During the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, even traditional courts started to hear the process endings through video conferencing. In using online dispute resolution as a method for resolving disputes. On the other hand, many issues related to compromised confidentiality of individual parties. And the actual ease of use of them all has its own advantage. Such as efficient management, ease of accessibility, synchronized communication, and rapid dispatch, while also providing support for it.
The COVID-19 outbreak has led the judiciary to consider bolstering alternate platforms to ensure that the judicial system does not shut down completely. This is based on the Report of the high-level Committee on Deepening digital payments on the Nilekani Panel Recommendation, in2019, which set ODRs in dispute on digital payments. The report provides for the first formal establishment of online conflict resolution in India.
Also, the 2012 Supreme Court in the case of Shakti Bhog v. Kola Shipping held that, according to sections 4 and 5 of the Information Technology Act, online Arbitration Agreements are legal as they are needed for a complaint. Read Article 65B of the Act on Evidence. However, there are certain important logistics and infrastructure areas that need particular attention even after this legislative and judicial preparation.
In order to achieve the greatly sought-after change, the online resolution of disputes has succeeded. It worked as a means of communicating not only between the parties. But also helped people to solve the problems comfortably at home. It not only applies to those in a dispute settlement the benefits of the approach but also helps to reduce the load of the Court. And saves the parties from the unneeded trouble of taking the issue to court, which can take quite a lot of time.
The use of computer programs and the concern for cyber security are two main concerns. That might link to the emergence of online dispute resolution. It is important to establish at the outset why data protection is an important feature. The use of online dispute resolution is also crucial to investigate whether it has an influence on privacy matters.
Data protection has long been seen as a fundamental aspect of India’s judicial system. Since it is not just necessary to ensure that the parties to this conflict come to justice. But to protect the rights of the parties concerned. The participation of major parties in conflicts entails such disclosures in the course of dispute resolution that it is absolutely necessary not to jeopardize them in any circumstances. These leaks cannot only have a negative effect on companies but can result in the revealing of trade secrets. In addition to affecting large organizations, the revelation of sensitive information has an important impact on people or families that choose mediation or other alternatives as a strategy to resolve problems.
If you prefer to utilize online services in order to resolve disputes, such as banks, talks, or disagreements, the security provided by the service providers inhibits you from doing so. People are often losing their money, their reputation, and their personal information.
Hindrances in the way of Online Dispute Resolution
The problem of hardware
In addition to the internet problem, some hardware considerations render the ODR inaccessible for a large proportion of society. India has the lowest data charge in the world, as in the United States per GB. The cost of this data is Rs. 592, compared to Rs. 7 per GB in India. But the provision of inexpensive data does not include the gadgets required to run it. The absence of infrastructure and access to computer resources, therefore, constitutes a key barrier to ODR development.
Awareness by users is the next technological obstacle in the way of ODR. The lowest among internet users worldwide are technology and digital literacy among users. More than 90 percent of the Indian population knows nothing of the extent and proper use of the Internet and the technology; even Facebook and WhatsApp are fundamental to the younger generation. This lack of understanding and mental barrier must thus need proper addressing. And enhanced to make it available to the general public.
Infrastructure and training
The absence of qualified specialists is another key obstacle to the inaccessibility of Online Dispute Resolution. Although 10% of the Indian population is digitally literate, this literacy is mostly in the informal sector. However, in India, courts and judicial processes run procedurally, and transition the same to an entirely new platform requires a stronger and taught support structure. Only when the system of judicial assistance is trained can they take additional measures in passing the information on ODR and another online method to individuals.
There have therefore been several hurdles in growth and development since the online settlement began. The main area of concern was due to extreme technological interconnectedness. Instead of being realistic, the ODR is more optimistic. Very little investment took place in infrastructure building and logistics, making the big strata of the society more luxurious. If the Internet explosion in India were not present in 2016, the status of ODR would still have remained in its infancy. But even following so many obstacles, as stated above, both government and commercial parties have to intervene to make the digital environment more convenient for resolving online disputes.
There is no doubt about the good effects on the Indian system, including the benefit of rapid and hassle-free justice, brought about in the ODR. But the difficulties in using technology for resolving disputes aren’t overlooked at the same time. The major rationale for the idea is the constant dread that information disclosure. And that resources are not available to make use of it. Since every component of the process moves online, documents, data and other personal information must upload to the required platforms. It has also been highlighted over and over again that greater knowledge from the private sector should be used to address existing problems. Particularly in relation to protections.
Role of Government
The government and courts have recently grown increasingly attentive about developing the ODR process. The corporate ministry’s initiative in setting up online consumer complaint centers is among the remarkable moves made. One of these centers at the Bengaluru National School of Law is the online consumer center to handle consumer complaints using online media. Independent private Online Dispute Resolutions as CORD, Presolv360, and CADRe have also been formed in order to reach the people in need, increase technical awareness, and resolve disputes at the basic level. In recent years the government has used Online Dispute Resolution measures, a valuable reference of the ODR. Progress was made of the E-assessment by the Department of Revenue Tax and INDRP by the National Stock Exchange.
Justice DY Chandrachud was successful at including his perspective on the relevance of stakeholders’ obligations, such as technology service providers, governmental and professional organizations in tackling the issue of technology and access to justice. In recognizing the role of internet service providers, he points out that such systems, built through which parties are aware of their rights and platforms for conflict resolution.
Finally, we can say that the increase in online dispute settlement has definitely alleviated the burden of judicial affairs but the efficiency of the decisions was not as good as it was, due to the lack of sufficient infrastructure and technology. Only individuals who were technologically informed and had access to appropriate equipment were able to benefit. Only by Covid-19 have people come to know what is technologically possible, and even simply because the conflicts can be settled by online means.
Nonetheless, the government’s measures toward the online resolution of disputes were inadequate. Yet the government’s recent actions do remedy these shortcomings and strong determination that the future of the ODR in India is brilliant. Since the ODR is in its early stages in the current situation in India and has to overcome many obstacles to adequate implementation, it can be concluded that it has not shown exceptional success stories in the Online Dispute Resolution, but is one of the most promising in the future, when cybersecurity and other technological issues are favorable.
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