Friday, May 29, 2009

India’s Spectrum Allocation Policy Irked Delhi High Court

The Division Bench (comprising Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Valmiki Mehta) of Delhi High Court on Friday slammed the first-come, first-served spectrum allocation policy of the telecom ministry, days before Telecom Minister A Raja is to take charge for the second time in Sanchar Bhawan. The Bench observed that "It is like selling cinema tickets. We find it very strange that public exchequer and valuable resources have been involved and misused in this way. We are completely astounded." The bench further said that “Prima facie we find that spectrum has been allocated in a worst manner and public Exchequers have lost thousands of crores rupees". The court referred the matter to another bench headed by Chief Justice and directed it to be listed on July 8.

E-Courts Project Failed In India

E-Courts have absolutely failed in India. It is clear that whatever initiatives taken in this regard in India, the same is attributable to private persons and institutions like Perry4Law. The Government of India (GOI) has absolutely failed to achieve the task of establishment of e-courts in India.

The lack of “political will” in India to successfully complete e-courts project in general and other mission mode projects (MMP) under the National E-Governance Plan (NEGP) in particular is really frustrating. The plight of e-governance in India is well known. However, other nations are trying their level best to ensure smooth and hassle free judicial systems.

For instance, the Malaysian government is considering amending laws to allow the e-filing of court documents as part of efforts to encourage a more efficient justice system. At present, the hard copies of documents are needed under the Rules of the High Court to file the various applications in court cases. A proposal has been given to change the law to allow also for the filing of digital copies via e-filing.

If we look at the Indian position, the situation is really frustrating. We do not have even the basic cyber law forget about a law for ensuring smooth e-filing in India. The government of India also committed a blunder by “pushing” a criminal friendly and weak Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008 that has further made the position worst.

The role of Parliament is to enact just, reasonable and growth oriented laws and not to retard the development through oppressive and redundant laws. With the Indian Congress government at the center, we can hope that it would rectify the mistake that it committed during the December 2008 Parliament session.