The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, plans to recognise email as a valid piece of evidence in its soon to be drafted new company law.
This move is made with emails becoming and increasing channel of communication in the corporate world.
Currently, email as an evidence is not recognised and lack of clarity has been often exploited by companies facing prosecution. The Ministry's e-Governance project has prepared the groundwork for initiating this move. The project, MCA-21, has enabled computerisation of documents and records filed by companies.
It is said that the new company law will be introduced in the Parliament soon. The changes are likely to assist prosecuting agencies in their crackdown on infringement of company law provisions.
The new law will be moulded in order to check corporate frauds as well as ways to crack them. It is also learnt that the government at various levels is trying to harmonise related legislation such as Information Technology Act and Evidence Act on the subject to avoid regulatory overlaps.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) opines that corporate emails could be crucial evidence in cartel investigations. CCI recommends enterprises to maintain a check on electronic correspondence of its marketing personnel and distributing agents to ensure they do not engage themselves in anti-competition activities.