An electronic signature or eSignature is an electronic way of signing any document against traditional manual wet ink signatures on paper documents. It replaces handwritten signatures and allows you to sign on the web using specialised electronic signature software. Electronic signatures have become popular since they are tamper-proof and are also easy to administer. It saves time and cuts paper consumption, and thus indirectly helps sustainability. With the advent of online businesses growing year by year, electronic signatures have become a necessity rather than a choice. It is also playing an essential role in creating a good customer experience
The legality of Electronic Signatures in India
Section 3 of the Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act) provides for authentication of electronic records wherein it allows documents to be authenticated through means of electronic signature, including by way of digital signature. A digital signature is one form of electronic signature, and the act was amended in 2006 to include all forms of an electronic signature to be valid for authentication of records. Further, even the Indian Evidence Act was amended to include electronically signed documents to be considered valid evidence in a court of law and achieve compatibility with IT Act amendments. Additionally, Section 464 of the Indian Penal Code was amended to include falsifying electronic records to be part of “Making a false document,” covering all aspects of electronic record falsifying. With the above amendments, electronic signature became valid in India and is now considered valid for all business purposes
The legality of Electronic Signatures Across the World
In 1996, the United Nations published the UNCITRL Model Law of Electronic Commerce. Further, a model law of Electronic Signatures was published which facilitated all advanced economies to immediately follow suit to make their electronic signature law starting from the United States. The PIPEDA in Canada, The Electronic Transaction Act 1999 in Australia, the eIDAS regulation of European Union, The Electronic Commerce Act 2000 of Ireland, The Contract and Commercial Law Act of 2017 in New Zealand, The Electronic Communications Act 2000 of United Kingdom, The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act of United States are some of the examples of specific allowability of electronic signatures.
All over the world, signing electronically is becoming popular because of several advantages, including better traceability and significant electronic evidence. Countries have enacted laws to legalise electronic signatures facilitating the growth of electronic commerce and trade. With better traceability and substantial electronic evidence to showcase the intended person did sign electronically, it is being adopted with comfort and confidence. Our CryptoESIGN is a cloud based Electronic Signature software that is compatible with most electronic signature regulations.
The conventional forms of official document system are under challenge from the digital revolution of technology with all the benefits that come with it. The high priority of any country to track all the transactions made and their authenticity without relying on paper-based systems, electronic signature has emerged as an incredible tool to solve such challenges. Implementing electronic signatures may help reduce risks related to document fraud detection, increase accuracy, decrease the risk of authenticity, provide an effective mechanism for redressal of dispute, and compliance with business requirements. The implementation of e-signatures will accelerate the growth of e-commerce, enhanced transparency and further strengthen the economy.
Written by (Ragu)nathan KannanShare