E-Signature Regulations

Does your jurisdiction maintain a list of trusted entities to qualify e-signatures?

The Office of Controller of Certifying Authorities in India issues license to Certifying Authorities (CAs). CAs in turn issue Digital Signature Certificates to end-entities. One can approach any one of the licensed CAs for getting a Digital Signature Certificate. The list of licensed CAs is available at http://www.cca.gov.in/licensed_ca.html

Please provide a quick overview of the law, i.e., types of contracts that qualify for use with e-signature.

All types of contracts can be executed using electronic signatures except the following:

  • a negotiable instrument such as a promissory note or a bill of exchange;
  • a power-of-attorney;
  • a trust deed;
  • a will or any other testamentary disposition; and:
  • a contract for the sale or conveyance of immovable property or any interest in such property.

What is the legality of e-signatures in your jurisdiction? Are there key exceptions?

Electronic signatures are legally recognised and admissible as evidence in a court of law as per the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Please refer to our response to the above query for the exceptions.

What is the e-signature law enforceable in your jurisdiction?

The Information Technology Act, 2000 (“IT Act”) provides the legal framework for electronic signatures in India, enabling them to have the same legal effect as physical signatures when done in the manner prescribed under the IT Act.

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