Maggi Noodles controversy: Are celebrities liable for alleged lapses of the manufacturer?

Posted on

By: Ramesh Vaidyanathan

The firestorm triggered by the investigation against Nestlé India and Maggi has evoked both shock and disbelief. While there is unanimous opinion that Nestlé is liable as a manufacturer to comply with applicable regulatory standards, are celebrities like Madhuri Dixit, Amitabh Bachchan and Preity Zinta who endorsed Maggi liable for alleged lapses of the manufacturer?

Section 66A Judgment: A Pyrrhic Victory?

Posted on

By: Sharanya Ranga

The much-abused provision needed to go. However, India is now left without any legal provision for punishable offences…

The Supreme Court in its recent judgment struck down the controversial Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, bringing relief to millions using the virtual space on a daily basis. While the judges condemned Section 66A as a fetter to free speech, the judgment leaves a vacuum in the IT Act, leaving punishable offences under the IT Act in a state of limbo.

Section 66A was introduced by amending the IT Act in 2009 to address the challenges of cyber crime such as publishing sexually explicit materials in electronic form, data leakage, e-commerce frauds and identity theft. In practice, it was a badly drafted law that led to its misuse rather than serving its intended purpose. Pretty much anyone could be booked for posting content online if it caused annoyance, inconvenience, enmity, hatred or ill-will. As the petitioners rightfully contended, none of the aforesaid terms were defined resulting in a large number of innocent persons being booked under the section. Such was the over-breadth of the section on freedom of speech and expression that the Supreme Court held it unconstitutional as

Indian Digital Economy needs clear laws

Posted on

By: Sharanya Ranga

There is no clarity in respect of most liability issues that could arise due to the dynamic nature of e-commerce.

An internet penetration of only 12%, yet India ranks third in the number of internet users, only to be surpassed by China and the US. E-commerce has seeped its way into our lives in an almost surreal manner—right from buying books, electronic gadgets, booking bus tickets and cabs, using a city-specific mobile application for local attractions, being connected online has become a way of life. Evolving consumer preferences and the convenience factor has ensured e-commerce business is here to stay. But does the existing legal framework in India accommodate the unique attributes of e-commerce businesses?