Legality of India eSign

Modified on Mon, 09 Jul 2018 at 01:57 PM

Pursuant to ‘The Electronic Signature or Electric Authentication Technique and Procedure Rules, 2015’, Aadhaar eSign digital signatures have legal validity equivalent to that of hand written signatures. The eSign framework is fully compliant with the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

Signature Verification

  • Document signature seal 

    • The signature on the document will have an Aadhaar seal containing basic information about the signature

  • Tamper protection

    • Adobe Acrobat provides tools to verify the authenticity of the Digital Signature Certificate. When a signed document is opened on Acrobat, it shows a signature toolbar. If all the signature certificates are valid, and the document is not tampered, it shows a green tick mark with the text Signed and all signatures are valid. 

  • To see the details of the digital certificate, one may click on the Signature Panel button next to it, that shows when the document was signed, and by whom (as in the following image).

  • Anytime the document is edited after the last signature obtained, Acrobat invalidates the signatures and also keeps a trail of changes within the document. The signature panel shows a Yellow warning signal saying the document has been changed after the last signature. 

  • The only personally identifiable information of the signer that’s visible in certificate details is the user’s name. The email address and phone num is not disclosed on the certificate details. To obtain the certificate details, one may select the Certificate Details from the Signature panel, that displays a dialog with details of the person who signed, and the issuer of the certificate. 

Does this eSignature meet legal signature requirements?

  • A document signed with Aadhaar eSign holds valid for most legal purposes under India eSignature law (see exceptions below). Wet-ink or cursory signature is NOT required for Aadhaar eSigned document. 

Exceptions to Aadhaar eSign

While most documents can be signed electronically with the authentication of Aadhaar, there are some exceptions to these rules

  • Real estate contracts such as leases and sales, involving transfer of immovable property rights. (Leave and License contract can be used instead)

  • Wills and other testamentary documents

  • Trust deeds

  • Powers of attorney

  • Negotiable instruments such as a promissory note or a bill of exchange other than a cheque

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