Advocate Puneet Bhasin is a Pioneer in Technology Laws in India and a Cyber Law Expert practising in Mumbai in matters involving Cyber Crimes, E-Commerce and Intellectual Property disputes in cyberspace along with advising Online Gaming companies/ Content-based Mobile Apps and Set-Top boxes, Payment on Demand Video providers about the legalities of the same. She is the Founder of Cyberjure Legal Consulting, a Mumbai based firm specializing in Technology, Media and Entertainment Laws. Among the first in India to lay the foundation of Cyber laws and Online Entertainment laws. Most Nationalised Banks, Multi-National Corporations and Companies are her clients for Cyber Crime cases along with Information technology law Audits, GDPR Compliance Audits and Cyber Security Audits. She is a pioneer of Blockchain Laws in India and the only advocate practising in Smart Contracts Legal Compliance and legal compliance of Blockchain Applications.
She is an Advisor to the Rajya Sabha Committee on the formulation of Internet Laws and Technology Laws in India. She forms a part of the advisory committee to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) on the new Data Protection Framework, to be adopted by the Government of India.
How would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
– Well, I’m a practising cyber lawyer, and which been an amazing experience working in this field. I am practicing from the time people never had the smartphones and the subject of cyberlaw was something which, most people hadn’t heard about this at that time. It has grown over the years and with God’s grace that has to lead me also to grow. With over 500+ clients today I guess it’s purely a revolution of technology and the grace of God’s that has put me in the right place at the right time.
Q1. What exactly prompted you to take up law as a profession?
– I wouldn’t say that I took up law as a profession, I would say that law has chosen me, it’s the other way around. I honestly believe that we do not make very active choices in anything. So for me, I was thinking of pursuing another profession then suddenly I came to know about law as a field to be pursued for further studies with a better career opportunity. Same time, I had cracked medical and engineering entrance exams and instead of taking admission in them, I preferred Law. I went ahead with the law and with a hidden thought that if I will not find this field interesting, I will go for other opportunities, I joined Law college and started going classes. Within a week I completely felt that I belong to the legal fraternity that’s why I pursued law thereafter.
I would like to say that the law chooses me, I didn’t choose Law.
Q2. So Ma’am, Did anyone suggest you do law or anyone in your family who belongs to the law field?
– I would say that it was purely the grace of God that one day I was just sitting and reading the India Today Magazine outside the dentist’s clinic where I was in a meeting with my grandmother. Suddenly while glancing through the pages I came across the top 10 law colleges in India. I was like okay I have already given the engineering entrance as well medical entrance and I had got the seats there but somewhere I was not excited about the engineering or medical occupation. Suddenly, I come across the fact that GLC (Government Law College, Mumbai) is the best law college in India. I was like that’s in Mumbai, let me see how’s the law student’s life. So, the same day, I went back home and I started checking out with the people connected to law. Whatever I came to know I found it a bit interesting about the law. So I got the form the next day from the college and went ahead with that.
Q3. Can LL.B. student start his career as a cyber lawyer or do he need to do any specialization course for this?
– For the matter of fact, LL.B. is itself a theoretical course. Law field is all about the practical experience. For example, a doctor can’t really do an operation of his patient unless he doesn’t have any experiences. For any kind of profession, the experience is a basic principle. So even mere LL.B. graduate would be able to practice to some level. But to really be a best cyber lawyer you need to have a good grasp of criminal law, or good level of practice and knowledge in that, of civil also because cyberlaw is precise civil precise criminal, corporate law because on a lot of levels you can get up protection and have to go through Policies etc. and working on compliance. So definitely litigation, corporate everything has to be your strength for being a cyber lawyer. So you need a lot of training, a lot of practice for this.
Q4. Why did you specifically choose the field of cyberlaw for your career?
– I was very interested in this field and I never found any law field more interesting than this. That was the only reason why I opted this cyberlaw field. It’s not like that I did not try out the other field. I had also worked in all the different law field. I have worked as an arbitrator. I have also worked as a legal servitor. And in many ways, it has also helped me a lot. Cyberlaw is not about just knowing the acts, it’s about so many more things. Like today cyberlaw is the part of divorce proceedings, it is about the criminal proceedings too. Cybercrime is a different subject.
So it’s the mixture of every law today, so you need to have a good knowledge of every law subject like CPC, CrPC, IPC, IEA and many more. I would say it was the really good experience knowing everything about every law under this, during my college days, the time when I was interning and all experiences collectively helped me to achieve this. So, we can’t conclude on this fact that having knowledge of only cyber law is going to make you a good cyber expert today.
Q5. Is cyberlaw drafting different from law drafting?
– Yes, of course, cyberlaw drafting is different from law drafting. Nature of documents, the nature of agreements everything is different here. For example, a technology transfer agreement is not going to be similar to the MOU or any other regular agreement. Apart from that even when you are going to see an IPR assignment agreement with respect to others, you can easily find that both are different.
Drafting of a police complaint from a regular criminal case also differs, for a cyber case you need to make a good prima facie case, more than in Indian courts and in the police system, you’ll have to really be able to sure about the case.
Q6. Apart from cyberlaw expert and an advocate you are also a faculty for PG Diploma in cyberlaw. So being an advocate and a professor which profession you enjoy the most?
– Actually, I enjoy both of the profession, that is one of the main reasons why I started Cybjerure academy. In Cyberjure Academy, we conduct courses. We provide almost 2 to 3 courses every weekend of the month. During weekdays, I love to practice in the court and my passion for teaching is carried forward in the courses that we conduct. We conduct the wide number of specialization of courses in our Cyberjure Academy which no one in an institute of India is offering today. And the reason I continued that entire endeavour of Cyberjure academy is that I love teaching, practice my profession with teaching.
Q8. At last, what would you like to say to the readers who aspire to make out a career in the cyberlaw in future?
– I would say that do not think that you want to make your career in a particular field. Yes, if there is a subject in which you do have the interest, then you should go forward to that subject or field. One of the basic things is if you are happy doing something and if you do find interest in that then you will end up doing well. If you do well in it, you will feel passionate about it, if you are passionate about it, you will be successful. If you simply do something because it’s an aim today or you think prospects are very good in that field. Then how will you be passionate about that field, then how will you get successful? So it all boils down to do whatever you do, in which you are best at. You will feel happy about doing you are best at, you will feel passionate and at the end of the day, you’ll be successful.
Thanks a lot.
Interviewer: Mr Abhishek Sinha