ECONTRACT IN INDIA BY: RACHITA MATHUR

Information Technology Act was enacted with the main purpose as it provides a legal framework for electronic governance by giving recognition to electronic records and digital signatures. It also defines cyber crimes and prescribes penalties for them. The Act directed the formation of a Controller of Certifying Authorities to regulate the issuance of digital signatures. The provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 particularly Section 10-A, which states that Validity of contracts formed through electronic an electronic contract is valid and enforceable. It is the only essential requirement to validate an electronic contract is compliance with the necessary pre-requisites provided under the Indian Contract Act, 1872. Also, the courts in India give due regard to electronic contracts under the provisions of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. E-Contracts can be entered into through various modes of communication such as e-mail, internet and fax. Pre – requisites provided under the Indian Contract Act, 1872 are:

Offer and Unconditional Acceptance

It may be made either online or by e-mail communication.

Lawful Purpose and Consideration

A contract is enforceable by law only when it is made for a lawful purpose and for some consideration. It must not defeat any provision of law and must not be fraudulent in nature.

Capacity of Parties and Free Consent

Parties to a contract are capable of entering into a contract, if they satisfy the requirements of Section 11 and 12 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 must be free as per Section 13 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872

The courts in India recognize electronic documents under Section 65-A of Indian Evidence Act, 1872. The procedure for furnishing electronic documents as evidence is provided under Section 65-B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. As per Section 65-B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 any information contained in an electronic record produced by a computer in printed, stored or copied form shall be deemed to be a document and it can be admissible as evidence in any proceeding without further proof of the original. But, admissibility of the same is subject to various conditions prescribed under section 65-B of the said act. It is required that the document or e-mail sought to be produced from a computer, was in regular use by a person having lawful control over the system at the time of producing it; the document or the e-mail was stored or received during the ordinary course of activities; the information was fed into the system on a regular basis; the output computer was in a proper operating condition and has not affected the accuracy of the data entered.

It may be concluded that various the parties are at consensus-id-idem and such an agreement fulfills all the essentials of a valid contract under the Indian Contract Act, 1872 and such contract is valid and legally enforceable. Futher Section 10 A of the Act, states that where in a contract formation, the communication of proposals, the acceptance of proposals, the revocation of proposals and acceptances, as the case may be, are expressed in electronic form or by means of an electronic record, such contract shall not be deemed to be unenforceable solely on the ground that such electronic form or means was used for that purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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