As a part of the dispute resolution requirements of any organization, it is always a good strategy to develop Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanisms to avoid unpleasant litigations.
Arbitration is one such strategy which Naavi has been proposing as an online service under www.arbitration.in.
In certain cases it would be desirable to have an “Ombudsman” approach before even proceeding to arbitration. The Ombudsman with the right kind of knowledge and enjoying respect in the community can suggest and bring about resolution through mediation and conciliation which can be less expensive and faster.
For “Intermediaries” coming under ITA 2008, “A Grievance redressal mechanism” is mandatory. Many of the intermediaries have a fairly effective complaint handling mechanism with the help desk handling complaints involving technical issues. However the help desk will not be able to effectively deal with instances where the complaint has a potential for escalating into a legal dispute. In such cases, inefficient handling by the help desk personnel may even complicate the resolution.
From a “Techno Legal Perspective” therefore, a security breach incident needs to be vetted by a person with suitable techno legal knowledge so that an early attention can be given for potentially volatile incidents. Further when the first level technical resolution by the helpdesk fails to satisfy a complaining customer, there is a need to escalate the complaint preferably to the next level where a decision can be taken with “Techno Legal” outlook. An Ombudsman would be able to come in at this stage.
Further, when employee issues need to be addressed by a company or it is necessary to pursue a “Whistle Blower Policy”, it is always more effective for the disputes to be addressed by an “Ombudsman” than an internal senior employee. An Ombudsman can act as a filter to anonymize the complainant and avoid nuisance complaints.
Considering such needs and a perceived demand by companies both big and small, Naavi is proposing to offer a new service titled “E-Ombudsman” through www.e-ombudsman.in. This will be a platform through which a panel of eminent persons will offer their services to companies on demand to act as Ombudsmen.
Today being the 14th anniversary of the “Digital Society Day of India”, (Remember that ITA 2000 was notified on 17th October 2000 and brought legal recognition to electronic documents for the first time in the country), the service of e-ombudsman is being formally launched.
A detailed plan of action to make the services available through online applications is being developed to support a greater automation of the service and will be introduced in the due course.
I wish the service will be found useful by the community.