There are many types of economic crimes that can affect the economy. The Indian Penal Code outlines several of these crimes and has a separate section for insurance fraud, and it also lists the different types of social offences. Further, a crime involving monetary transactions can also be considered an economic crime.

Almost all of these economic crimes can involve a businessman’s finances. In addition to these, they can also include financial exploitation.

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#UKUnlock21 – Brexit and the Ease of Doing Business in the UK

Deal or No-deal Brexit?

This question is likely to be answered tomorrow as the UK and EU are expected to announce the particulars of a historic trade deal after negotiations ran late into the night.

At the same time, the British Govt. is trying to secure what is reported to be a £100 billion trade deal with India, which is the 2nd largest FDI contributing country to the UK.

In the concluding session of the LawWiser #UKUnlock21 Dialogue Series, in association with UKIBC and powered by IndusLaw we bring together industry experts, Abhijit Mukhopadhyay, President – Legal & General Counsel, Hinduja Group, Meghna Misra-Elder, Associate Director, UKIBC, Vijay Goel, Founder India-EU Business Forum & Chairman, ASSOCHAM UK and Avimukt Dar, Partner, IndusLaw to discuss ‘Brexit and the Ease of Doing Business in the UK’. In this discussion we explore –

1. Shaping of future investments post the Brexit transition in the UK

2. Factors that are like to impact India-UK FTA talks

3. Incentives which the UK is likely to offer to Indian businesses to position itself as a favourable trading partner

To get featured in more such conversations, write us on [email protected]

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#UKUnlock21 – India as a Trading Partner – Gauging the UK’s Investor Sentiment

The UK and India are set to work on a 10-year roadmap towards growing #bilateral trade & investment. According to media reports, there is a £100 billion trade deal in the pipeline, irrespective of a deal or no-deal #brexit.

British PM Boris Johnson accepted the invitation to meet PM Modi in January. However, international travel restrictions have been temporarily enforced due to the discovery of a new COVID variant in the UK. As we wait & watch to see how things develop, join us in Panel 2 of the #UKUnlock21 Dialogu Series, hosted by LawWiser, in association with UKIBC and powered by IndusLaw, where we talk about ‘India as a Trading Partner – Gauging the UK’s Investor Sentiment.’

In this discussion, Kevin McCole, Managing Director at UKIBC, Fabrizio Carpanini, Partner at Dorsey & Whitney, and Suneeth Katarki, Partner at IndusLaw share insights on –
1. The main factors that attract UK companies to invest in India
2. Key priorities which need to be addressed to improve trade relations between the two countries
3. The practical and legal barriers which hinder the flow of UK FDI into India and ways to overcome these challenges

To get featured in more such conversations, write us on [email protected]

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The Post-Brexit UK-India Trade & Investment Relationship

UK-EU deal negotiations continue into the weekend as the #Brexit transition period deadline draws closer. How will these developments affect the UK-India trade & investment relationship? What are the challenges & opportunities for collaboration for both countries?

To find out, join us in the LawWiser #UKUnlock21 Dialogue Series, powered by IndusLaw and supported by UK India Business Council.

In Panel 1, we talk to Saloni Tuteja, Director – Legal, South Asia at Zimmer Biomet, Jayant Krishna, Group CEO at UKIBC, and Gaurav Dani, Partner at IndusLaw. Our experts share insights on –

1) How collaboration and investment are shaping up in priority sectors identified in the bilateral trade groups.

2) What are the challenges and how can market access barriers be minimised.

3) How has India’s legal & regulatory framework favourably evolved for FDI over the years.

4) Advice to Life Sciences companies planning to invest in India

5) Impact of Brexit on UK-India bilateral trade and investment relationship

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New Draft guidelines for Advertising- Advertise with Caution!

The central government released new draft guidelines on advertising and endorsement disclosures in September 2020.

The New draft guidelines cover all forms, formats, and mediums of advertising and marketing communications — print, TV, and social media. These guidelines also mean a world of change for celebrities who endorse products, including the social media “influencers”. LawWiser in conversation with Gaurav Dani, Partner, IndusLaw, and Akhil Prasad, Director, Country Counsel India and Company Secretary, Boeing, discuss the new advertising guidelines and the issues around it. In this video, the experts share their views on:

1.) Brief background of the Consumer Protection Act

2.) What are the key provisions in the New Draft Guidelines?

3.) Drawbacks in the Draft Guidelines

4.) Impact of Draft Advertising Guidelines on the various sectors

To get featured in more such conversations, write us on [email protected]

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) Changing the way of Contracting

Contracts are the lifeblood of the economic system; business transactions cannot be executed without them. While drafting contracts can be very time consuming for lawyers, technology can come to the rescue!

In conversation with Prashant Srivastava, Vice President/ Head – Legal & Company Secretary, Securitas India, we discuss how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way of contracting.

Augment of Artificial Intelligence

How AI contracting software & tools work?

How is AI helping legal contracts?

How Blockchain smart contracts work?

To get featured in more such conversations, write us on [email protected]

Watch more interesting content at – Lawwiser.com

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Understanding The Regulations In Medical Devices

Medical devices have been used to treat and diagnose disease since antiquity. The regulations in medical devices has developed much more slowly than that of medicines, which commenced in the late 1960s. The Indian law that regulates the quality and safety of medical devices has been amended and it will now apply to all medical devices, effective April 1, 2020.

Lawwiser brings discussion on ‘Understanding The Regulations in Medical Devices’ with the subject matter expert Saloni Tuteja [Director – Legal (South Asia), Zimmer Biomet ] part of One on One series.

  1. She precisely discusses on following points:-  Relevant provisions that regulate Medical Devices Sector
  2. Issues & Challenges faced by Medical Devices Sector Stay tuned Lawwiser for such insights.

Stay tuned LawWiser for more such insights

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How to Stay Ahead Of The Trends | Force Majeure Clause |

Force Majeure Clause has taken limelight due to the COVID19 pandemic. We have seen such an unforeseen situation and it is important to have an expert in himself to let us know how to “how to stay ahead of the trending force majeure clause”

LawWiser brings you a Conversation with Bhumesh Verma, Managing Partner – Corp Comm Legal.

In our One-on-One Series

In this video understand how you can stay ahead of the force majeure clause and how will it impact you and its importance.

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