Electronic Signature

Electronic signature has also been dealt with under Section 3A of the IT Act, 2000. A subscriber can authenticate any electronic record by such electronic signature or electronic authentication technique which is considered reliable and may be specified in the Second Schedule.

Any electronic signature or electronic authentication technique will be considered reliable if-

(a) the signature creation data or the authentication data are, within the context in which they are used, linked to the signatory or , as the case may be, the authenticator and of no other person.

(b) the signature creation data or the authentication data were, at the time of signing, under the control of the signatory or, as the case may be, the authenticator and of no other person.

(c) any alteration to the electronic signature made after affixing such signature is detectable.

(d) any alteration to the information made after its authentication by electronic signature is detectable.

(e) it fulfills such other conditions which may be prescribed. An electronic signature will be deemed to be a secure electronic signature if-

(i) the signature creation data, at the time of affixing signature, was under the exclusive control of signatory and no other person. and

(ii) the signature creation data was stored and affixed in such exclusive manner as may be prescribed. (Sec.15)

An Amendment to the IT Act in 2008 introduced the term electronic signatures. The implication of this Amendment is that it has helped to broaden the scope of the IT Act to include new techniques as and when technology becomes available for signing electronic records apart from Digital Signatures.


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