Section 73, Publishing False digital signature certificates

What Is Section 73

According to the section 73-

(1) No person shall publish an Electronic Signature Certificate or otherwise make it available to any other person with the knowledge that

(a) the Certifying Authority listed in the certificate has not issued it; or
(b) the subscriber listed in the certificate has not accepted it; or
(c) the certificate has been revoked or suspended, unless such publication is for the purpose of verifying a digital signature created prior to such suspension or revocation.

What Is Electronic Signature

The idea of Digital Signature was brought in force by the Information Technology Act, 2000 in India based on UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Signatures, 2001 which is technologically a neutral concept including a digital signature. [1] Section 2(1)(ta) of the IT Act, 2000 states electronic signature means authentication of any electronic record by a subscriber by means of the electronic technique specified in the second schedule and includes digital signature.

The basic features of electronic signature include-

  • It is technologically neutral and can be created by attaching a picture of the signature.
  • It’s less authentic as it could be easily tampered.
  • Electronic signature could either be typed, handwritten, attachment, fingerprint or code.
  • This is generally used for verification of documents.

Note: The nature of such offense is non – cognizable, bailable and compoundable but the condition is that if the crime affects the socio-economic conditions or is committed against a child below 18 years or against a woman shall not be compounded.

 

 

Also read :- Section 65, Tampering with computer source Documents

Also read :-  Section 66, Hacking with computer systems , Data Alteration

Also read :- What Is Section 67, Publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form

 

Types Of Electronic Signature

There are three types of electronic signature-

1. Simple electronic signature

In simple electronic signature you receive an email with an attachment. They have pre populated the document with a name where it needs to be signed. You select a generated signature image and click a button to confirm you are happy before returning it.
The document is now electronically signed by that person, regardless of who completed the process.

2. Advanced electronic signatures

This type of signature requires a key or certificate associated with it that needs to be linked by an electronic identifier (identity) of the signatory. This could easily be illustrated by having an application on your mobile phone that a signatory needs to use in order to validate that their signature on an electronic document was actually done by themselves.

3. Qualified electronic signatures

This is an electronic version of having your signature witnessed ‘as done on pen-and-paper’. It’s the same as an advanced e-signature with the added security of electronic validation of the signature by a third party Trust Service Provider (TSP).

Punishment For Section 73

The suspect of section 73 shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.

Note: The nature of such offense is non – cognizable, bailable and compoundable but the condition is that if the crime affects the socio-economic conditions or is committed against a child below 18 years or against a woman shall not be compounded.

 

Also read :- Section 69 IT act, Powers to issue directions for interception or monitoring or decryption.

Also read :- Section 70 of it act, Un-authorized access to protected system.

Also read :- Section 71, Penalty for misrepresentation And Section 72, Breach of confidentiality and privacy

 

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