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General

1. Who can use the services of odrglobal.in?

2. What are the advantages of using odrglobal.in?

3. Can I use this site for Mediation?

4. I have a dispute in a contract. But I don't know if the other party would agree for online arbitration. What should I do?

5. I am about to enter into a contract. How should I incorporate online arbitration?

6. I am not in India. Can I use the services?

7. I am not an expert in IT. Can I use these services?

8. Do I need any special equipments to use the services?

9. Can I use the services from a Cyber Cafe?

10. Who is responsible for internet connectivity during a session?

11. How should I make the payment for the services?

12. Can I get a demo session for training?


Membership Related:

13. Who Can be a Member for regular use of the Platform?

14. I am not a Lawyer or a Retired Judge. Can I be a member ?

15. I am an E Commerce Website and requiring to conduct Arbitration/Mediation with my customers. Can I use this Service?

16. I am a Company and require to conduct Arbitration/Mediation with my emploees particularly those who have left the Company. Can I use this service?

17. I am an accredited Arbitrator for domain name dispute resolution. Can I use this service?

18. We are already an established Arbitration Council. How is this service relevant for us?

19. We have an arbitration infrastructure in some places already. How can I use this service beneficially?

20. We are an Arbitration Council with several members. How can we train our users in the sue of Online Arbitration? 

21. How is online arbitration recognized in law?

22. Where can I get more information?

23. We are an established Arbitration Council and have our own tariff. Do I need to change?

24. I do not have my own tariff or set rules. What do I do?


Miscellaneous

25. How is the Confidentiality of information assured?

26. How is the integrity of the information assured?

27.How is the Availability of service assured?

28.How is the authentication of information assured?

29. How is the Non Repudiability of Information assured?

30. What are the service dependencies?

31. What is the jurisdiction for dispute resolution?

32. What is the grievance redressal process?

33. What is CEAC?

Use Case Scenarios

35. How can the ODR Global service be used by an E Commerce website

36. How can the ODR Global service be used by a Matrimonial Counsellor

37. How can the ODR Global service be used by an Arbitration/Mediation Professional

38. how can the Arbitration service be used by a business person.


1. Who can use the services of odrglobal.in?

The service of odrglobal.in can be used by any individual who is a party to a contract and is facing a dispute situation. It can be used by firms, Companies or any other organizations. E Commerce Companies can incorporate odrglobal.in as a part of the dispute resolution process in their terms of service.

Professional Arbitrators and mediators can use the platform for conducting their arbitrations and mediations.

The service can be used by entities located both in Indian or outside.

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2. What are the advantages of using odrglobal.in?

odrglobal.in is convenient to use and highly economical.

Unlike a conventional physical arbitration or mediation meeting, parties need not congregate on a single location. It saves on travel and time besides the cost of hiring the physical meeting place.

It saves time of all the parties since they can attend the meetings from their respective locations without the need to travel consuming additional professional time. In a conventional proceeding, if a professional arbitrator located in Bangalore has to attend a 2 hour meeting in Delhi, he has to perhaps travel on the previous day and charge for two professional days as his service cost. In ODR Global, he can perhaps connect 15 minutes before the scheduled time and attend to other work immediately after completion saving time and effort for himself and charging less for the client.

The proceedings during the arbitration meeting is captured digitally in a non repudiable manner with a trusted third party such as the CEAC and made available for further  use as may be required. In a conventional physical meeting there could be loss of information and lack of 100% evidence of proceedings as against complete digital recording of the proceedings that would be available in the form of a CEAC certified evidence.

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3. Can I use this site for Mediation?

Yes. The process of mediation is similar to the odrglobal.in respect of sensitive mediation proceedings such as in the case of matrimonial cases, the online process avoids the embarrassment  of a physical meeting and provides for a more constructive resolution.

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4. I have a dispute in a contract. But I don't know if the other party would agree for online arbitration. What should I do?

It is necessary for all the parties in the contract to agree for the use of online arbitration in the first place and then at ODR Global in the second place. If this is not a pre-agreed process, it is necessary to propose this to the other party and obtain their consent. This is part of the service that ODR Global provides during the pre-scheduling period after the initial request for arbitration from one of the parties is registered. On receipt of the request and the initial fees, the Registrar sends a notice to the counter party and obtains their consent before scheduling the proceedings.

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5. I am about to enter into a contract. How should I incorporate online arbitration?

During the negotiation of the contract, you can suggest inclusion of an arbitration clause to the following effect:

"Any or All of the dispute or difference arising out of or in connection with this contract shall be resolved by arbitration using the services of online arbitration services provided under www.odrglobal.in .The arbitration shall be subject to the provisions of the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 and consist of one/three* arbitrators.." (* use as appropriate). The seat of arbitration is deemed to be India* (*use as appropriate).

Since incorporation of the online arbitration is beneficial to all contracting parties, if the advantages are understood, there is no reason for the other parties to refuse. However, if required, Naavi can be contacted to provide any clarifications directly to the counter party to provide them the confidence.

It is open to the parties to provide for online arbitration either as an exclusive requirement or as an additional requirement in which physical arbitration meeting is also possible. The clause needs to be drafted accordingly to provide for both online or offline arbitrations.

Legally speaking however,  in India, according to Information Technology Act, "A message is deemed to be sent or received in the usual place of residence/usual place of business" of a person. Using this attribution provision, "ODR Global" may be considered as a "Place of usual residence/usual business" of both the contracting parties. Since the "Place of arbitration" mentioned in contracts is likely to be the place of either of the contracting parties, it is possible to interpret that "ODR Global" can be used on all contracts even where the contract does not specify "online arbitration".

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6. I am not in India. Can I use the services?

ODR Global is a global service. It can be used by any of the parties either residing in the same country or otherwise, either in India or otherwise. The system of providing certified copies which are valid under Section 65B of Indian Evidence Act may be judicially binding in India. Elsewhere it can be a "Good Practice" which is respected by all the parties concerned.

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7. I am not an expert in IT. Can I use these services?

Use of online arbitration under ODR Global does not require more than a minimal level of technical expertise. It requires an ability to connect to internet, download a web meeting software if required and use a web cam. Users are provided necessary guidance and if required a demo training.

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8. Do I need any special equipments to use the services?

A windows based computer/laptop connected to internet with a webcam is required. Computer's speakers and mic are normally sufficient for conducting the online meeting though having a headset and microphone may be useful.

The most critical aspect of the process is a good internet connectivity. Since video conferencing is involved, broadband connectivity is desired.

It is recommended that users may run the demo meeting to know if their connectivity is good and reliable for extended uninterrupted use.

The responsibility for organizing a reliable connectivity is that of the participant since this parameter is not under the control of ODR Global.

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9. Can I use the services from a Cyber Cafe?

Yes. Considering the critical need of a good and reliable connectivity, users may consider using external service providers such as Cyber Cafes. The users shall however be responsible to secure their privacy and information security in such cases. Kindly ensure that you would not be disturbed during the session.

ODR Global proposes to enlist the services of suitable intermediaries in certain places in due course who may be of assistance to the users. As and when such services are available, the information would be made available on the website.

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10. Who is responsible for internet connectivity during a session?

The online arbitration session is dependent on internet connectivity at the end of each of the persons participating in the process. It certainly is dependent on the connectivity at the end of ODR Global and also at the end of each of the users. Each person connecting to the system is responsible for the connectivity at their end. 

In case of temporary break downs, the session can be continued after the break is restored. If the connection becomes completely unreliable, the session has to be rescheduled.

If the disruption is from the end of odrglobal.in the session would be freely rescheduled with a regret as to the inconvenience. In respect of the other users, if the session needs to be extended because of the disruptions in connectivity, no charges will be made for upto 25% time extension compared to the scheduled period for which the arbitration room is booked. Any disruption beyond this 25% cushion would be charged at the proportionate rate.

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11. How should I make the payment for the services?

The payment can be made online through PayUMoney to Ujvala Consultants Private Limited.

If required, payment may be also made directly to Ujvala Consultants Pvt Ltd for which the Bank particulars would be provided on request at the time of payment.

Alternatively payment can also be made through Naavi's payment center as provided in the website. This money will be received by Na.Vijayashankar and passed on to Ujvala Consultants Pvt Ltd .

International customers can pay through the same payment gateways at an exchange rate as prevailing at the time of payment.

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12. Can I get a demo session for training?

Yes. At present one demo session separately for each of the contracting parties and the arbitrator would be provided free of charge. The demo session would be for about 5 minutes to indicate how the connectivity is to be established with voice and video functionality as well as to test the band width. It can be scheduled subject to mutual convenience of odrglobal.in and the respective user.

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13. Who Can be a Member for regular use of the platform?

Any Individual, Association of Individuals, Firm, or Body Corporate can be a member.

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14. I am not a Lawyer or a Retired Judge. Can I be a member ?

Yes. If you are an expert who is capable of providing arbitration service in your area of specialization, you can register as an "Expert". You may then be chosen either by the parties to a dispute as a commonly accepted arbitration for a dispute or by an arbitration panel for expert assistance.

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15. I am an E Commerce website requiring to conduct Arbitration/Mediation with my customers. Can I use this Service?

Yes. You can incorporate the use of odrglobal.in as a tool of grievance redressal for your customers in the Terms and Conditions document .

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16. I am a Company and require to conduct Arbitration/Mediation with my Employees particularly those who have left the Company.  Can I use this Service?

Yes. You can incorporate the use of ODR Global as a tool of grievance redressal for your employees in the employee contract/HR policy.

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17. I am an accredited Arbitrator for domain name dispute resolution. Can I use this service?

For the purpose of mediation, it is possible to use ODR Global without any specific issue. However, for arbitration of a dispute which may later require compliance of the registrar, the accredited arbitration system needs to be used.

ODR Global has initiated a dialogue with NIXI to include the online arbitration as a recommended tool of resolving domain name disputes in the dot in domain under INDRP. The NIXI has not specifically indicated whether an online the arbitration process.

ODR Global is also in the process of initiating a dialogue with ICANN to find ways of making the services of ODR Global acceptable for dispute resolution under the UDRP.

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18. We are already an established Arbitration Council. How is this service relevant for us?

Firstly, this will be another channel through which the intending parties may become aware of your services. Secondly if the arbitration has to take place in a location where you do not have the office facility, you may be able to use the service for such assistance. Lastly, you can use the service if you need an online arbitration,

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19. We have an arbitration infrastructure in some places already. How can I use this service beneficially?

You can use the facility in places where you do not have the infrastructure or for online arbitration.

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20. We are an Arbitration Council with several members. How can we train our users in the use of online arbitration?

Naavi can undertake such training on request for groups of your members. If it is in Bangalore it can be done free of charge. In other places, the charges for conducting the training are subject to negotiation.

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21. How is online arbitration recognized in law?

The online facility will be Cyber Law Compliant as per Indian law.

The virtual meetings are a replacement of physical meetings. The Regisrar will be an observer who will be a virtual witness to the proceedings.

All proceedings would be recorded with the use of standard tools.

ODR Global also takes cyber law compliant measures to identify the participants with the use of Digital Signatures where available or with online verification of identity documents. As and when e-sign facility is available, it would be also made use of.

In view of the above measures, it is considered that the proceedings are not only mutually acceptable to the contracting parties, but also to the Judiciary if the proceedings continue further.

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22. Where can I get more information?

You can contact Naavi for more information through e-mail naavi@vsnl.com. You can also explore www.naavi.org for relevant articles.

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23. We are an established Arbitration council and have our own Tariff. Do I need to change?

No. You can use your own tariff as well as rules to conduct arbitration. The charges made by ODR Global is only for the use of the facilitation center. Whenever, a member uses the services of odrglobal.in a service charge of  5% is payable. This can be either absorbed in the current service charge of the arbitrator or the charge increased to the extent necessary. Service tax if any will be payable by the Arbitrator as applicable and the above service charge of 5% is exclusive of taxes.

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24. I do not have my own tariff or set rules. What do I do?

In case you want to use the standard tariff structure, Arbitration can suggest standard rules and tariff and you are welcome to adopt the same. In such case, you may indicate the same in your profile.

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25. How is the Confidentiality of information assured?

The proceedings of arbitration is considered confidential information which it is understood has to be protected for privacy and information security. Adequate measures are taken at the end of ODR Global to ensure that the information is shared only on a "Need to Know Basis".

Since the individual computer resources through which parties interact with the Arbitration system is distributed, there is a possibility that persons may be shoulder surfing at different end points of the users. Each user is expected to take necessary steps to ensure that only authorized persons are available at their terminal and access is provided only to persons whom they have chosen to provide access.

ODR Global uses reputed service providers for conducting the online meetings and hence the security measures adopted by these intermediary service providers are commensurate with the risks involved.

The recordings are kept at the resources of ODR Global and the service provider will have only a transient real time access to the information as an "Intermediary" along with his own obligations under law.

The users however should appreciate that the service is provided over the internet and there could be certain risks that are associated with the medium that needs to be considered as risks that has to be absorbed by all users.

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26. How is the integrity of the information assured?

Information once collected is digitally signed and checked with appropriate hashing so that the integrity of information is ensured. The transient information risk is managed with the use of service providers who are reputed for providing reliable services.

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27.How is the Availability of service assured?

The arbitration service is provided with the use of online tools and services such as online virtual meeting tool, e-mail, web services etc. ODR Global uses the services of only established service providers to the extent possible.

The risk of non availability due to failure of internet connectivity at the end of ODR Global is managed with reasonable redundancy and assured free replacement of service time. The responsibility for connectivity at the end of the users remains with the users and needs to be absorbed.

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28.How is the authentication of information assured?

The authenticity of the users is checked with digital signature where available and with reference to other KYC documents where digital signatures are not available. In due course odrglobal.in may use e-KYC facilities provided by UIDAI and e-Sign facilities as and when available.

Delivery of recorded evidence is provided by ODR Global with a digital signature of an authorized person.

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29. How is the Non Repudiability of Information assured?

To the extent digital signatures are used, the non repudiability of the information is assured. The presence of the Registrar during the arbitration sessions also adds an element of non repudiability since the Registrar can always provide his evidence on the proceedings. In other cases where non repudiabilty is required for documents appropriate measures will be imitated as may be required on a case to case basis.

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30. What are the service dependencies?

The technical aspects of the service depend on the hosting services, internet connectivity services, the online meeting service, services related to online recording, the e-mail communication services and other system software and hardware. Continuous efforts are in place to reduce the uncertainties associated with such dependencies and improve the reliability of the service.

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31. What is the jurisdiction for dispute resolution?

Jurisdiction for dispute resolution to the effect whether arbitration is possible and whether online arbitration is acceptable and if so whether ODR Global is acceptable are all matters which need to be decided on the basis of the contract and/or mutual agreement between the contracting parties.

If arbitration is possible, the place of arbitration is normally included in the contract itself. The contract however may say arbitration is to be held in a particular city and leave the choice of location to the arbitrator. It is therefore possible to consider that the arbitrator has the discretion to chose the location as long as the place is mentioned in the contract.

If therefore "Online" is mentioned in the contract, then there is no argument left.

If not, one can still argue that as per section 13 of ITA 2000/8, the messages sent or received in electronic form can be deemed to have been sent or received from the usual place of residence of the sender and receiver and using this provision, an online arbitration actually occurs from the place where the sender or receiver is logging in. If therefore one of the parties who invoke the arbitration has his usual place of residence in Delhi , the proceedings are deemed to be taking place from Delhi irrespective of the fact that the person may be actually logging in from some where else. Hence Cyber Place itself can take the location of the sender's or receiver's usual place of residence and if this matches with the contract then the online arbitration may be considered as within the provisions of the contract.

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32. What is the grievance redressal process?

The grievance redressal process in respect of this website and its services is based on the requirements of Section 79 of ITA 2000/8. The grievance redressal officer is Na.Vijayashankar and is available on e-mail naavi@vsnl.com.

The general condition under which the service is being rendered is that in the event of any failure of service, the customer is not entitled to a compensation beyond the cost of service he has paid for subject to the resolution of the dispute by the grievance redressal system.

If the decision of the grievance redressal officer is not acceptable to the customer, the matter may be settled by a single arbitrator through the online arbitration system of ODR Global as per the provisions of the Indian Arbitration Act. Three arbitrators will be suggested by the customer of which one may be accepted by ODR Global. All costs will be on the account of the person who raises the dispute.

In the case of dispute arising between two customers of ODR Global regarding the service of ODR Global, the Registrar of the session will be the first level resolution officer and there after the appeal will be considered by Naavi or one of the arbitrators who is designated by Naavi.

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33. What is CEAC?

Naavi has been a pioneer in the field of Cyber Law in India and has been managing the CEAC service for "Cyber Evidence Archival" since 2002. Evidence from CEAC was used by the Court in the first case in which conviction was made under provisions of ITA 2000 in India, namely the case of Suhas Katti. Since then the process is being used in a number of instances in many Courts. CEAC is a private body but the system used by CEAC conforms to Section 65B of Indian Evidence Act. More on this can be explored at http://www.naavi.org/wp/?p=3998

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34. Can any party cheat during the process?

It is anticipated that since both the contracting parties are available on a video during the arbitration sessions, there can be no impersonation.

The participants may take the assistance of other persons staying near the computer without informing the counter parties. These are ethical issues and it is presumed that participants will use the services in good faith and under a general code of conduct that is acceptable to all the stake holders.

It is possible that one of the parties may deliberately disconnect and thereby disrupt the proceedings under the guise of connectivity problems. The Registrar of the session will take suitable steps to prevent such practices and conduct the proceedings to the satisfaction of all the parties.

However occasional disruptions are considered unavoidable and financial loss in the form of lost service charges suffered by any of the parties due to such frustrated sessions may be compensated as per the decision of the Registrar whose decision in this regard will be considered final and binding. Such refund/compensation shall be considered only if the session is frustrated by the party which is invited to the online arbitration at the instance of the first party who invokes the arbitration. The decision of the Registrar will however be final and binding in such instances.

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Use Case Scenarios

35. How can the ODR Global service be used by an E Commerce website

An E Commerce website such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon, Quickr, Olx, etc have established a huge market for goods and services. Users of these services are wedded to online experience and even when disputes arise they would like to use only online mechanisms.

Presently, most of these services bank heavily on immediate product replacement as a means of reducing consumer disputes. These are working well and consumers are happy to get a replacement of their goods. However, in C2C transactions and in case of some goods, replacement may not be on offer and buyers need to absorb the risk of dealers not meeting their quality obligations.

As the number of online transactions increase and more and more high value transactions come up, it may not be possible for these online market places to completely absorb the losses arising out of disputes between the consumer and the third party merchant who operates through the market place. 

Hence disputes need to be settled through an acceptable process. Under Section 79 of ITA 2000/8, it is also mandatory that a Grievance Redressal Mechanism needs to be introduced by all intermediaries. Hence sooner or later, "Arbitration" will be an essential aspect of the Terms of Service of any online E Commerce.

In such cases it would be natural to expect that the dispute resolution would an "Online Experience" so that consumers who are physically located in far off places would be able to complete  resolution of even complicated disputes through online interaction with either an Ombudsman or through Mediation or through Arbitration.

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36. How can the ODR Global service be used by a Matrimonial Counselor

Matrimonial disputes go through many phases of resolution and always start with mediation by a professional counsellor.

Often the couple are separated and living in different cities when the dispute resolution mechanism starts. The need for travel during such a phase creates more irritation in the parties creating additional hurdles working against reconciliation.

Use of Online Mediation will therefore enable soft meetings between the estranged couples and pave the way for reconciliation better than physical meetings which are likely to be dysfunctionally emotional and inconvenient.

Counsellors may therefore find Online Mediation more effective than the physical meetings for working towards reconciliation and even less acrimonious settlements of disputes.

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37. How can the ODR Global service be used by an Arbitration/Mediation Professional

ODR Global is a facilitation center for conducting Online Arbitrations and hence professional Arbitrators/Mediators can look at the service as if it is a BPO service which they can use.

ODR Global is not an Arbitration Council by itself and hence does not compete with the business of the existing Arbitrators.

On the other hand, ODR Global provides an opportunity to the Arbitrators to expand their activities, give a Tech Savvy touch to their operations without additional investments and technical hassles.

The availability of CEAC certification would be a huge value addition to the arbitration proceedings these arbitrators may conduct and hence they may look at this service as a welcome tool that will benefit their existing activities.

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38. How can the Arbitration service be used by a business person.

Businesses should welcome the availability of Online Dispute Resolution mechanism since it enables them to reduce the cost of dispute resolution adds an element of convenience.

The CEAC certified proceedings would enable Companies to use the facility for not only resolving consumer disputes, but also the employee disputes. With the increasing attrition rates in the industry, it is not common for employees to move from one company in one city to another in another city or even a different country. When such movements are accompanied by some dispute about the employment contracts, there would be need for invoking discussions for which the online Arbitration/Mediation is the best option.

Employers should therefore consider adding "ODR with ODR Global" as a standard feature of their dispute resolution mechanism both in their HR policy as well as Consumer Dispute resolution policy.

Additionally, Companies need to add "ODR with ODR Global" as a standard contractual clause in all their business contracts at least as one of the alternatives.

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