Electronic Transactions Ordinance promulgated

September 12, 2002

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ISLAMABAD, Sept 11: President Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday promulgated the Electronic Transactions Ordinance 2002, providing legal recognition of electronic documents, records, information, communications and transactions.

The law states that no document, record, information communication or transaction will be denied legal recognition, admissibility, validity, proof or enforceability on the ground that it is in electronic form and has not been attested by any witness.

The law also provides legal recognition to electronic signatures. It says that “the requirement under any law for affixation of signatures shall be deemed satisfied where electronic signatures or advanced electronic signatures are applied.”

It further says that an electronic signature might be proved in any manner, in order to verify that the electronic document is of the person that has executed it with the intention and for the purpose of verifying its authenticity or integrity or both.

The law provides for the establishment of an electronic certification accredition council within 60 days of the promulgation of the ordinance.

It says: “Notwithstanding contained in Stamp Act 1899 (II of 1899) for a period of two years from the date of commencement of this Ordinance or till the time the provincial government devised and implemented appropriate measures for payment and recovery of stamp duty through electronic means, whichever is later, no stamp duty shall be payable in respect of any instrument executed in electronic form.

“No electronic document would require attestation and notarization for a period of two years from the date of commencement of this ordinance or the time appropriate authority devised and implement measures for attestation and notarization of electronic documents, which is later.

“Where any law requires or permits the production of certified copies of any records, such requirements or permission shall extent to printouts or other forms of display of electronic documents wherein addition to fulfilment of the requirements as may be specified in such law relating to certification, it is verified in the manner laid down by the appropriate authority.”