Sunday, January 6, 2013

Paper Evidence Scanning And E-Discovery Legal Issues In India

India is in the process of providing of electronic delivery of services to Indian citizens. Further, there is also a shift in electronic financial transactions in India whether it pertains to Internet banking or mobile banking. Additional challenges would also arise due to this digital revolution in India.

E-discovery services in India have become essential due to growing dependence upon electronic services in India. Further, white collor crimes, financial frauds, IT and cyber frauds, forensics accounting and auditing and risk management have further increased the scope of e-discovery services in India.

In e-discovery and OCR procedure, the role of a technology lawyers and ICT law firm is very important. No organisation or individual engaged in the e-discovery or ODR process can afford to engage in a limitless exercise. We at Perry4Law and PTLB believe that any e-discovery and OCR exercise must be primarily guided by relevancy, proper chain of custody and admissibility criteria in all circumstances. This is more so when litigation is an option.

In e-discovery and OCR procedure, data is identified as potentially relevant by lawyers/law firm and placed on legal hold. Evidence is then extracted and analysed using legally acceptable cyber forensic procedures. This includes the stages of identification, preservation, collection, processing, review and production.

These issue must be properly managed as per the techno legal requirements existing in India otherwise the adduced information, documents and evidence may not be relevant and admissible in the court of law.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Legal Issues India

Optical character recognition (OCR) is one of the most important stages of e-discovery or cyber forensics process. OCR is the process where images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text are converted into machine-encoded text using the mechanical or electronic conversion.

The main purpose of OCR is to digitise printed texts so that they can be electronically searched, stored more compactly, displayed on-line through virtual data rooms, and used in machine processes such as machine translation, text-to-speech and text mining. OCR is also very important for presenting and defending claims and obligations in civil and criminal proceedings.

OCR, e-discovery and cyber forensics are sometimes combined while investigating financial frauds and crimes, serious frauds, forensics audit, white collor crimes, corporate frauds, fraud risk analysis, IT and cyber frauds, etc.

However, there are certain techno legal issues that must be taken care of while engaging in the OCR activities. If these techno legal issues are not followed properly, the end OCR product may not be admissible in a court of law or other investigation.

Further, only relevant material must be converted into legally admissible electronic records, including OCR. A proper chain of custody must be maintained at all stages of converting printed and other text documents into digital documents and OCR.

There is no sense in converting the entire paper based document s in to electronic format as not all electronic versions would be relevant to the case or investigation. Even lesser electronic records and OCR would be held admissible in a court of law.

According to Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) the most important attribute while engaging in the OCR exercise meant for litigation purposes is to first ascertain the relevant documents and then convert them into digital format keeping in mind the admissibility criteria while following proper chain of custody. 

If you are interested in our techno legal services, you may contact us in this regard. See our techno legal services, cyber forensics services, US, UK and EU laws compliances, etc in this regard.