DIGITAL SIGNATURE & ELECTRONIC GOVERNANCE – IT Act

digital_signature

Authentication of electronic records :
(1) Subject to the provisions of 3rd section of IT Act 2000 any subscriber may authenticate an electronic record by affixing his digital signature.
(2) The authentication of the electronic record shall be effected by the use of asymmetric crypto system and hash function which envelop and transform the initial electronic record into another electronic record.

Explanation: For the purposes of this sub-section, “hash function” means an algorithm mapping or translation of one sequence of bits into another, generally smaller,set known’as “hash result” such that an electronic record yields the same hash result every time the algorithm is executed with the same electronic record as its input making it computationally infeasible —
(a) to derive or reconstruct the original electronic record from the hash result produced by the algorithm;
(b) that two electronic records can produce the same hash result using the algorithm.
(3) Any person by the use of a public key of the subscriber can verify the electronic record.
(4) The private key and the public key are unique to the subscriber and constitute a functioning key pair.

Legal recognition of electronic records:
Where any law provides that information or any other matter shall be in writing or in the typewritten or printed form, then, notwithstanding anything contained in such law, such requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied if such information or matter is—
(a) rendered or made available in an electronic form; and
(b) accessible so as to be usable for a subsequent reference.

Legal recognition of digital signatures:
Where any law provides that information or any other matter shall be authenticated by affixing the signature or any document shall be signed or bear the signature of any person (hen, notwithstanding anything contained in such law, such requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied, if such information or matter is authenticated by means of digital signature affixed in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Explanation: For the purposes of this section, “signed”, with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, shall, with reference to a person, mean affixing of his hand written signature or any mark on any document and the expression “signature” shall be construed accordingly.

Use of electronic records and digital signatures in Government and its agencies:
(1) Where any law provides for—
(a) the filing of any form. application or any other document with any office, authority, body or agency owned or controlled by the appropriate Government in a particular manner;
(b) the issue or grant of any licence, permit, sanction or approval by whatever name called in a particular manner;
(c) the receipt or payment of money in a particular manner, then, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, such requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied if such filing, issue, grant, receipt or payment, as the case may be, is effected by means of such electronic form as may be prescribed by the appropriate Government.
(2) The appropriate Government may, for the purposes of sub-section (1), by rules, prescribe—
(a) the manner and format in which such electronic records shall be filed, created or issued;
(b) the manner or method of payment of any fee or charges for filing, creation or issue any electronic record under clause (a).

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