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  1. General (6)

  2. Aadhar Signing (10)

  3. DSC Signing (3)

  4. Digital Stamp Duty (19)

  • What is Lex-Sign?

    Lex-sign is a new age technology platform that helps you e-sign and execute documents virtually and go paperless. Lex-Sign is managed by legal professionals who ensure that the legality and compliance is maintained as topmost priority. The operational efforts, expenditures and time is minimized and the confidentiality and audit trail for each execution is retained. Lex-Sign is a safe, secure, harmonious platform providing e-singing facility for all documentations

  • Who can use Lex-Sign for e-signing?

    The following entities may use Lex-Sign for e-Signing

    • The Aadhar based e-signing can be done any individual with an Aadhaar number (linked to a valid mobile number or verified through a biometric device only for registration of documents)
    • The Digital signature can be done any person on any document, by a person who has a Digital Signature Certificate/ Document Signer Certificate in its name
    • Any individual or business can use the non-aadhar based E-signing who has access to a mobile phone / email address where an OTP can be accessed.
  • As a user, how can I e-sign a document?

    You can sign any electronic content in the following ways:

    • Aadhaar eSign: After authentication with Lex-Sign (an OTP is sent to the entered mobile number and email ID), an OTP is sent to your Aadhaar-registered mobile number. At the backend, the key pair is generated, and a DSC (Digital Signature Certificate) is issued by the CA (Certifying Authority). Lex-Sign then applies this DSC to the document, and returns the signed document to the user - all this in a matter of seconds!
    • Electronic/Stylus Signature: An OTP for authentication is sent to the entered email ID or mobile number, after which you can draw your signature on the requested document.
    • Digital signature: The Digital Signature can be affixed by any person holding a valid digital signature in the signature box of the PDF document. The DSC along with the password is proof that signature is authenticated by the identity of the sender of a message or the signer of a document.
  • What is the benefit of using electronic signing over physical signing of documents?

    Digital signatures, Aadhaar based e-Signing and virtual signatures reduce the operational costs, save time, and promote business efficiency. Documents can be signed remotely at the click of a button without the physical presence of the parties. The audit trail of the electronic signature is validated immediately by Lex-Sign and audit report is shared with initiator for the record of the parties and a backup audit trail is maintained by Lex-Sign as well. As soon as one party affixes a signature on the pdf document, the documents is locked, thus eliminating the possibility of amendment, tampering or fraud.

  • How can an organization appoint point of contact for e-signing?

    An individual that is authorized by the company/ LLP/ trust/ society or any other organization can digitally sign documents using e-Sign on behalf of the organization. In order, to be authorized for this purpose, the organization must pass a board resolution or have an authority letter in place, allowing the individual to sign documents on its behalf.

    The authority letter/ board resolution needs to be uploaded on the Lex-Sign Portal before such person signs on behalf of the organization as part of the audit trail requirement.

  • How safe and secure are the documents with Lex-Sign?

    Lex-Sign application has been audited and certified by CERT-In empaneled independent auditor CDAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) who has provided an audit certificate certifying the technical integration and security safeguard of Lex-Sign. The information security including the vulnerability checks, compliance with direct guidelines formulated by the CCA (Controller of Certifying Authorities) and associated guidelines put forth by the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) have been complied with and on processes for on boarding with them have been duly completed.

    Further, Lex-Sign offers bank-grade security for all documents where the data confidentiality is maintained and security control for all information is ensured.

    Revocation of certificate is not required as the certificate validity is only 30 minutes, and the private key is deleted immediately after the signature is created.

  • What is Aadhar E-sign?

    There are 2 classes of Aadhaar eSign issued by licensed certifying authorities in India.

    OTP Class: Authentication happens via. OTP using Aadhaar eKYC

    Biometric Class: Authentication happens via. Fingerprint/IRIS using Aadhaar eKYC.

    OTP Class Aadhaar eSign facilitated by Lex-Sign is valid, legal and equivalent to Class-II DSC

  • Can I execute my agreement through Aadhar e-sign?

    Yes, all types of documents, letters and most of the agreements can be executed through Aadhar E-Sign.<.p>

    Yes. Section 10 A of the Information Technology Act, 2000(IT Act) reads as-

    “Validity of contracts formed through electronic means- 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.”10

    Further, Section 85A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1972, reads as

    “The Court shall presume that every electronic record purporting to be an agreement containing the digital signatures of the parties was so concluded by affixing the digital signature of the parties”11. “

    As already discussed above, Aadhaar eSign is a prescribed and completely legally compliant manner of digital signatures under the IT Act and thus all agreements executed with Aadhaar eSign and digital signatures are completely legally acceptable. Suffice it to say, therefore, that the IT Act governs the use of digital signatures in India and further specifically confirms that contracts cannot be denied enforceability merely because they are concluded electronically.

  • How authentic is the Aadhar e-signing?

    Section 3 of the Information Technology Act provides that authentication of electronic records can be done by affixing of digital signatures. Section 3A provides for the kinds of electronic signatures that can be used to authenticate electronic records and provides the power to Central Government to issue Notifications under the same. Aadhaar eSign gains legal validity out of the notification mentioned in Question 1 issued by the Central Government under the powers given to under Section 3A. Section 5 of IT Act also provides digital signatures the legal validity equivalent to that of physical signatures.

    Further Section 85B (2)(a) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 says that in proceedings involving secure digital signatures (such as Aadhaar eSign), the court shall presume that the digital signature has been affixed with the intention of signing and approving it unless the otherwise can be proved. Section 85A and 85C of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 also make further presumptions in favour of digitally signed agreements and the information contained in a digitally signed certificate. Therefore, digitally signing a document is a completely legally compliant manner of signing a document and Aadhaar eSign can thus safely be used to sign any document except for those mentioned in Question 2.

  • What is the evidentiary value of Aadhar e-signing as per courts in India?

    Section 4 of the IT Act provides that any document which by law needs to be in written, typewritten or printed form, the conditions will be deemed to have been satisfied if the document has been provided in an electronic form. Under the Indian Evidence Act, the definition of the word evidence includes “all documents including electronic records… “ and the meaning of “electronic records” is the same as under the IT Act and would include any kind of digital documents as well.

    The Supreme Court of India in 2010 in the case of Trimex International Fze Ltd. Dubai Vs. Vedanta Aluminium Ltd., India – reinforced the legal validity of electronic contracts under Indian law.

    In the Trimex International case, while dealing with a contract negotiated over email communication, the court held that "mere absence of a signed formal contract, would not affect either the un conditional acceptance of contract or implementation thereon and that an unconditional acceptance of contract concluded orally or in writing by email would suffice. Additionally, with respect to proving the existence of contract, the court held that exchange of emails, letters, telex telecom and other means of telecommunications would be sufficient proof.

    From an evidentiary standpoint, an e-signed agreement has the same legal effect as a physically executed agreement. The definition of "evidence" as provided under Section 3 the evident act includes documents including electronic records produced for the inspection of the court. Further section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act states that any information contained in an electronic record which is entered on paper, stored recorded or copied in optical or magnetic media produced by a computer shall be deemed to also be a document and shall be admissible in any proceedings without further proof or production of the original or evidence of any content of the original or of any fact stated therein of which direct evidence would be admissible.

    Section 47 the Indian Evidence act further stipulates that when the Court has to form an opinion as to the electronic signature of any person, the person of the Certifying Authority which has issued The electronic signature certificate is a relevant fact. Under Section 85 of the evidence act "the court shall presume that every electronic record purporting to be an agreement containing the electronic signature of the parties was so concluded by affixing the electronic signature of the parties"

    In this context, Section 85A of the evidence act states that the court shall presume that every electronic record supporting to be an agreement containing the electronic signature of the parties was concluded by affecting the electronic signature of the parties in this context provided that unless the contrary is proved,

    the court shall presume that in any proceedings involving a secure electronic record the Court shall presume unless proved, that the secure electronic record has not been altered since the specific point of time to which the secure status relates. Further, section 85 B of the Evidence act further states that Presumption as to electronic records and electronic signatures. —

    1. In any proceedings involving a secure electronic record, the Court shall presume unless contrary is proved, that the secure electronic record has not been altered since the specific point of time to which the secure status relates.
    2. In any proceedings, involving secure electronic signature, the Court shall presume unless the contrary is proved that—
    3. the secure electronic signature is affixed by subscriber with the intention of signing or approving the electronic record;
    4. except in the case of a secure electronic record or a secure electronic signature, nothing in this section shall cerate any presumption, relating to authenticity and integrity of the electronic record or any electronic signature.
  • Is Lex-Sign authorized to provide Aadhar based e-sign?

    Lex-Sign application is integrated, approved by the National Securities Depository Ltd. and has been audited and certified by CERT-In empaneled independent auditor CDAC for information security vulnerability checks, compliance with direct guidelines formulated by the CCA (Controller of Certifying Authorities) and implicated guidelines put forth by the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India).

    As per the on-boarding and authentication guidelines issued by the Controller of Certifying Authorities, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Govt. of India, E-sign Service Providers such as us can legally provide the Aadhaar eSign services to the market.

  • What documents can be signed through Aadhar e-sign?

    Section 5 the IT Act reads as, “Where any law provides that information or any other matter shall be authenticated by affixing the signature or any document should be signed or bear the signature of any person then, notwithstanding anything contained in such law, such requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied, if such information or matter is authenticated by means of digital signature affixed in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government”.

    But Section 1(4) of the IT Act lays down- “Nothing in this Act shall apply to documents or transactions specified in the First Schedule by way of addition or deletion of entries thereto.”

    Therefore, Aadhaar eSign, which is a prescribed method of digital signature, can be used to validly sign and authenticate all documents except for those expressly excluded from the application of the IT Act under the First Schedule.

    These excluded documents under the First Schedule are:

    1. A negotiable instrument (other than a cheque) as defined in section 13 of the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881 (26 of 1881).
    2. Power-of-attorney as defined in section 1A of the Powers-of-Attorney Act, 1882 (7 of 1882).
    3. A trust as defined in section 3 of the Indian Trust Act, 1882 (2 of 1882).
    4. A will as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 (39 of 1925), including any other testamentary disposition by whatever name called.
    5. Any contract for the sale or conveyance of immovable property or any interest in such property.
  • Is there a limit / cap on ticket size for Loan agreement to Aadhar e-sign?

    The Reserve Bank of India, in its Master Direction – Know Your Customer (KYC) Direction, 2016 (as updated in August 2019) has limited term loans sanctioned using OTP based e-KYC (in non-face-to-face mode) to not exceed INR 60,000 in a year. This cap is for KYC purposes and not applicable to eSigning of Agreements.

    The Information Technology Act and other applicable guidelines and regulations by the ‘Controller of Certifying Authorities’ (sector regulator for Digital Signatures) do not prescribe any cap on the ticket size for which digital agreements can be done.

  • How is stamp duty paid when option for e-signing?

    Lex-Sign makes it possible to validly pay stamp duty for digital instruments.

    The user can create a Stamp Request by filling a simple form. We procure the Stamp Paper/eStamp Certificate as per the provided details, print a legend on the paper based on the details, and upload a scan of the same-corresponding to the request.

    When the user uploads his document, it gets merged with the scan and the Sr. No. of the Stamp Paper/eStamp Certificate is printed on every page of the document. The user can then continue to sign and send the document.

    The original Stamp Paper/eStamp Certificate is delivered to the user. Stamp Duty can also be paid for counterpart copies of agreements, so that all parties have the original Stamp Paper/eStamp Certificate.

  • Are Aadhar e-signs admissible in the court of law?

    Yes, Aadhaar eSign based digital signatures are fully admissible in court.

    As per Section 67A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, in cases of secure electronic signatures such as Aadhaar eSign, one does not need to prove that the authenticity of the digital signature of the subscriber. Under Section 85C of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, it is presumed that the information contained in a digital signature certificate is correct. Under Section 85B (2) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, it is presumed that a secure digital signature is affixed by subscriber with the intention of signing or approving the electronic record. Under sub-section (1), the integrity of a secure electronic record is also presumed.

    As per Section 47A of the Indian Evidence Act 1872, the opinion of the issuing Certifying Authority is a relevant fact for the court to make an opinion as to the digital signature of the person. Both Lex-Sign and its Certifying Authority- NSDL maintain full transactional logs to assist and certify any transactions carried out through us for adjudicative purposes.

    The manner and procedure of how the same have to be submitted is laid down under Section 65A and 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

    Thus, all documents digitally signed through Aadhaar eSign using our platform are completely admissible and in cases of disputes, both Lex-Sign and our Certifying Authority- NSDL can issue any kind of required Certificates.

  • What is an audit trail?

    Audit trail is an authenticated document containing the logs relating to the signing transactions on the document. It contains details like the Timestamp of the transactions, the Public IP of the Signers, location of the signers during the signs, etc. The audit trail is digitally signed by our servers and helps improve trust in the documents signed through our platform. We continually improve the standards used to issue Audit Trails of documents and use Industry Best Practices to ensure reliability and trust in documents signed through our platform.

  • What is a USB-based DSC E-sign?

    A Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is issued to businesses or individuals for the purpose of digital signing. There are three classes of DSCs issued by the licensed certifying authorities in India:

    Class-I: authenticates email address

    Class-II: most commonly used, requires photograph, copies of proof of identity and address attested by gazetted officer/bank official

    Class-III: requires in-person verification by CA.

    Private key for such DSCs is provided in Password or PIN protected USB dongles and need to be renewed.

  • What documents can be signed through DSC / Virtual e-sign?

    The Secure Virtual Signature is not an Electronic/Digital Signature as it has not been specified in the Second Schedule of the Information Technology Act 2000. Therefore, if a document needs to be “signed” as per regulatory or statutory requirements, Secure Virtual Signatures may not suitable. An Aadhaar eSign should be used for such documents.

    For all other documents not requiring a ‘signature’, electronic authentication by way of Secure Virtual Signature is sufficient to enter into a contract or approve the contents of the documents as per Section 10A of the Information Technology Act.

    Routine documents such as employee contracts, approval letters, on-boarding forms, non-disclosure agreements, and HR documents can be executed using Secure Virtual Signature. Some documents have been expressly excluded from the application of the IT Act and therefore cannot be electronically authenticated /signed. These are:

    A negotiable instrument (other than a cheque) as defined in section 13 of the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881.

    Power-of-attorney as defined in section 1A of the Powers-of-Attorney Act, 1882.

    A trust as defined in section 3 of the Indian Trust Act, 1882.

    A will as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, including any other testamentary disposition by whatever name called.

    Any contract for the sale or conveyance of immovable property or any interest in such property.

  • Why to choose Virtual Signing over Aadhar e-signing?

    Hand-signatures – They have heavy hidden cost in terms of printing, handling, courier, and storage costs. These are also difficult to establish as authentic in courts as signers frequently dispute its authenticity.

    Other digital authentication methods (including click-wrap or other insecure electronic signatures) – These are neither expressly accepted as valid Signatures under the law, nor have a trusted third party audit-trail and OTP verification supporting the authentication. These create legal and business risk and it can be a difficult to prove them before courts.

    Aadhaar eSign – While remarkably secure and legally acceptable method of signing documents digitally, these may not be convenient in certain situations such as –

    Inability to receive OTP on the mobile number– either Aadhaar not linked to the mobile number or the user is overseas;

    Offline Aadhaar eKYC (upcoming) may be considered less user friendly; and

    The user refuses to use Aadhaar eSign to authenticate the document, and prefers a non-Aadhaar mechanism.

    Lex-Sign’s Virtual Sign allows execution of documents, securely and quickly.

  • What is Stamp Duty?

    Stamp duty is the tax governments charges on legal documents, usually in the transfer of assets, consideration involvement. Governments impose stamp duties, also known as stamp taxes, on documents that are needed to legally record certain types of transactions. Documents need to be legitimized by paying applicable Stamp Duty on them. The proceeds of Stamp Duty leviable in any financial year are assigned to the State and are charged as per the Stamp Act of the respective State where the document is executed or the immovable asset is situated.

  • Is stamp duty to be paid for digital agreements?

    In India, stamp duty is levied under Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (“Stamp Act”) as well as various legislation enacted by different States in India for the levy of stamp duty. Every instrument under which rights are created or transferred needs to be stamped under the specific stamp duty legislation. There is no specific provision in the Stamp Act that specifically deals with electronic records and/or the stamp duty payable on execution thereof.

  • Is stamp duty to be paid for digital agreements?

    In India, stamp duty is levied under Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (“Stamp Act”) as well as various legislation enacted by different States in India for the levy of stamp duty. Every instrument under which rights are created or transferred needs to be stamped under the specific stamp duty legislation. There is no specific provision in the Stamp Act that specifically deals with electronic records and/or the stamp duty payable on execution thereof.

    Section 3 of Stamp Act is the charging section which provides for the levy of stamp duty on specified instruments upon their execution. Relevant provision of section 3 is reproduced below:

    Instruments chargeable with duty- Subject to the provisions of this Act and the exemptions contained in Schedule I, the following instruments shall be chargeable with duty of the amount indicated in that Schedule as the proper duty therefore respectively, that is to say—

    1. every instrument mentioned in that Schedule which, not having been previously executed by any person, is executed in India on or after the first day of July, 1899;
    2. every bill of exchange payable otherwise than on demand or promissory note drawn or made out of India on or after that day and accepted or paid, or presented for acceptance or payment, or endorsed, transferred or otherwise negotiated, in India; and
    3. every instrument (other than a bill of exchange, or promissory note) mentioned in that Schedule, which, not having been previously executed by any person, is executed out of India on or after that day, relates to any property situate, or to any matter or thing done or to be done, in India and is received in India.

    Thus, broadly, two things i.e. (i) an instrument as mentioned in the Schedule I of the Stamp Act; and (ii) execution of the instrument, are required for chargeability of stamp duty.

    Amendments have been made to definition of “instrument” in the Stamp Act by the Finance Act, 2019 which have come in force from 1st April, 2020.

    After the amendment, the scope of the definition given in section 2(14) has been widened by the inclusion of clause (b) and clause (c) which states that:

    “instrument” includes—

    1. every document, by which any right or liability is, or purports to be, created, transferred, limited, extended, extinguished or recorded;
    2. a document, electronic or otherwise, created for a transaction in a stock exchange or depository by which any right or liability is, or purports to be, created, transferred, limited, extended, extinguished or recorded; and
    3. any other document mentioned in Schedule I, but does not include such instruments as may be specified by the Government, by notification in the Official Gazette;”

    Further, Section 2(12) of Stamp Act defines the terms “executed” and “execution” is also widened by the recent amendment to take into account, attribution of electronic records.

    “Executed and execution”- executed and execution used with reference to instruments, mean signed and signature and includes attribution of electronic record within the meaning of section 11 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.”

    Thus, execution means affixing a signature on the instrument by the party to the agreement. Attribution of electronic record as per section 11 of the Information Technology Act will also be treated as execution.

    It can be concluded from the above definition that the specific instrument would attract payment of stamp duty upon their execution i.e. when it is signed or bears a signature, even if the execution takes place electronically.

    Apart from the Stamp Act, many states have their own legislation with reference to stamp duty. Maharashtra stamp duty laws also refer to electronic records. Section 2(l) of the Maharashtra Stamp Act, 1958 defining instrument, specifically refers to electronic records. It states that:

    “instrument includes every document by which any right or liability is, or purports to be, created, transferred, limited, extended, extinguished or recorded, but does not include a bill of exchange, cheque, promissory note, bill of lading, letter of credit, policy of insurance, transfer of share, debenture, proxy and receipt;

    Explanation. – The term “document” also includes any electronic record as defined in clause (t) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.”

    This makes it clear that Maharashtra Stamp Act, 1958 imposes stamp duty on electronic agreements as well.

    This suggests that even electronic agreements come under the scope of stamp duty laws and thus need to be stamped if chargeable as per the applicable stamp duty legislation.

  • What does a duly stamped mean duty mean?

    A “duly stamped” instrument as applied to an instrument means that the instrument bears an adhesive or impressed stamp of not less than the proper amount and that such stamp has been affixed or used in accordance with the law for the time being in force in the State;

    An impressed stamp” includes,— (i) labels affixed and impressed by the proper officer, (ii) stamps embossed or engraved on stamped paper; (iii) impression by franking machine; (iv) impression by any such machine as the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify; [ (v) receipt of e-payment;]

    From the above it is clear that receipt of e-payment is evidence of payment of stamp duty. However, the e-payment challan then along with the document has to be defaced (stamped) by the appropriate authority evidencing the payment of stamp duty on the instrument depending on the state of execution.

  • What does “instrument” under the stamp act stand for?

    The Indian Stamp act defines Instrument to include every document by which any right or liability is, or purports to be, created, transferred, limited, extended, extinguished or recorded;

  • Is e-signing considered as valid execution of instrument / document under Stamp Act?

    Section 4 of the IT Act provides that any document which by law needs to be in written, typewritten or printed form, the conditions will be deemed to have been satisfied if the document has been provided in an electronic form. Under the Indian Evidence Act, the definition of the word evidence includes “all documents including electronic records… “ and the meaning of “electronic records” is the same as under the IT Act and would include any kind of digital documents as well.

    The Supreme Court of India in 2010 in the case of Trimex International Fze Ltd. Dubai Vs. Vedanta Aluminium Ltd., India – reinforced the legal validity of electronic contracts under Indian law.

    In the Trimex International case, while dealing with a contract negotiated over email communication, the court held that "mere absence of a signed formal contract, would not affect either the un conditional acceptance of contract or implementation thereon and that an unconditional acceptance of contract concluded orally or in writing by email would suffice. Additionally, with respect to proving the existence of contract, the court held that exchange of emails, letters, telex telecom and other means of telecommunications would be sufficient proof.

    From an evidentiary standpoint, an e-signed agreement has the same legal effect as a physically executed agreement. The definition of "evidence" as provided under Section 3 the evident act includes documents including electronic records produced for the inspection of the court. Further section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act states that any information contained in an electronic record which is entered on paper, stored recorded or copied in optical or magnetic media produced by a computer shall be deemed to also be a document and shall be admissible in any proceedings without further proof or production of the original or evidence of any content of the original or of any fact stated therein of which direct evidence would be admissible.

    Section 47 the Indian Evidence act further stipulates that when the Court has to form an opinion as to the electronic signature of any person, the person of the Certifying Authority which has issued The electronic signature certificate is a relevant fact. Under Section 85 of the evidence act "the court shall presume that every electronic record purporting to be an agreement containing the electronic signature of the parties was so concluded by affixing the electronic signature of the parties "

    In this context, Section 85A of the evidence act states that the court shall presume that every electronic record supporting to be an agreement containing the electronic signature of the parties was concluded by affecting the electronic signature of the parties in this context provided that unless the contrary is proved,

    the court shall presume that in any proceedings involving a secure electronic record the Court shall presume unless proved, that the secure electronic record has not been altered since the specific point of time to which the secure status relates. Further, section 85 B of the Evidence act further states that Presumption as to electronic records and electronic signatures. —

    1. In any proceedings involving a secure electronic record, the Court shall presume unless contrary is proved, that the secure electronic record has not been altered since the specific point of time to which the secure status relates.
    2. In any proceedings, involving secure electronic signature, the Court shall presume unless the contrary is proved that—
    3. the secure electronic signature is affixed by subscriber with the intention of signing or approving the electronic record;
    4. except in the case of a secure electronic record or a secure electronic signature, nothing in this section shall cerate any presumption, relating to authenticity and integrity of the electronic record or any electronic signature.
  • Are there any consequences for not paying stamp duty?

    Stamp duty is a one-time charge paid under Section 3 of the Indian Stamp Duty Act, 1899. If you fail to pay this charge, you have to pay the outstanding amount along with a penalty of two per cent of the outstanding amount per month. The penalty could go to as high as 200 per cent of the original liability.

    When the required stamp duty on a document is left unpaid it cannot be accepted or received in evidence. Therefore, a transaction is invalid if it is done on the basis of a document not duly stamped. Further, documents presented to any public officer (excluding police) will be impounded and the stamp duty will be levied with a penalty.

  • Is there a limit on stamp duty payment for digitally signed documents?

    No, there is no limit on the stamp duty payment for digitally signed documents and the documents can be effectively stamped just like physical documents.

  • How is stamp duty calculated?

    In India, the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 is a central legislation, while states have their own local stamp act to administer with issues rising within that particular state. The stamp duty is calculated based on the ready reckoner rates and the property value mentioned in the buyer-seller agreement and on the consideration value mentioned in other instruments. The rate of stamp duty is as per the instrument rate mentioned in the schedule of the respective applicable stamp act. The rates at which stamp duty is charged in various Indian states at present range from 4 per cent to 10 per cent. Registration fees, on the other hand, stand at a standard one per cent across states.

  • How does Lex-Sign assist in paying stamp duty for electronic documents?

    An e-Stamp can be verified online by clicking on verify e-Stamp certificate and entering the required details i.e.

    1. State
    2. Certificate Number (UIN)
    3. Stamp Duty Type (Description of Document)
    4. Certificate Issue Date
    5. 6 digit character alphanumeric string
  • How do we purchase stamp paper?

    The most common way to pay stamp duty is by purchasing nonjudicial stamp paper from a licensed vendor.

    Then, either the details of the transaction is written on the paper or a blank stamp paper is affixed to the agreement documents and signed by the executants, indicating that the stamp paper is an integral part of the documentation.

  • What is franking?

    Franking is a process to pay stamp duty through an authorized franking agent. One has to submit an application at an authorised bank or a franking agency along with the original physical document on which stamp duty is to be paid. a stamp is affixed on the paper indicating the value of the stamp duty paid by the franking agent after the payment is made to the agent along with certain additional franking charges.

    The franking agents are only certain designated banks which have the franking machines in their particular branch hence the franking facility is not available at all bank branches. Also, each bank has a franking quota. This means that if the denomination one needs is higher than the bank's quota they will not be able to frank the physical document. Accordingly, the bank should be informed sufficiently early to conclude the transaction.

    Lex-Sign being an electronic platform does not assist in availing the franking services. Further, a franked document will not be able to electronic be signed using Lex-Sign.

  • What is an e-stamp paper?

    E-Stamping is a computer based application and a secured way of paying Non-Judicial stamp duty to the Government.

    The Indian government introduced e-stamping to tackle counterfeiting and make the payment of stamp duty easier and glitch free. In fact, in certain states, such as Delhi, all stamp duty needs to be paid through e-stamping.

    The central government has appointed the Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL) as the Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA) for all e-stamps used in the country.

    Currently, SHCIL is responsible for everything-from user registration to administration, all e-stamping applications and maintenance of records. SHCIL has also designated authorized collection centres or ACCs-scheduled banks-that will issue certificates to users.

  • What’s the process to procure physical stamp papers using Lex-Sign?

    The following are the broad steps for use of Lex-Sign’s Stamping Gateway:

    You need to create a stamp request on your Dashboard (minimum 30 papers) and make the payment online. This can be for any state in India as per your request. This gets allocated a unique number (“Stamp Series Number”).

    We procure stamp papers on your behalf from government authorized stamp vendors.

    A unique Document ID is printed on the physical stamp papers along with the legend, to ensure that the stamp paper can be used only once. A sample legend is depicted below which can be customized by you – “This stamp paper forms an integral part of the following agreement being executed between the First party and the Borrower, bearing a unique Document ID – XYZ1234567”

    A scan of the stamp papers is then stored on the user’s Dashboard. The original stamp papers are securely delivered to your provided address in one go.

    You can manually select the Stamp Series Number to be used from your Dashboard.

    A stamp paper from the selected Stamp Series Number is automatically merged with the chosen document for signing. The Stamp Reference Number and the Document ID are printed on each page of the document.

    The merged document is now ready to be digitally signed using Lex-Sign Gateway.

  • Is there a limited validity for stamp papers?

    Yes. Each state may have prescribed different durations within which the Stamp Paper should be used. For instance, the Maharashtra Stamp Act prescribes that the stamps should be used within six months of purchase and will be rendered invalid thereafter.

    Lex-Sign’s interface highlights and reminds you for the use of your Stamp Papers for a period of 6 months.

  • What’s the process to procure stamp papers using Lex-Sign?

    The following are the broad steps for use of Lex-Sign’s Stamping Gateway:

    You need to create a stamp request on your Dashboard (minimum 30 papers) and make the payment online. This can be for any state in India as per your request. This gets allocated a unique number (“Stamp Series Number”).

    We procure stamp papers on your behalf from government authorized stamp vendors.

    A unique Document ID is printed on the physical stamp papers along with the legend, to ensure that the stamp paper can be used only once. A sample legend is depicted below which can be customized by you – “This stamp paper forms an integral part of the following agreement being executed between the First party and the Borrower, bearing a unique Document ID – XYZ1234567”

    A scan of the stamp papers is then stored on the user’s Dashboard. The original stamp papers are securely delivered to your provided address in one go.

    You can manually select the Stamp Series Number to be used from your Dashboard.

    A stamp paper from the selected Stamp Series Number is automatically merged with the chosen document for signing. The Stamp Reference Number and the Document ID are printed on each page of the document.

    The merged document is now ready to be digitally signed using Lex-Sign Gateway.

  • What is the benefit of procuring online stamp papers?

    e-Stamp Certificate can be generated within minutes

    e-Stamp Certificate generated is tamper proof

    Authenticity of the e-Stamp certificate can be checked through the inquiry module.

    e-Stamp Certificate generated has a Unique Identification Number (UIN).

    Specific denomination is not required

    Easy accessibility and faster processing

    Security

    Cost savings

    User friendly

  • Do I need to store physical copy of the stamp paper?

    Yes, the physical copy of the stamp paper or a challan which has been defaced by the appropriate authority or a franked document is required to be stored in physical copy and will be primary evidence of stamp duty being duly paid on the instrument in question.

  • For which states can we procure Stamp Paper through Lex-Sign?

    Lex-Sign can help procure stamp paper on your behalf in the state of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal along with facilitating the e signing of the documents.

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How it works?

  • eSign using Aadhar

    Now eSigning documents with Aadhar Card linked OTP made it extremely simple and fast. Click below to view simple steps to eSign using Aadhar.

  • Draft Document

    Create eSigning agreement drafts in just few steps. Click below to view step by step guide to help create one.

  • Draft Template

    Now templatize frequently used agreement drafts into a form for your business / hr team to input variable values and for legal team to save time to review the document. Click below to know more.

  • Raise Stamp Paper Request

    Need to pay stamp duty for your agreement, now raise a request for e-Stamp Paper and add it to your digital document before eSigning.