Saturday, May 8, 2010

e-Discovery in India! Call of the Hour!!!

I don't know when next I would be writing on e-Discovery again, and thus, I really wanted to push out all my thoughts on what I could read and my understandings on it's presence in fast emerging India.

e-Discovery!!! Something I fell in love with after SAP in college! (and now you finally  know that such crushes has actually made me SINGLE !!!! Hah!!) The other guy who really brought me close it, seems to also be madly in love with e-D. Charles Skamser, who seems to be running an e-d vendorship in US. His blogs, his active participation in anything related to e-D, just portrays his interest in e-D!

Anyways, There is something in e-Discovery that made me feel that this stream of I.T. is always open to new ideas and innovations. Because there is so much still needed for it to grow. And, may be, because I find both these fields SAP and e-Discovery, the easiest and fruitiest in I.T.! 

I personally feel, I.T. dealing with defense, legal and government projects always forms the highest priority level for  I.T. world. Something is needed every minute to enhance them, looking at the way they work.

e-Discovery, is something that links I.T. world to legal world. And, in India, to be honest, even I didn't know about it, until I stared working on it, and none of my friends do, because we still don't have it around. This has thus obviously led to my curiousness to learn when will e-D make its presence felt in India. So, in my venture to learn that, I put in posts in LinkedIn to know what the intelligent brains from the legal world had to say about it. Started fishing out all I could from Google to satisfy my curiosity.

But it's important to know first what e-Discovery really is. If you ask me, my amateur knowledge on e-Discovery calls it a concept that brings I.T. and legal world together. Legal work involves reviewing of millions and billions of documents of different formats ranging from a simple MS Word to a RTF kind. So, it's really important that each and every documents reviewed is brought under one roof for review. They are batched, and made to the easiest of convenience for a lawyer or a reviewer to review. So, what I.T. really does is, provides such tools and softwares which really removes other head-aches for reviewers, so that he can only concentrate on reviewing documents and come out with the best of results. But, how e-Discovery does that, it's a real twist, it actually is a series of processing, this and that, which actually thus brings out an smile on a reviewer's face, just like the below cartoon(Ah!):

India is an emerging axis of power in the world. The efficiency and the reforms India has, is well-known worldwide. Moreover, looking at the way Globe is presently bending,  the need of the hour is democracy for each and every citizen in the world. And, India is the largest democracy in the world. The free and fair legal system in well-known and well-recognized in the world. The most recent example is, the conviction of the lone alive Paki terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, who brutally fired and killed many innocent Indian and foreign nationals in Mumbai in 26/11/08. There were enough evidence provided and present to convict him straight away, but still, a special court was formed to convict him and hear his case for a free and fair trial. It took along 15 months and 40,000 pages of charge-sheet to finally announce him a death penalty. the menace terrorist was even explained why he has been given corporal punishment. 

There are may cases running and pending every day in the Indian courts. So is it the right time to pitch e-discovery in? Is it the right time to think about e-Discovery and making it all happen with e-Discovery? If you ask me, I would say Yes!!! In fact, why aren't we actually thinking about it?

My Discussions on few Legal IT groups in Linked In are as follows ( Yes, you got it correct. I don't want to pain my fingers jotting it all down for you, so have it eaten all raw!! Hah!):

  1. Topic: M working with on of the leading e-Discovery vendors..As I stay in India, I was curious to know when will e-Discovery step in India?? What are the chances?? How long?? Any views from experts??


  • "Don't see that happening anytime soon. The only e-Discovery I can think of is if MNCs have lawsuits which  involve their employees residing in India (as they may have offices here). " 
  • "Thanks Rajiv... It seems seriously difficult...But I really wish to learn the reason why?? why not possible in India?? Whys is it taking time??"
  • "I think the current legal system in India is not that great in working with electronic evidence. I sure feel the Satyam case can actually be investigated using e-Discovery and has the potential to be a great example. I don't see the problem as specific to India but this seems to be the case with a lot of countries who haven't upgraded their legal system to handle electronic evidence."

2. Topic: When will e-Discovery come to India? 

  • "This is certainly going to take a long time as our judicial system still dependent on mostly paper work(hard copy). Until it get a shift to softcopy, there is very minimal chance of e-discovery in India. Few LAW firms like Pangea3 are into e-discovery but will take a long time to expand its hands in India."

  • "Thank you for your answer. It is really worth a reason why we don't have people thinking about it as of yet.Thanks again!"

With both the above discussions and few learning with my talk on this with my beloved collegues, I could feel that the root cause is the legal world in India is actually not thinking about it. Neither is the system compliant for e-discovery and the technology yet. The legal system in India still relies a lot on paper work. 

Furthermore, it is equally important to link the legal students and anyone anyhow related to legal system in India with technology and the miracles of e-Discovery. This should be kinda chapter in their studies somewhere. I personally feel, relating to technology to whatever you do is very important to remin smart! You never know, it may do you wonders. So, it should be a part of curriculum.

These are my learning on what I feel about why e-Discovery isn't in India! India, a home to second largest population in the world, and one of the fastest and influencive economy, needs legal system to be revived asap.


Abhishek said...

As usual awesome blog and very informative this will give people idea about E-Discovey Continue writing mate u rock:))

Shashi Shekhar Vyas said...

Thanks! I'm glad u like it!