Further Developments on Net4India since yesterday

Yesterday late in the night I posted the article   on the possibility of ICANN facing trial in the Supreme Court in India.

There have been some developments to report since then.

Dr Mahendra Limaye, of Nagpur has indicated that he is preparing a PIL on the issue and invites all persons who can join the petition to write to him. Those of you who are interested may send a request either to me to be forwarded to him or directly to him (mahendra@cyberorgindia.com ).

Mr Namith Kothari has brought to my attention that the Resolution Professional for the insolvency petition is

Vikram Bajaj, Resolution Professional, Net 4 India Ltd.
308, 3rd Floor, Pearls Business Park, Netaji Subhash Place,
Pitampura, Delhi – 110034

The resolution professional has issued an expression of interest regarding sale of some properties through a document but has not indicated any recognition of how the action has inconvenienced thousands of Net users. (According to the home page of the company there are 500000 customers of Net4India, and not only 73000 we indicated in yesterday’s article).

It is time for the Bankruptcy law to be revamped so that innocent customers of the company are not denied access to critical services because the RP is unaware of the type of service that a company provides and whether it is necessary to block the services. I hold the RP liable for denial of service to the customers and must be made a party to the PIL.

It was also indicated that ICANN had sent a notice to jasjit.s@net4.in taking note of the insolvency petition and suspending Registrar license of Net 4 India asking them to indicate the details of the notice of suspension on its website which it has failed to do. The suspension was to prevent any inbound new transactions but did not mention how the existing customer interests had to be undertaken.

Presently we require an immediate resolution of the customer’s problems by ICANN taking over the registry keys and assigning it to another temporary registrar so that the services can be continued. This is a serious Business Continuity issue for most and cannot await the conclusion of insolvency proceedings.

We may also find fault with the Tribunal for its ignorance or apathy  with which it has appointed the RP without understanding the business the client is in and without alternative arrangements being made for continuity of the services. We need to prevent recurrence of such orders through an appropriate legislative measure in Information Technology Act 2000 through an amendment.

Naavi.org had made some suggestions on including Cyber Squatting in ITA 2000 when the first amendment was considered (Refer here).

Now it is suggested that “Domain Name registrars” must be declared as “Intermediaries” in ITA 2000 and should be strictly brought under a control which should include “registration”, a “Sunset clause for withdrawal from business” etc. This should be the objective of the PIL so that a permanent solution is found to the anarchy created by situations like Net4India insolvency.

Hope the PIL makes a suitable demand on MeitY to make the necessary amendments to ITA 2000. However, since the registrars are anyway considered “Intermediaries” even under the present law, perhaps a notification from MeitY should be sufficient.

Also whenever insolvency petitions are launched against registered intermediaries, the MeitY has to be informed before the NCLT admits theathe petition and NCLT should always consider “Continuity of the business of the customers of the subject company” while ordering an RP to take further action.

It would be better if NCLT adopts this as a voluntary procedure before the Government brings suitable amendments to the procedure. While the objective of NCLT is laudable, it cannot be used callously to inconvenience thousands of customers who have no stake in the dispute for which one insolvency petition is justified.


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About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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1 Response to Further Developments on Net4India since yesterday

  1. Dinesh says:

    Rather than declaring them intermediaries, I believe they should be designated critical infrastructure.

    In a situation like this, millions of organizations will be without the means for commmunication and that can included banks, insurance, manufactuers etc..

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