Digital signature – The I.T. act states that where any law provides that information shall be in writing or printed from, the requirement is deemed to be satisfied if such information is in an electronic from and is accessible for subsequent reference. The key ingredients of the formation of electronic contracts comprise communication of offer and acceptance by electronic means, verification of the source of communication, authentication of the time and place of dispatch and finally the verify ability of the receipt of the data communication. A subscriber may authenticate and electronic record by affixing his ‘digital signature’. The digital signature serves to satisfy the legal requirement of affixing of a signature in a written or printed document.
Digital signatures as power of central government to make rules
The central government may prescribe
- · The type of digital signature
- · The manner and format the digital certificate shall be fixed
- · The manner and procedure that facilitates identification of person affixing the digital certificate.
- · Control process and procedures to ensure adequate integrity, security and confidentiality of electronic records and payments
- · Any other matter necessary to give legal effect to digital signatures.
Digital signature certificates
A digital signature certificate of a subscriber certifies the identity of the subscriber and implies his acceptance of the previsions of this act and rules and regulations contained therein. The certificate is issued only on the following grounds.
- · The certifying authority being satisfied that the information contained in the application of certificate is accurate.
- · The subscriber holds a private key capable of creating a public key
- · The private key corresponds to the public key to be listed in the digital signature certificate.
- · The public key to be listed in the certificate can be used to verify a digital signature affixed by the private key held by the subscriber.
Revocation of digital signature certificate
The certifying authority may revoke a digital signature certificate issued by it on the following grounds
- On the request of the subscriber of his authorized representative
- On the death of the subscriber
- On the dissolution or winding up of the company if the subscriber is a firm or a company.